Consider Israel. Why does a nation so small command so much attention? Is it because they are the main characters of the most famous book ever written? Is it because they were the victims of one of the deadliest genocides in world history? Could it be because it boasts many of the world’s wealthiest people or that it’s geographically positioned at center of the world? All of these details are noteworthy causes for their incessant scrutiny, but there is a deeper reason—they are a spiritually chosen people.
It’s impossible to ignore Israel. They have placed their stamp on the modern world, being responsible for numerous inventions and contributions such as lasers, pacemakers and defibrillators, genetic engineering and stainless steel. They have created vaccines for cholera, polio and the bubonic plague; they even invented Google. The world would certainly look much different without the contributions of Israel’s people. In addition to these, they are widely recognized for their direct connection to the world’s most influential religion and religious figure, Christianity and Jesus Christ.
Perhaps out of jealousy for their intrinsic worth, Israel is incredibly familiar with conflict and animus being directed toward them. Anti-Semitism, defined as unwarranted hatred or animosity toward Jewish people, is one of the oldest forms of discrimination, and it is still very present in our world. The wars and battles associated with Israel have been remarkably consequential throughout world history, and to this day, the region continues to be one of the most hostile on Earth. The lands of Israel have been the object of international contention for millennia, and the capitol city of Jerusalem remains extremely volatile. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim this densely populated area as home to their most sacred sites, and the levels of hostility between them are generations deep. Whether internal or external, Israel has always been associated with war.
Empires of the past like Assyria, Babylon, Greece, Rome and Germany have all had their way with the punching bag that is Israel. Many of these former, dynastic empires have either disappeared or assimilated into other people groups, but interestingly, Israel’s heritage has survived intact. Today, many of the nations that currently frequent world news reports—Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia—geographically surround Israel. Yet, despite the efforts of many to suppress their existence, they continue to thrive. If for nothing else, that alone makes the Jews worthy of greater analyzation. Overall the nation of Israel has long been a prized and coveted possession. Its value is multi-generational, historical, intellectual and geographical, because it is, first, spiritual.
Because of the abundant evidence of their spiritual worth, there has always been a substantial theological debate over their contemporary relevance and purpose. From the perspective of Judaism, the oldest monotheistic religion in the world, Israelites are the irreplaceable darlings of God’s grace and the sole possessors of His benefits. This belief is one of the primary reasons that Jews reject the Bible’s New Testament—it’s scriptures contradict the exclusivity of their religious nationalism by granting God’s promises, instead, to all nations of people.
Directly and extremely opposed to that belief group are those who consider the Old Testament to be inferior to the New Testament or inconsequential to modern Christianity. This group supposes that Israel’s failures have excluded them from God’s plan. As a result, many in this camp regard the Israelites as nothing more than examples of what today’s Christians shouldn’t do. The ideology known as replacement theology suggests that the New Covenant church has largely or totally replaced Israel in God’s overall story and plan. This school of thought has grown in popularity, and its interpretations of the Bible often attempt to relegate all of Israel’s prophecies into mere allegorical promises which only refer the modern church. While this religious philosophy isn’t exactly the same as the physical effort to annihilate Israel and plunder their land, it is an equally aggressive attempt to minimize their relevance and pillage their divine purpose. Such attacks on even their heritage suggest that many still recognize the undeniable value that lies within Israel.
One could argue that the people of Israel are the protagonists of human history. Biblically speaking, they are the original, elect people of God, chosen through the lineage of the patriarch, Abraham. Within His story and their story, there are timeless lessons about morality, justice, righteousness and most importantly, God’s relationship with humanity. Even after thousands of years, Israel remains at the crux of our world’s affairs, and there is still much more to be said of them.
Moving forward, we will take a fresh look at the details of Israel’s consequential history and uncover the monumental significance of their continued existence. We will look at moral lessons and transcendent values revealed through their experience and why they remain valid and critical. Finally, and most importantly, we will expose compelling Biblical, historical and geographical evidence of one of the most astounding secrets of the Bible, contained within Israel’s story, and how it has far-reaching implications from the past, through the present and into the future of our world.