It's been said that if you want proof that God exists, check out Israel. They were destroyed as a sovereign, independent nation in 586 B.C. by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar's reign. God said He would re-gather them from the ends of the earth and re-establish them as a sovereign nation in the last days. That happened shortly after the murderous Adolph Hitler tried to rid the Earth of the Jews. On May 15, 1948, after 2,500 years of being away from their homeland, Israel was once again declared a sovereign nation (Isaiah 66:8).
Scripture tells us Israel will be surrounded by nations that despise them in the last days and that Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling to the surrounding nations (Zechariah 12:2). Today, the tiny country of Israel (about the size of the U.S. state of Delaware) is far less than 1% of the world's population. But it dominates about one-third of global news. We know the Apostle Paul mentions that a time will come when the blindfold over Israel's eyes will be removed and they will come to understand that Yeshua (Jesus) is their true Messiah and they will repent and put their trust in Him (Romans 9-11). Even today the Messianic Jewish movement (Jews who believe Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of God) is growing rapidly!
Another miraculous thing happening in these last days is God is removing the blindfold on us, as Christians, to see that God loves Israel and has never given up on Israel, but is faithful to His covenants with them (Genesis 12:1-3). We, His Church, are seeing the truth that we have been grafted into the glorious covenant promises given to Israel and that He has a special plan of redemption for Israel. This redemption will come from tremendous deception and persecution in the Earth's darkest days before the Lord returns to reign on the Earth.
Today, many of us Christians are coming to understand that we must cultivate God's heart to love and stand with Israel, a country despised by so much of the world. We are learning that Christianity is nothing without our Jewish roots. Indeed, the entire Bible comes to us from God through the Israelites and our Savior was a Jewish Rabbi and will forever be the King of the Jews and the King of kings.
As we reflect on Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, Israel 2,000 years ago, let us ask God to give us His heart for the Jewish people and their nation of Israel. Let us cultivate a spirit of prayer not only for our nations, but also the nation through which God chose to reveal Himself to our fallen world. Israel truly is “the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
— Pastor Derek Fullerton
, Climbing For Christ board member
Middle East. Leader:
President Shimon Peres has been chief of state since July 15, 2007, and Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu) has been the head of government since March 31, 2009). Population:
7,233,701. Primary Religion:
Jewish (76.4 percent, followed by Islam at 16 percent, Arab Christians 1.7 percent, other Christians 0.4 percent, Druze 1.6 percent, and unspecified 3.9 percent).
Climbing For Christ is tentatively planning a journey through the mountains of the Bible, located in the Holy Lands, in 2011.
Where in the world?
Israel is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon.