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Monday, April 04, 2016

Does God expect Christians to specially support the state of Israel?

There are some who believe that Genesis 12 requires Christians, and, thus, the United States, to especially support Israel. Maybe so.

Genesis 12:1 Now Yahweh said to Abram, “Leave your country, and your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who treats you with contempt. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.”

Here are two articles that believe that the matter is not so straightforward:

This article, among other things, points out that Galatians 6:9-10 tell us to do good to all men:

Galatians 6:9 Let’s not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don’t give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let’s do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith. 

The article also says that Matthew 25:31-40 is not referring particularly or exclusively to Israel as those who should have been recipients of charity. (The article quotes from some who do say that it is referring to Israel.)

Matthew 25: 31  “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32  Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33  He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34  Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35  for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. 36  I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’
37  “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? 38  When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? 39  When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’
40  “The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

The article also points out that Genesis 12:3 says that all of the families of the earth, not just Jacob's descendants, are to be blessed. (Note that the Arabs are often considered to be descendants of Abram/Abraham, and Genesis 12 was addressed to him, not to Jacob, the founder of Israel.)

A second article is here. It also comments on Genesis 12, and, among other things, points out that Galatians 3:7 makes Christian believers children of Abraham:

7 Know therefore that those who are of faith are children of Abraham.

Thanks for reading. Be part of the children of Abraham.

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