Israel, America and the Nations
Consider this post your intermittent reminder that dispensational theology is a sham.
If you have a pulse and live in the Western Hemisphere you’ll know that the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke before the U.S. Congress last week about why the U.S. should support Israel. This event has caused quite the stir amongst Americans, not least of all the Christians in America.
This deep consternation over the nation of Israel from American Christians is due, in large part, to a brand of Christian theology known as dispensationalism. Among other things, dispensationalism teaches that God has a unique covenant with the physical descendants of Abraham, some of whom live in the modern state of Israel. Because of this covenant dispensational Christians believe that it is a duty of Christians to support the nation of Israel because some of the physical descendants of Abraham live there.
The problem with this perspective is that it is completely against almost everything the Bible teaches. Jesus claims to be the Son of God throughout the Gospels. This claim is more than just a simple claim to divinity (although it is that too). In claiming to be the “Son of God” Jesus was claiming to be Israel. Or, better yet, Jesus was claiming that Israel was a type of himself. When God called Israel out of Egypt he was calling out His son: “When Israel was a child I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” (Hosea 11:1)
Israel being called out of Egypt to be God’s son was a shadow of Christ (Hebrews 10:1). Everything about Israel’s history, in fact everything about the entire world, centers on Jesus (Colossians 1:17). This means that any covenant that God made with Israel in the Old Testament was a shadow of the true and lasting covenant that was made in Christ; the New Covenant.
Some non-dispensationalist might look twice when I say this but God does indeed have a covenant with Israel today. But this covenant with Israel is the covenant with Jesus because Jesus is, in the truest sense, Israel. Jesus is everything Israel was supposed to be throughout the history of the Old Testament and more.
This means that the modern nation Israel, along with every other nation only one question to ask this side of the resurrection: What is my relation to Jesus? Modern day Israel can only be in covenant with God through the true Israel, Jesus. Psalm 2 teaches us that the nations of the world, including Israel, have only two options before them: make peace with Jesus or perish under His crushing rod.
All this being the case I might suggest that American Christians begin calling their own nation to make peace with Jesus rather than commanding it to make war with the enemies of the modern nation of Israel.
Food for thought.