Remember this about Israel when you pray or serve on her behalf—and the news seems to go from bad to worse


Ever need encouragement in your stance with Israel? You’d hardly be human if you didn’t. For example, here is a partial, short list of global events targeting Israel in the past several days, even as the prayers and labors of many continue on her behalf: (1) UN issues unbalanced condemnation against Israel for last year’s Gaza War; (2) Palestinians submit war crimes charges against Israel to the International Criminal Court; (3) US does not abide by its own law to withhold funding to the Palestinian Authority for submitting the criminal charges; (4) new US law permits boycott of products from Israel’s West Bank—which is consistent with previously stated American intent for Israel to retreat to its1949 Armistice lines; (5) US and other nations appear to surrender to Iran’s strategy for obtaining nuclear weapons with which to annihilate Israel; (6) US Supreme Court concludes that West Jerusalem is not inside Israel; (7) The Islamic State, aka ISIS, gains a presence inside Israel and issues a threat to overrun it; (8) France revives efforts at the UN to create a Palestinian state (that would quickly be overrun by the Islamic State) based on 1949 Armistice lines and dividing Jerusalem; (9)The large Church of Christ denomination joins the global BDS movement; and (10) Internationally funded, murderous terror by Palestinians against Israelis escalates during Ramadan.

Israel is a stand-alone nation, and prophesied to be such, in Numbers 22-24. The Numbers passage takes on special significance this week (July 4-10) according to Jewish tradition. This is because observant Jews read and study set portions of the Hebrew Scriptures appointed for each week of the year. At the end of a year, the entire Torah will have been read, along with most of the other Hebrew Scriptures. Then the cycle repeats. Numbers 22-24 comprises the reading set for this week. Some Messianic believers note a remarkable convergence of the traditional weekly portions and international events.

In Numbers 23:9, God describes His people as set apart and not “reckoned,” or ” “counted among,” or “considered the same as,” all other peoples and nations. In context, He is blessing His people through a beautiful prophetic oracle. But the Hebrew text does not refer solely to God’s perspective of Israel. It implies that Israel does not—and should not—consider herself the same as the other nations. Therefore, perhaps we should not be too surprised that she is increasingly isolated, disenfranchised and even scapegoated by the world in these last days.

To be sure, God does not approve of the nations’ unjust mistreatment of Israel. He does not want us participating in, or ignoring, that mistreatment. The more the nations curse her, the more He wants His followers from among the nations persevering by grace to bless her. The same passage reminds us, “May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed” (Numbers 24:9).

God will bless you who bless Israel, but that doesn’t mean you’re exempt from battle or hardship in this life. Blessing, as you know, can be costly. Yet God’s rewards are ultimately of much greater value. So when you find yourself tempted by discouragement in your stance for Israel, turn quickly to Him. Don’t let discouragement morph into fleshly anger, or doubting His Word, or love growing cold. Or quitting from weariness in doing well.

Instead, interact heart to heart with Yeshua, who was personally tempted by all these things. Tell Him how you feel. (He already knows but verbalizing is powerful.) Worship and praise YHVH as good, sovereign and victorious. Let the sure hope and beauty of His Word saturate into you. Soak in His Spirit, who is your Helper. And expect God to respond to you. “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10)

Maybe He wants simply to strengthen you with His limitless love and joy. Perhaps He wants to tweak your understanding or perspective, or refine you to be more like Yeshua. Israel is about Him. Remember that neither Israel, nor you or I were ever meant to be “reckoned” among the nations. We have something and Someone much better than that to live for.