How do we think of Israel?

STREETLIFE - Paul Villarete - The Freeman

Do we differentiate between religious and secular belief? Or is there even a difference between the two? Presumably, there is because the common definition of “secular” is “anything not affiliated with a church or faith.” But there are times when these can be muddled. Especially when it concerns that particular area of the world in the Middle East where three religions originated which comprises the highest number of believers --Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

In the middle of it all is a country called Israel. For starters, it is the only country in the world that disappeared from the face of the earth for more than 19 centuries. Some people even dispute that, saying Israel was never a country, as we define countries today but just a local aggrupation of people who believe in Judaism which is based on the Jewish Bible which is also the Old Testament part of the Christian Bible. All that the Jews and Christians believe are based on people and events which happened in that tiny speck of land called Israel.

With what is happening in the Gaza strip nowadays, the world’s eyes are again focused on Israel. Just the other day we heard of the news of Iran launching a strike against Israel using missiles and drones. This is still in relation to the issue of Israel attacking the Gaza area on its southern border which is still linked as a response to the prior attack of Hamas militants on southern Israel last year. It’s world news and current events --developing events happen as I write this.

Yet, Israel is Israel and, for us who are Christians, is part of our belief system. Jesus was, for the entirety of his life, from birth to death until his resurrection, a Jew, with a lineage the Bible traces up to Abraham and thus up to Adam. How do we look at current events in present-day Israel? A lot of people I know talk of the news as simply that --world events, with diverging views, some for and others against Israel. But how do we reconcile our worldly views with what we believe?

For Christians, whatever denomination we may come from, maybe that is something we can self-reflect on in relation to our faith. Is Israel just a Bible fairy tale that we should not be concerned about, or do we closely watch the developments therein in relation to our faith? If we believe what we believe, we know that the Jews have a vital role in the end times and the world as we know it will end in a global war against Israel. If we believe Jesus is coming again, then we should believe all that the Bible prophesied about his second coming. In the end, Israel will still be on center stage, part of God’s divine plan which he pre-ordained and allowed us to know in Scriptures.

That’s why I follow the news on Israel, and trust God as he unravels his plan. The world as we know it will ultimately be destroyed but the Bible gave a graphic assurance of a new home which is “the new Jerusalem.” Read the Bible about it.

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