Probably the main verse in the Bible which answers this question is Psalm 122:6 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you.” The emphasis is on praying for Israel. Reading the Bible we see the importance of Israel. When God called Abraham, the father of Israel, God promised:
- Blessing to Abraham’s descendants (Israel)
- That they would be a great nation
- to give them the land of Canaan as their inheritance
- to establish the throne of Israel forever
- that all the nations of the earth would be blessed because of Israel
Fulfilment of promises
The Bible gradually reveals the fulfilment of some of these promises
- The people of Israel became a great nation from Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, “the son of promise” (referred to in Galations 4:21-31)
- The people of Israel entered Canaan according to God’s promise
- The second king of Israel, David, was told that his throne would be an eternal throne, one that would last forever
- In the New Testament the very first chapter informs us that Jesus Christ was born a descendant of David through Mary, his mother.
Jesus is much more than a man
Reading on through the New Testament we realise that Jesus is much more than a man, He is God, and was sent into the world by God in order to take the punishment of the sins of mankind, (we have all disobeyed God and worshipped and followed idols, and gods of man’s own invention) and to show us the way back to having a relationship with God. The Old Testament says repeatedly that God would send Someone to save us. The Jews called Him Messiah. But when Jesus, the Messiah came, they rejected Him. Jesus was arrested, accused falsely and crucified on a Friday but on the Sunday He rose from the dead. Jesus appeared to His disciples, anointed them and commissioned them to go throughout the world telling everyone the good news of why He came. Now He reigns in Heaven forever. This was the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham that His kingdom would be established forever and that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through Israel.
Pray for Israel
Sadly many in Israel still refuse to accept that Jesus is their Messiah, the one that God sent. This is why it is still important for Christians to pray for Israel, as Paul says in Romans 11, we have salvation, the Bible and the Messiah through Israel. The fact that Israel rejected the Messiah meant that the way was opened up for us gentiles (non-Jews) to become the people of God. In v 26 Paul says that Israel will be saved and v 28, that they are still loved by God, because of his promise to their ancestors.
Hence it is important to pray for Israel. According to Psalm 122:6 those who do so are blessed.
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