I wonder what the conversations are like in Israel today about Iran. I wonder what Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government is thinking right now about Israel’s’ relationship to the United States. Surely the Israelis have to be worried and concerned after the world’s recent nuclear “deal” with Iran. After all, a thousand miles away in Tehran, the leaders of Iran are plotting to destroy them and make no apologies about saying it publicly on a weekly basis. Some Iranian leaders have even spoken about finishing what Hitler started in Europe. Not exactly the kind of language that gives you much peace and security for the future.
What has started to dawn on the Israelis in the last few months is that they are alone in world. When the State of Israel was first resurrected as a modern nation back in May of 1948, the United States was her best friend. President Harry Truman not only became the first world leader to support the new state, but started a strong relationship with Israel that has continued with every successive American administration ... until now. As the drama and tension between the Obama Administration and Israel has continued to ramp up, the Israelis have never felt so alone and confused. What do they do? Where do they turn? Who are their real friends? What’s next?
Now the shocking answer to all of these complex questions is the simple fact that Israel’s best friend and ally is God Almighty. Not exactly the answer we are hearing today in the media, the United Nations, the White House, or Tehran. The great story of the Bible, in a nutshell, is that Israel often rejects the Lord, but the Lord never rejects Israel. The Jews are still the Chosen People. It is called grace. It is a hidden truth for many, but it is what life is all about, the amazing grace and love of God.
You see, the Lord created Israel to bring salvation to the world. Israel did this by bringing forth the Lord Jesus Christ to save the world through His Cross and Empty Tomb. We call that message the Gospel. Israel was and is the Lord’s oracle to the nations of that grace and unconditional love. Surely that witness must continue to the Second Coming of Christ, since Israel was created by a Lord who never changes and never stops loving.
Long before Israel felt betrayed by America and alone in the world, that feeling was experienced by Israel’s Messiah. The Lord Jesus Himself was betrayed by a friend named Judas and left alone in a garden called Gethsemane. Our Lord was alone as He headed to the Cross. His suffering was God’s plan to bring a new beginning to the world. In a similar way, Israel, like her Messiah, is all alone now. Israel is starting to go through a “Gethsemane Experience” of her own before our very eyes. America and the nations of the world, like our Lord’s disciples, have seemingly abandoned her at her moment of greatest need. And yet, just like her Messiah, Israel’s sufferings will also lead to a great witness of the Lord’s grace and love to the world. That witness will reach its fulness at our Lord’s glorious Second Coming.
Israel is not alone tonight. The Lord is with her. Israel has a Friend in high places. How thankful we can all be that the Lord Jesus is our Friend too, for those that trust in His salvation. As the popular song says, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!” That is truly Good News.