The anti-Israel BDS movement
Why do so many churches worldwide support the anti-Israel BDS movement in flagrant opposition to God’s Word?
The world seems to be hurtling towards an uncertain future. When we see how tenuous the day to day security of Israel appears to be, and how many nations have stated their intention to wipe Israel off the map, and how many others are so determined to interfere in and destabilise the internal politics and affairs of this tiny Land, it would seem counter-intuitive to suggest that the key to certainty in the future is, in fact, this very nation of Israel. Specifically, how we as a nation, as the Church, and as individuals treat Israel, will largely determine the certainty of our own futures. The words of Genesis 12:3 are frighteningly clear on this – “I will bless them that bless thee [Israel], and curse him that curseth thee”.
In our first blog post we looked at the questions: Does God expect Christians to be supportive of Israel and the Jewish people and if so, what is actually required of us? Today we delve a little more into the question why we should love and support Israel. Incidentally, the name “Israel” refers to both the land and the people. The word “Israel” also has embedded in it some powerful and fascinating meanings. We will explore some of these next time.
Basilea Schlink said: “As God’s plan of salvation nears its final consummation ...... and hatred flares up against Him more than ever, there will be a bringing together of those who belong together because they fear the living God and give Him glory – Jews and Christians” (1) and “our relationship with them [the Jewish people] is indicative of our true relationship to the Lord Jesus, showing whether it is a relationship of love. If we love Jesus, we shall love the people whom He loves and always will love and who will yet be the centre and blessing of all nations” (Emphasis added) (2). Here at Things from Israel we want to be part of the “bringing together of those who belong together”.
In His Word the Lord refers to Himself 201 times as “the God of Israel”. If I love the Lord God of Israel it follows that I should love the land and the nation of Israel as He does. Indeed, He opens His message to Israel through the prophet Malachi with the words: “I have loved you, saith the Lord” (Malachi 1:2), and in 2 Chronicles 9:8 we read “...thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever ...”
It seems that in His Word the Lord couldn’t be clearer and more forthright about His wishes in regard to our treatment of His people and His land – Israel.
No doubt we could think of many ways to bless His people. But in Isaiah 40:1 there’s a very clear description of what we can do. Here we read (translated directly from the Hebrew Scriptures) “Comfort comfort My people says your God”. The Lord needs to say something only once, so when He repeats Himself, as He does here, He is very serious about His message.
Yet many in our Western world, from governments, through the corporate world, the media, church leadership bodies, and down to the individual level that includes many in the Church, are openly unsupportive and even hostile towards Israel. They are doing anything but “comfort” God’s people. I am referring in particular to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that condemns investment and trading with Israel. This movement is alive and well in the West, no doubt much to the delight of Israel’s foes in the Middle East.
At Things from Israel we openly reject the principles and strategies of the BDS movement. We are doing this by trading directly with producers, manufacturers, artisans and artists throughout Israel and importing their products to New Zealand and Australia. We believe this is a practical and very real way of blessing the land of Israel and comforting the people. Indeed, those we deal with confirm this.
We stand not only on the promise in Genesis 12:3, but also on the promise in Psalm 128:5 - “The Lord shall bless you from Tsion” (the correct pronunciation is Tsion not Zion!). We know that He has already done this through the provision of our Jewish Saviour, Yeshua. But, of course, His promises are ongoing – His blessing will flow from Tsion.
(1) Basilea Schlink in Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, Changing the Future, 207
(2) Basilea Schlink, Israel: My Chosen People, 85 - 86