What Does It Mean to Stand with Israel? (Part 3)


Read the series.

What are some specific things that we can do to stand with—that is, bless (Gen. 12:3)—the people, nation and land of Israel?

As we documented in the previous installment, we certainly have good reason to desire to do so. As Jesus told the Canaanite woman, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). And as He reminded the Samaritan woman, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).

The Apostle Paul spoke about the relationship between the Gentiles and “the poor who are among the saints in Jerusalem” (Rom. 15:26). He comments on those Gentiles in verse 27, stating: “They are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.”

So how can we serve our Jewish friends and neighbors?

Of course, the answers will be as many and as varied as the number of people seeking them—and the number of their Jewish friends. In these days of unprecedented antisemitism, the most basic thing that we can and must do is simply to reassure a Jewish person that we are concerned for them—that we love them and pray for them. I have personally done this on several occasions recently, and have seen the visible results that flow from such small acts of Christian kindness.

There are many more sophisticated things that we might attempt to do to reach out in very meaningful ways. Great occasions to begin with would be holidays such as Hanukkah and Passover. These are vitally significant in the Jewish heritage, and should likewise be important for us as Christians, in terms of understanding the historical context of our faith.

For example, The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry sends Hanukkah boxes to Jewish people throughout North America each holiday season. We also aim to educate believers about the Biblical backgrounds and implications of Passover and the other feasts which are such a vital part of the Mosiac Law (see Lev. 23).

Unquestionably, it would always be appropriate to engage in a study of Jewish history and culture, and to try to understand more about their concerns, and the forces that pose a threat to them. This would certainly display genuine empathy for their plight.

In terms of more tangible support for the Jewish people, FOI sends a great deal of humanitarian aid and relief wherever it is most needed, through our representatives located around the world. Currently, that especially entails giving lots of help to people within Israel, where bomb shelters and medicycles are in high demand during these days of terrorism and warfare. There have also been heroic efforts undertaken over the last two years to assist the Jewish people in Ukraine. Certainly, our ministry is not alone in these kinds of efforts. There are many organizations striving to do the same kinds of things. But FOI definitely offers one channel through which you might endeavor to be a blessing to God’s chosen people.

Again, Paul exhorted us: “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). So, do you know a Jewish person? We should all be seeking to get acquainted with them, gain their confidence and show sincere interest in them—just as we would with anyone! But we ought to be looking for specific ways to be a blessing to our Jewish neighbors by showing them that we are concerned, and that we genuinely care. They may not concur with us, and we may not agree with them, even on the biggest issues of life. But, if nothing else, we ought to be able to show them that we are indeed their friends, and that we condemn antisemitism in all of its forms. If they ever need a friend, they should rest assured that they already have one, in us.

In the course of living this philosophy out, you will doubtless encounter and envision more ways to stand with Israel, and her people, than I might ever imagine or list.

But the greatest thing we could ever do—the ultimate thing we must do and that which we must always keep in the front of our minds—is to share the gospel of their own Messiah with the Jewish people. We must do this in a meaningful way, because we love them, and because they are the ones who have first brought this gospel to us.

As Paul finally reminds us: “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29).

If you’re going to stand with Israel, now is the time.

Where do you stand?

NKJV - Source

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


So let me sum up your points, "To Stand with Israel", means:

  1. "reassure a Jewish person that we are concerned for them—that we love them and pray for them"
  2. "send Hanukkah boxes to Jewish people throughout North America each holiday season"
  3. "engage in a study of Jewish history and culture, and to try to understand more about their concerns, and the forces that pose a threat to them"
  4. "Donate to Jewish causes around the world, "FOI definitely offers one channel through which you might endeavor to be a blessing to God’s chosen people"
  5. "share the gospel of their own Messiah with the Jewish people"

Points #1, #2, #5 are related to helping people in the US and our neighbors who may be practicing the Jewish religion or who are Jewish in descent. These individual are most likely not part of the nation of Israel as it stands today, but could potentially be viewed as the diaspora of the historical nation of Israel.

Point #3, is something we do internally and has not direct impact to the current nation of Israel, although it may have some indirect impact.

Point #4, is to provide goods or money to 3rd party agencies that send those goods or support to the actual political nation of Israel.

I am a bit confused exactly how these relate to "standing with Israel". Are we talking about our Jewish Neighbors who are citizens of the United States. Are we talking about individuals who are citizens of the political nation of Israel (who may or may not be Jewish). Is it just to reassure our neighbors and send money to an agency? Sharing the gospel is important, but we are called to share the gospel to all.

I think all of us would be clear that antisemitism and persecution of the Jews is not acceptable. And while the incursion by Hamas into Israel was unacceptable. How do we balance this against the fact that the Israeli invasion (according to the UN numbers) has killed 12,300 Palestinian children. Do we speak out against this? Do we support the current activities that are killing more and more children? Should we be indifferent and focus just on how we should "stand" with them?

“Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham,” Galatians 3:7.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

Given Tyler's reference to Gal. 3:7, it appears that just because someone is Jewish doesn't mean they are children of Abraham. The true children of Abraham are those who are trusting in Jesus Christ as their Messiah.

That said, I would boil down Paul's post into "love your neighbor as yourself"--which is what we're supposed to be doing to everyone, not just Jews or people who live in the nation state of Israel.

Romans 9 is also a good one T Howard. The children of God are not the offspring of Abraham, or the children of the flesh. But the children of the promise who are counted as offspring.

I still struggle with the "who". Even Scripture is a bit nebulous on this point. The confusion arises with, whether it is:

  • Israel the current political entity, which does not occupy the historical land of Israel, nor does it encompass a population that is uniquely Jewish, although it would be a majority Jewish.
  • Israel the defined nation in Scripture? Which does not look like the Israel of today.
  • The Jews specifically? Which is a large dispora of both descendents of Abraham as well as mixtures through marriage or converts.
  • A specific group of Jews living in the current country of Israel?
  • The Jews who are our neighbors who we see on a regular basis.

It could be all of the above, but I doubt that the prophecies are applied to all of the above either in aggregate or specifically for each.

Those that are more dispensational will align with this more as their interpretation is that there is a specific promise for a unique group of people in the future, whereas the more Reformed you are, the less you will align to this. A more reformed person would agree with these articles in the sense that the Jews were critical for the gospel and it was through them that the promise was received. And they would stand for Israel as an ally of the US, and maybe because of their past, but not because of promises for their future as a unique group who will have a unique blessing.

So I am not sure I am any clearer now after these three parts as to what "stand" means except to provide financial giving to aid groups. Maybe I missed something.

What is the olive tree? Always interested to hear people’s answer.