As Christians living in America, it is difficult for us to completely understand the Jewish people and the love they have for their homeland, a love that goes far beyond patriotism. A recent personal experience has given me deeper insight and new compassion for their plight.
This past December, I received an invitation from Christians United for Israel to join 34 other Georgia-based pastors on a trip to Israel.
I had always felt uncomfortable when considering travel to the Holy Land because of the constant reports of unrest, yet I felt God was opening this door for me. After prayer, I sensed peace about participating in the trip and started making plans to go.
As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I expected this journey to be a wonderful learning experience, but I came away with much more than an increased understanding of Biblical history.
As we visited the Israeli soldiers on the borders they defend, I was able to see firsthand the daily threat to Israel. It was enlightening to meet a young Jewish man from the United States who returned to support and defend the country he loves, and to learn how Jewish people from every corner of the world love Israel and are committed to stand with their homeland.
The promise of God to the Jewish people recorded in Genesis 12:2-3 says, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
I believe the United States of America has been blessed because we have blessed Israel. And today, as we watch a new threat arise in Iran with their president delivering hate speeches expressing a desire to wipe Israel off the map, it is critical that we continue to stand with the Jewish people.
Words aren’t adequate to express my gratitude for all I experienced on this trip. In my letter of appreciation to the man God used to make it possible, I committed as long as I am a pastor to educate my congregation on the Biblical mandate to support Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.
Last week, we hosted a Standing with Israel Rally at The Sanctuary in Evans. We invited both Christians and Jews. The East Coast director for Christians United for Israel, Victor Styrsky, was the speaker. To learn more about the event or issues at hand, please call The Sanctuary office at (706) 364-8284.