Israel, that small strip of land with about 6 million inhabitants, repeatedly gets worldwide attention. In that sense, Israel is unique!
David says in 1 Chronicles 17:21 “And who is like Your people Israel, the one nation on earth, whom God went to redeem …” God Himself says in Exodus 19:6 “you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation …” The New Testament also confirms the unique place of Israel. “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants …” (Romans 9:4).
God has adopted the Jewish people as His people. And God has given them “all the land of Canaan as an eternal property” when He made a covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17:8). Psalm 105:7-11 also refers to this covenant “that He commanded, for a thousand generations”, as “an everlasting covenant”. In this Psalm God’s devotion to his people is also articulated with words like: “covenant, sworn promise, statute, eternal covenant”.
Thus God commits Himself totally and without reservation to Israel. Anyone who goes against God’s commitment to this plan goes directly against God. And that with serious consequences, “… for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8). And God will judge other nations on the basis of how they have treated His people (Joel 3:1-2).
Fulfillment of prophecies
Moreover, Israel is unique because its history is foretold in prophecies, which cannot be found with any other people. Most of the prophecies have already been fulfilled, such as those prophecies about the destruction and scattering of Israel as a result of their disobedience.
The prophecies about their promised return to Israel are now being fulfilled before our eyes. “In that day the Lord will extend His hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of His people … He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:11-12).
When Isaiah speaks of “that day,” he often points to the end times. The first return from the exile in Babylon was short-lived. The second return is worldwide a sign and banner for other heathen nations. Everyone can now witness their return from among the nations! We also now see the restoration of the land that was predicted in Isaiah 41:18-20.
God also promises a spiritual restoration. Through the Holy Spirit, there will be a revelation among the Jews, about Who Jesus is. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on Me, on Him Whom they have pierced …” (Zechariah 12:10).
Then they will realize that they have crucified their Messiah, and they will turn to Him. “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1). Now there is still revolt and unrest in the Middle East and anti-Semitism is rising worldwide. The truth behind this is that Satan, the god of this age, opposes Jesus’ Kingdom.
We as believers are grafted in as branches on the olive tree (Romans 11:17). Thus we are connected to the people of Israel, and may show that in our prayers.