The Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web by James Taranto raises a legitimate topic for all Americans, but especially for Christians: the stated intention of Iran, through its president, to destroy the Jewish state. And the fact that if this is all Iran threatens to do with its nascent nuclear arsenal, this is only the “narrow concern of a political pressure group.”
The group is, of course, the supposedly all-seeing, all-powerful Jewish cabal that a) controls the Bush administration, b) controls the media, c) controls Congress, d) controls Wall Street. The list goes on, depending on the audience. The essence is always the same: a small group of latter-day Elders of Zion, this go-’round called the “pro-Israel lobby,” exerts influence far out of proportion to its size.
For Christian believers, this is not optional: support for Israel as a Jewish state in the ancestral home of the Jews in the Middle East. This could be dismissed, and often is so dismissed, as being the ravings of the dispensationalists.
The point isn’t whether the Christian Church is a “parenthesis” in the unfolding of God’s revelation to us. Whether this is true or not (I believe that it is, but that’s besides the point), we must all know that God does not break any promise that He has made.
As to how this will all work out, I don’t know, of course. What I do know is that Christians have a special duty to treat the Jews as our brothers. Special for the simple reason given by Paul in his letter to the church at Rome (Romans 11):
25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written [Isaiah 59:20],
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27″and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
The Deliverer did, of course, from Zion, from the branch of Jesse. We know his as Jesus, who became Christ. Of this I am certain: Christ, rejoined with God the Father, and through the Holy Spirit, are watching what we do to Zion. As it is written, “Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4).