How to Be Biblical in Our Stand With Israel
Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul (Jeremiah 32:37–41).
If there was ever a time in history to know with clarity how to stand with the nation of Israel and the Jewish people worldwide, it is now. Since the unspeakable Oct. 7 atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists against inhabitants in the south of Israel, the nations have divided along the line of whether they stand with Israel and the Jewish people or they do not. Pro-Palestinian demonstrations worldwide have been well attended, vocal, and vehemently militant. Hamas and other Iranian-backed terrorist organizations in the Middle East have run a media campaign to seduce the world into believing that there’s a moral equivalency in the demonic attack by Hamas terrorists and some Gazan civilians, for what they call the “illegal occupation” of Gaza and the “West Bank.”
If we know God’s Word, in some ways these events should not surprise us. After all, God does tell us that the ultimate judgment regarding the nations at the end of days will involve how they treat His people and His land.
The prophecy of Joel is uncompromising: I will also gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land (Joel 3:2).
God begins that chapter of Joel by telling us that He will bring His people home from the ends of the earth and plant them in the land (verse 1). And He ends it by declaring His intention, oft repeated in His Word, that He will cleanse them of their sin and bloodguilt and prosper them in the land where He Himself dwells (verses 20–22). The implication is that there will be nations that care for His people, and nations that do not — the sheep and goats Jesus refers to in Matthew 25:31–46.
As followers of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah and Lion of the Tribe of Judah, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that we are loving God’s chosen people in God’s chosen way.
There are many ways in which we might actually be supporting Israel in words and deeds that are more sentimental or political than biblical. Over the many years that God has revealed His heart to me regarding His people, He has challenged my heart motives time and again in His mercy to have my love be His love. I continue to walk this refining road. What do I mean by “sentimental” and “political”?
Sentimental and Political Support
Many who claim support for Israel do so in ways that please their own flesh but may not actually assist God’s people. They may wear Israeli apparel, sport a tallit, blow a shofar, celebrate Jewish feasts, attend conferences about Israel, and learn Jewish dances. None of these things are wrong in and of themselves. I do them all! But do they actually materially support the Messianic body in Israel (see Romans 15:27) or provoke His people to jealousy (see Deuteronomy 32:21; Romans 11:13), as God asks us to do in His Word? We may feel a tenderness toward Israel and know that God loves Israel and the Jewish people, but do we show our love in sacrificial action? This is what I mean by sentimental.
As for the political, there are large parts of the Body of Messiah in the U.S. who advocate for Israel with our government. These people expend much time, energy, and money lobbying elected officials regarding anti- or pro-Israel policies. They may do this out of a love for Israel, or a desire that our nation might be a “sheep” nation before God so as not to receive His judgment on that Joel 3 day. But are these actions what God is scripturally mandating? If this is all we do, we are falling short of God’s heart for us regarding His people and the nation among whom He dwells.
God rebukes His people in exile, telling them that His name, and therefore His character and faithfulness, are profaned among the nations as long as His people remain in exile (see Ezekiel 36:20–23). His solution is likewise precise: “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all the countries, and bring you into your own land” (verse 24). He desires our Ruth-like obedience to accomplish His goal of restoring His people to the land.
Why Aliyah Is so Important
There is one significant way in which our Father has commanded us to support His people, and that is by assisting them in all ways to return home to Eretz Israel. It is the only thing in the entirety of God’s Word that He says He is doing — and doing now — with all His heart and soul (see Jeremiah 32:41), and He has required us to help Him.
My 7-year-old granddaughter asked me the other day what aliyah means. I quickly petitioned the Lord for His wisdom, and He gave me this explanation to share with her: “What if your mom or dad sent you on a time-out to your room to discipline you? And what if you were still there 2,000 years later?” She sputtered her reply that that would be ridiculous. Though an overly simplistic image, this is indeed the state of the Jewish diaspora. They were disciplined by God, the land “vomited them out” (see Leviticus 18:28), and now it is time for them to return home. Like our cry for the hostages taken by Hamas, we cry: “Father, bring them home!”
Throughout biblical history, the Jews have often been exiled or expelled from their homeland, the biblically defined land of Israel, given to them in perpetuity by God (see Genesis 12–17; 26:2–5; 28:13–15). After A.D. 70 and the Romans’ destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, the Jews were sent out of their homeland, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the outermost parts of the world. God tells us in the opening scripture and in other places in His Word that it was He who drove them out, for their sins and iniquities. But He makes it clear that at a time He has ordained, He Himself will gather them from the “diaspora.” This theme is reiterated no less than 64 times in God’s Word! (See passages in the end note.)
This a vital event not only in God’s own heart, but also in the hearts of His dispersed people. It is a centuries-old custom in Jewish communities worldwide to declare at the end of the Passover meal: “Next year in Jerusalem!” Though many Jewish exiles have grown accustomed to their diasporic lands, God has placed in the DNA of His people a longing for Jerusalem and the Promised Land (Psalm 137). This returning to Eretz Israel from among the nations is called “making aliyah.” Aliyah is a Hebrew word that means “to ascend” or “to go up.”
“Aliyah is rooted in the Jewish people’s fervent hope to rebuild its national life in the country from which it was exiled nearly 2000 years ago” (ICEJ Newsletter, November 2021).
This “second exodus,” as described in Jeremiah 16, would totally eclipse the first exodus so reverently referred to by the Jewish people and the nations.
“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers” (Jeremiah 14–15).
This is a staggering claim! When my mind contemplates the miracles, signs, wonders, and tremendous devastation and upheaval that the first exodus caused in Egypt and the nations, I eagerly anticipate all that the Lord will do this time, partnering with us, the Gentile nations of the world, to return His people to their Promised Land.
Isaiah tells us: It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again to recover the remnant of His people who are left. … He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth (Isaiah 11:11–12); and: “ … Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations, and set up My standard for the peoples; they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders” (Isaiah 49:22). Another translation of Isaiah 49:22 says “to the Gentiles” in place of “to the nations.” And that, beloved, is us. There is nothing passive about carrying sons and daughters in our arms and on our shoulders.
Physical Precedes Spiritual
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: People from nations and cities around the world will travel to Jerusalem. The people of one city will say to the people of another, ‘Come with us to Jerusalem to ask the Lord to bless us. Let’s worship the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I’m determined to go.’ Many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and to ask for his blessing. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In those days ten men from different nations and languages of the world will clutch at the sleeve of one Jew. And they will say, ‘Please let us walk with you, for we have heard that God is with you’ ” (Zechariah 8:20–23 NLT).
This physical restoration to the land is linked with spiritual restoration for the Jewish nation and the world. The apostle Paul speaks of a time when all Israel will be saved … (Romans 11:26). The Old Testament scriptures speak often about this event. The passage cited earlier from Zechariah 8 has yet to be fulfilled, but it is contingent on Jewish people living in Jerusalem! Scriptures like these are one reason terrorist entities like Hamas desire to drive all Israel into the sea and to take over the land.
Consider Zechariah 12:10–14 and 13:1, which describe a time when the Father will pour out on the inhabitants of the land — the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem — a Spirit of grace and supplication, after which they will look upon Jesus, whom they have pierced, and mourn. At that time in Israel, God will cleanse His people from their sin and uncleanness. It appears that, as on the occasion in which Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, there will be great weeping and mourning and ultimately healing, as Yeshua becomes their God and they become His people.
There are at least 13 other places in God’s Word in which He details this time of repentance and cleansing, and all those references describe when His people are back in the land of Israel. “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God” (Ezekiel 36:24–28).
First physical restoration, then spiritual restoration. This wrestles against our idea that witnessing to the Jewish people here in our country is God’s “first thing.” Of course, our Father is not a legalist. God has mercifully brought forth a remnant of Jewish believers here in the U.S., many of whom are now leaders in the Messianic Body in Israel, many of whom found salvation in Yeshua through Gentile believers. “To the Jew first” (see Romans 1:16) is our mandate as well. For that, we praise Him!
Role of the Gentiles
What role do we, the nations, play in this prophetic fulfillment of God’s own heart desire? Eight times in Scripture, God addresses the nations directly to ask them to partner with Him in this second exodus. Strangers will take His people from their lands of exile and settle them in the land. This involves fishing for His people among the nations, helping them to understand God’s plans and promises for them in aliyah, and offering practical help. Father includes in this enlistment all who are called by His name and whom He has created for His glory (see Isaiah 43:7). In Isaiah 60:5,8–9, God’s Word links this second exodus, or return, to the wealth of the Gentile nations.
Partnering with God in this glorious work will cost us. Even now we are seeing that many Jewish people return home amidst war and extreme economic upheaval. In the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the number of olim (those making aliyah) rose 32% in 2023. In these cases, olim require financial assistance, as well as assistance getting the aliyah documentation and visas required by the Jewish Agency, the division of the Israeli government responsible for vetting potential olim.
Jeremiah 16:14–16 speaks of God sending first many fishermen to fish for the Jewish people and then sending hunters to “hunt them from every mountain and hill.” I do not pretend to understand all that this verse means, but I do personally know people who spent many years “fishing” for the Jewish people from out of the former Soviet bloc nations and bringing them home to Israel by ship. This was a labor of great love and hardship, as these fishers lived with these often elderly olim in their devastated countries until they were able to leave. Finally, Isaiah 61 describes Gentiles feeding flocks and working as plowmen and vinedressers. These are practical tasks that require time, money, prayer, and perhaps inconvenience as we give God our time, resources, and ourselves. We will never condone any form of anti-Semitism, and we must be ready, in and out of season, to loudly declare why that is a demonic ideology. Could it be that the current anti-Israel protests worldwide are a manifestation of the “hunters” designed by God to chase His people back home? I am asking the Holy One of Israel that question.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be! First and foremost, God wants to reveal to you His heart for aliyah. Begin by praying and asking Him to show you what He intends in this day and hour for His people here in the U.S. or wherever you live. He asks us to go “to the Jew first” through giving, through preaching the gospel, and through good works.
He desires that we pray with understanding for His plans to gather His people from the nations. For this, we must know His Word in its entirety and seek Him for the “big picture” of the Scriptures — Genesis to Revelation. This will help us rightly understand the times we are in on the earth. Israel has been miraculously reborn as a nation (see Isaiah 66:8), defended herself in several wars, including the current life-and-death struggle with Hamas and other Iran-backed terror groups, and absorbed many waves of aliyah from the nations since 1882. Pray that the Jewish people in the diaspora would hear God whistling for them (see Zechariah 10:8), respond to His roar, and follow Him with trembling from the West (see Hosea 11:10). Pray that they might perceive the danger of remaining in exile and return home before it is too late (Amos 9:10).
Last, I would urge you to ask Him how you can practically bless Israel through giving to organizations that assist with aliyah, such as Operation Exodus USA; International Christian Embassy Jerusalem; and Return Ministries. These invest biblically in the land, and for the people offer practical support, often in life-threatening situations.
Father, Your Word is clear. You desire for Your people, who are called by Your name, to be gathered from the lands where You have banished them and to return to the land You gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As long as they stay among the nations, Your great name is profaned. We do not fully understand all that You are doing on the earth to regather the exiles, but we do desire to respond to and obey Your call to the nations to carry Your sons and daughters home. Grant us ‘Ruth’ hearts that are willing to cleave to Your people, and show us practical ways to help and to pray. Enable us to provoke Your people to jealousy through our love for You and for them. We ask all this in Yeshua’s name. Amen.
We can understand what the Bible says about Israel! If you find this article valuable, share it with a friend.
For further study:
Aliyah scriptures: Deuteronomy 30:1–5; 2 Chronicles 30:6–9; Nehemiah 1:6–9; Psalms 14:7; 106:44–48; 107:2–3; 126:1; 147:2; Isaiah 11:11–12; 14:1–2; 27:12–13; 35:10; 41:8–10; 43:5–6; 49:11–12, 22–23; 51:11; 52:7–9 (NKJV); 54:6–8; 56:8; 60:4–5, 8–9; 61:4–7; 66:20–22; Jeremiah 3:14–18; 16:14–16; 23:3–8; 24:4–7; 29:10–14; 30:1–11; 31:8–33; 32:37–44; 33:7–9; 50:1–5, 17–20; Ezekiel 11:14–20; 20:34–38, 40–44; 28:25–26; 34:11–16; 36:7–12, 22–38; 37:1–28; 38:8; 39:25–29; Hosea 11:10–11; Joel 2:32, 3:2; Amos 9:14–15; Micah 2:12–13; 4:6–7, 10; Zephaniah 3:17–20; Zechariah 8:7–8; 10:6–12; 12:6–14.
Gentile role scriptures: Isaiah 11:11–12; 14:1–2; 43:5–6; 49:22–23; 60:4–5, 8–9; 61:4–7; Jeremiah 16:14–16.
Lori Meed is a leader on IFA’s Headline Prayer Live and an IFA contributing writer. In 2004, God moved her family from Canada to the U.S., imparting to them His heart for this country and for revival. Having walked out her own journey of freedom after being radically born again in 1992, Lori has a heart to see others set free to walk fully in their destiny. She is also passionate about teaching on aliyah (“going up,” the return of the Jews to the land of Israel), the feasts of the Lord, and the rich connections of the gentile churches to Israel. Photo credit: stellalevi from Getty Images Signature, courtesy of Canva Pro.
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