What does it mean to “stand with Israel” and “bless Israel”?
We know that the Bible calls us to “bless Israel,” and a common phrase among Believers beckons us to “stand with” Israel and the Jewish people. But what do those phrases actually mean? It might be easier to understand the answer to this question by first identifying what they don’t mean.
What Standing with Israel Does NOT Mean
Some people misunderstand the idea of “standing with” and “supporting” someone or, in this case, Israel. So, it’s important to note what these concepts do not mean.
“Standing with” does not mean blind agreement with Israel
- When we stand with Israel and the Jewish people, we do not indiscriminately vote in favor of every decision, action or policy of the State of Israel, Jewish group or Jewish person.
- Standing with Israel does not include unquestioning approval that views any disagreement as off-limits.
“Standing with” does not mean blind disagreement with Israel’s opponents.
- Standing with Israel and the Jewish people doesn’t mean automatic disapproval of and disagreement with all Arabs or Palestinians.
- Standing with Israel does not have to, nor should it, include vilifying and dislike of Arab people. Such blanket, predetermined antagonism is in the same league as anti-Semitism toward Jewish people.
Standing with Israel Means
To stand with Israel is to agree with what God says in His Word about the Jewish people: that He chose them as a people for Himself, He dearly loves them, is faithful to His everlasting covenants made with them.
Standing with Israel also means:
- Supporting the State of Israel’s right to exist, based on Scripture and the United Nations’ actions granting a Jewish homeland after World War II
- Believing the State of Israel has the right to defend herself against and respond to attacks against her Land and people
- Supporting and encouraging fair treatment of Israel in the media, the United Nations and world opinion
- Desiring and praying for welfare and blessing on the Nation of Israel, comprising the modern State of Israel and Jewish people everywhere
- Speaking out against anti-Semitism
- Praying for and blessing Israel
What does “blessing” Israel mean? Again, let’s start with what it doesn’t mean.
What Blessing Israel Does NOT Mean
Probably the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word “bless” is giving financial or practical resources. While this is part of what it means to bless Israel, there are some types of giving that fall short of true blessing.
Blessing Israel does not mean giving from wrong motives.
- Blessing Israel isn’t giving to help Jewish people out of a reluctant sense of obligation or
- Nor is it doing good toward the Jewish people to receive personal blessing in return, according to God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3.
Blessing Israel does not mean giving without discernment.
- Blessing Israel isn’t indiscriminately giving to any organization that says they do good for Israel or Jewish people. Find out about the ministry. Do they share the most vital blessing – Jesus?
Blessing Israel Means
Dictionary definitions of the word “bless” can be summarized as asking God’s care for, speaking well of and bestowing prosperity on someone. In this light, blessing the Jewish people and Israel means:
- Praying for the State of Israel and Jewish people everywhere
- Speaking well of Israel and the Jewish people
- Bestowing prosperity on – or in other words, meeting needs and improving life. This, of necessity, must include sharing the Gospel
There is No True Blessing without the Gospel
The Gospel is essential to the concept of blessing Israel. God is clear that there is no means for anyone – Jewish or Gentile – to be saved apart from Jesus the Messiah (Acts 4:12). Meeting practical needs and easing earthly suffering are good and right efforts. However, if they only improve this temporary life without offering eternal life through faith in Jesus, they are missing the most crucial matter of all. Ensure that any ministry to Jewish people that you support makes sharing the Gospel a priority.
For more about what it means to bless and support Israel, listen to Season 1 Episode 46 – What It Really Means to Bless Israel of the podcast A Jew and A Gentile Discuss.