For a Bible-believing Christian, the response to this question is crucial because Israel permeates the whole of Scriptures from Genesis through to Revelation. With over 2,600 references to Israel, Scripture devotes 75% of itself to the history of the Jewish people.
Faulty view or perfect vision
Because Israel is woven into every major bible doctrine, a false conception of who she is, will most assuredly affect one’s understanding of the major covenants of the Bible and misdirect the true intent of the Scriptures.
A faulty view of Israel will inadvertently handicap our competency in understanding the fuller purpose of the Church and the great impact she [the Church] is to have on the world and on Israel as well. Often our own preconceived biases of who the Jewish people are hinder us from appreciating all that God has done through her and what He has promised to continue to do with her until His soon return. How many of us have already read the incredible statistics about this people?
Check out Wikipedia’s comprehensive list of the many awards, innovations and contributions she has made to the world, in spite of the fact that she makes up only 0.2% of the earth’s population.
A view from the top
We usually mark someone as friend or foe and once framed as such, they often remain as such. But through God’s dealing with Israel, we see His tender compassion and overwhelming grace materialize. Though frequently angry with Israel because of her sins, God would nevertheless still call out to her in love, affirming His unconditional acceptance of her, vouching repeatedly that He has not finished blessing her. While He may appear to forsake her by inflicting punishment on her through the nations around her, still His protection for her is unceasing… for the Lord says: He who touches you [Israel] touches the apple of My eye.
Romans 9-11 is a remarkable passage of Scripture, using Israel as the example for all saints throughout human history. If God’s faithfulness and love for Israel in unconditional, then by extension, we too can be sure that His faithfulness to us is dependable and unwavering.
You either love her or you hate her…
If we fail to see Israel through God’s lenses, we may easily become anti-Semitic. We may end up unsympathetically reviling her, to the point of utter hatred. On the other end of the spectrum, we may over-justify her, crown her, and idolize her into some super-spiritual race. If we think that way, we might assume that she is so loved by God she might not even need to hear the Gospel in order to be saved. If you hate them, you will distance yourself from them but if you idolize them, you will deem their redemptive need unnecessary, thereby distancing them from God.
There is no question that the presence of the Jew defies logic and therefore draws us to the conclusion that it is not by logic that we seek or learn the truth about Israel. It is by the Spirit who opens our understanding through the Word of God. The Bible is the first book to mention Israel and Jews, transcribing the creation of this nation. Since it is authored by the Almighty, it is imperative to rely on His Word so that we might have an accurate perception of the Jew’s past, present, and future condition.
With a view to seeing much more
Our focus in studying Israel through the Word of God is not so much to draw our attention to the Jew himself or what he has achieved or accomplished, but rather our attention must point to the One who is the cause of their creation and is the reason for their preservation.
The history of the Jews is ultimately the history of God’s unconditional love toward a particular people. His love and concern toward this people demand a response from us. How do we seek to see her? Over 200 times God is called the God of Israel. A true quest for God will reveal God’s heart for Israel. And it’s His perspective we desire to have.