Israel: the Nation & the Church
Without any iota of doubt, the most popular and the most read book in the world today is the Bible. With hundreds of millions sold and a copy in a family, the Bible has become the most circulated literature in the world.
The validity of its content has made it a reference book even by other religions. Government officials in most nations of the world are sworn into offices, using the Bible as a book of oath. On the average, the world sees the Holy Bible directly or indirectly as the word of God. This great book is divided into two major parts; the Old and the New Testaments. Among the books of the Old Testament we have the Poetic, some of which are prophetic.
Prophecy is simply the prediction of the future events via the Holy Spirit of God. King David of Israel was among the people that penned down the book of Psalms. Some of these psalms are Christological. For example, Psalm 22 was talking about the suffering of Jesus Christ while on the Cross. If not by the Spirit of God, King David could not have written such statement, many years before the birth of Jesus Christ.
It will also interest us if we can understand the prophecy or the prediction contained in Psalm 2. It goes like this:
‘Why are the nations so violently moved, and why are the thoughts of the people so foolish?’ – 1(BBE).
Although the second Psalm of the Bible is about Jesus Christ (Christological), but it has a lot to do with Israel as a nation, and the Church as a body.
Perhaps we might ask ourselves what is the correlation between the Nation Israel and the Church? Moreover, many of these Jewish people do not as such believe or have faith in Jesus Christ, Who the Church believes. What then could have been the relationship between the Church and the nation Israel? Do these two entities ever share the same interest?
Among the best teachers that God allows to instruct and to teach mankind, is their experience. It is the catalogue of experiences that we called History, and history is the life of a man or nation. That is why those who refuse to learn from history are always doomed. In the light of this, the history of Israel as a nation, and the history of the Church as a body can be traced to a man, a man called Abraham.
Abram was a man called by God to leave his country, his kindred, and his father’s house, unto a land that God will show him (Genesis 12:1). In the process of time, while obeying God, God changed his name to Abraham. Abraham the son Terah, who was raised an idol worshipper, had to put his trust in God, Whom he had never known before. This singular act of believing God was credited to Abraham as righteousness.
The patriarch Abraham became the father of the Jews by the virtue of birth, they are also called Hebrews because their fathers passed over the great Euphrates River before settling down among the Canaan nations. On the other side of the Testament, the Church must also exercise Abraham’s kind of faith in believing God. So by natural birth Abraham became the father of the Jews, and by faith, this same Abraham became the father of the Church. Apostle Paul explained it thus:
‘Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who the father of us all’ – Romans 4:16
It is important to correct the popular mistake which came from mere assumption that Ishmael, the first son of Abraham was a Muslim. There was no such evidence in the bible to support that claim. Ishmael served the God that Abraham served; he partook in the Abrahmic covenant symbolized by circumcision. The Arab nations had been in existence during the Mesopotamia age, until the advent of Mohammed, many hundreds years after Ishmael had died the Arabs worshipped idols.
It was Jacob, the grandson of Abraham (son of Isaac) that had encounter with the Angel of the LORD God; there his name was changed to Israel, which means a Prince with God. The man Jacob, now Israel, entered Egypt with his children and they were seventy in number, in search of food. These Hebrew were greatly multiplied in Egypt, but were under a serious servitude, until they were liberated by Moses, the servant of God. It was when they left Egypt that they stopped being slaves, and they became a nation till this present day.
Like symbols or shadows, so is Israel to the Church of God. Israel set the pattern for the Church; Israel was called out from Egypt, the Church was called out from the world. The word Church means ‘ecclesia’, which translates as ‘call outs’ in English. God used Moses to delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt, just like God used Jesus Christ to redeem the Church from the evil world. As the Hebrew marched to their Promised Land which was Canaan, so the Church is set to her Promised Land which is Heaven.
In a nutshell, whatever happens to the nation Israel is bound to happen to the Church; be it in types, shadows or symbols. The enemies of Israel as a nation are the enemies of the Church as a body. Take a deep breath and see why haters of Jews being the killers of Christians. As the Hamas are fighting Israel, so the Boko – Haram are killing Christians and burning churches in Nigeria. The Al – Qaeda, Al – shabab, and many others are by instinct haters of America, because they believe the American have to do with the Jews and secondly, the Americans are Christians. Terrorists are battling with national Israel and they are killing the spiritual Israel, the Church, all over the world.
At this point, it is important for the whole body of Christ to learn from the proverbial fig tree; if the Jewish nation goes down, the church also goes down. This is just symbolic and it is certain. We are not as such concern about the genesis of the conflict, for we all know the devices of the evil ones, but we believe God for peace in the Palestine area. Nobody should be killed, especially innocent civilians. However, we must all watch the Tree of God, as some world leaders are watching, and even praying.
Here is a bitter truth, too bitter to swallow: as the nation Israel groans and forcefully established herself against being alienated by her neighbors, so the Church is seriously fighting against all manners of immoralities and sins that flood her members. As Hamas and the likes terrorize Israel, so sins terrorize the Church. It is a pity that these things are happening right under our noses, and many do not understand the signs of the times.
Surely the end – time is here already, but one thing is very certain, Jesus Christ will return as the Jewish KING and as the LORD of the Church. It is because of this that Israel will not be wiped away by any nation of force, and the Church on the other hand will get stronger and stronger, waiting for her Head, the Bridegroom – Jesus Christ!
‘Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.’ – Psalm 2:1-6