“Should We Pray for the Spiritual Restoration of Israel?”

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King Solomon once wrote, “Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land” (Proverbs 25:25). This verse is especially familiar to many of us when we receive prayer letters and missionary reports from friends who are now ministering the good news in distant lands. It is also encouraging when we hear that a reputable source has reported that our nation is being successful in its war against global Radical Islamic terrorism. 

But what if the news you receive, is not so good? How then will your weary soul find comfort? Hopefully, by God’s grace, we will respond rightly by drawing near to God (James 4:8), casting all of our anxiety upon Him (1 Peter 5:7), and then, by confessing to God our complete trust in all that He is now doing (Romans 8:28). Now, what if the disheartening news comes to you from the land of modern-day Israel? As a Christian, and also as a member of Christ’s church, how will you respond? Will you respond just like the three Scripture verses cited above? Further, will your response be one with specific spiritual concern for both Israel and the Israel-hating Arab nations that surround her? Sadly, such a compassionate response would be rare among many Christians today. Why? I believe because of the two prevalent and overarching views that dominate Christendom about the present existence of the nation of Israel. Adherents of the first view are so frustrated with the proponents of the second view that they can hardly contain themselves. To them, Israel is schmisrael, or who cares?! The church has fully replaced Israel, and the Jews in the land of Israel are a stiff-necked atheistic bunch. So, get with the program, and recognize that God is finished with Israel. Thus, their only concern is with the gradual salvation of individual Jews throughout the history of the church. Romans 11 is simply referring to the church, not to national Israel. To which I humbly reply: Only a gross mishandling of Scripture could make Romans 9:6ff; 10:1; 11:1,11-15,25-29, mean something other than national Israel. The other view is so preoccupied with the land of Israel itself, the future widening of its geographical boundaries, and the coming slaughter (a second holocaust) of two-thirds of its citizens during the seven-year tribulation in preparation for Christ’s thousand-year reign (from a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem), that it uses the nation of Israel for its eschatology charts, more than it intercedes for its national salvation (Romans 10:1, “Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved”). Therefore, C.E.B. Cranfield spoke well, when he said, “In this prayer of Israel’s salvation (Romans 10:1), he (Paul) has set an example for the Church to follow. A Church which failed to pray for Israel’s salvation would be a Church which did not know what it means to be the Church of Jesus Christ.” So, there’s a third view, which is my view, that says, lets also believe the words of Romans 11:15 (“For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean, but life from the dead?”), and then pray for its climactic realization. Aaaamenn!! So then, let us understand that such spirit-directed praying for the national restoration of Israel, begins with our heart preparation today, to encounter the living God tomorrow morning; in both our public Worship, through the praises and prayers of His people; and through the reading and preaching of His Holy inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! Soli Deo Gloria!

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