Maybe you live in a town or city far removed from Israel, and maybe you don't even know any Jewish people. Perhaps you go to church every Sunday, and even give support to the annual missions drive, but praying daily for the salvation of the Jewish people. well. that is surely something someone is doing somewhere. Right? Maybe you are even a Jewish believer but you have never felt the burden of prayer. Or perhaps you are a missionary and the Lord has placed a calling on your life to travel to a third world country, so why should you worry about praying for Israel and the Jewish people?
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee." Psalm 122:6
In this verse, we must ask, what is the peace of Jerusalem? Certainly it isn't the state of affairs today. So should we pray for half of the city to be given to the Arabs? Will that bring peace? History shows that it will only increase the conflict. Ok. what about giving Jerusalem over to the Vatican or the United Nations, they can certainly keep the peace, maybe that is what we should pray for. Is God's inheritance a mere political football? Can man govern what God has ordained as His?
No, peace, true peace, can only come when Yeshua (Jesus) reigns from His throne, in His city, Jerusalem, and all the world bows their knee to their King Messiah. Yeshua, Jesus, IS the Peace of Jerusalem!
So why is the peace of Jerusalem important to some one in Paris, or London, or Peoria, Illinois?
Because there will not be worldwide peace until the Kingdom of God is established in the Earth, and the place He has declared to be the capital of His earthly kingdom is Jerusalem. The world will continue to sink into greater darkness and evil until the coming Great Day of the Lord. So our earnest desire as believers ought to be His soon coming in order to bring an end to suffering, and to see the glory of our Savior proclaimed in all the earth.
So how does this coming of the Lord depend on the salvation of the Jewish people? I'm glad you asked. From Genesis to Revelation, God revealed a plan, a perfect plan for the redemption of all mankind to Himself. A vital part of that plan was to establish a people, holy and separated to Him through whom the world would know the one true God. So often I have heard or read about how the Jews failed in their mission, but what was their mission? I believe it was to establish in the hearts of men that:
1) There is only One true God
2) That mankind is inherently evil
3) That we are unable to save ourselves for our goodness is as filthy rags
4) That only through the grace of God and the sacrifice offered by His Son could we be saved.
In this the Jews succeeded remarkably in fulfilling exactly their calling. How can I say this?
Firstly throughout their history leading up to the first coming of Yeshua, they faithfully recorded the word that God gave them, and the successes and failures they had in trying to keep God's commandments. They never changed the words of the prophets, and they didn't gloss over their sins, they faithfully recorded for all of mankind the battle that wages within the human soul that is enslaved to sin, but seeking to be reunited to their heavenly Father in righteousness. Without the Law, as Paul said, we would not know what sin was. Without the Jews faithfully recording the law, and their failure to keep it, we would not know how to interpret God's commandments to us. No other nation or people ever received such revelation, and no other nation or people could have done a more honest and thorough job of delivering it to the world.
Secondly even while under the persecution of God for their disobedience and driven from their land, they took their holy book with them to every nation, and by their sacrifice, they introduced the word of God to every culture. No nation can stand before God and say they didn't have an opportunity to know the truth. The sins of the fathers flow from generation to generation, and whole nations suffer under the curse of their forefathers rejection of the revealed word of God, in fact I believe even the "lost" societies today that claim to have never seen the word of God before, living in remote jungles that scientist say have never connected with the outside world, are actually the result of centuries of societal decay from what was once the rejection of the word of God. I can't prove it, it is just my belief. The world today knows about the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac because of the travail of the Jewish people.
"Now if the fall of them [be] the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?" Romans 11:12
Do you understand what Paul was saying here? By the failure of the Jews to keep the law and by their rejection of the Messiah, the Gentiles (nations of the world) were able to receive the salvation that they would never have received otherwise. The ensuing punishment of the Jewish people was God's just recompense for them turning from His blessing when they had lived in His very presence, but you must not miss the second part of that sentence. how much more their fullness?
You see God is a covenant keeping God, and He is jealous over His name, he does not like it when the world mocks his people or diminishes His name. He said He sent them out of the land for a little punishment, but the world treated them severely. Being cast out of their land for a time was to be punishment enough, but the world exacted pogroms and death camps, and the holocaust. This was mankind's evil, not God's plan. God however still has a plan and that is to cleanse the iniquity of His people, and to restore them to their land and a place of honor amongst the nations. To establish through them a kingdom of priest through whom will go out the word and grace of God to the whole earth. You see, while the nations have been given the gospel of salvation, the truth is that when it comes to the blessings of God being poured out upon all flesh, 'we ain't seen nothin' yet!'
If you read your bible from beginning to end (you would be amazed at how many professing Christians and even pastors never have) then you will clearly see an emerging picture of the visitation to the people of Israel, their failing under the yoke of the law, the coming of grace and salvation to all nations, and the redemption of the people of Israel through the grace of their Messiah in order that no man can boast. Boast of what? Of the ability to reach God through the keeping of a law and of their own good works. The only way back to the Father is through the atoning blood sacrifice of the true Passover Lamb, Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus the Christ)
The full understanding of this undeniable fact, that being the end time restoration and salvation of the Jewish people, brings the following point into crystal clarity. Jesus won't return, until His people cry out to Him.
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen [doth gather] her brood under [her] wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until [the time] come when ye shall say, Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Luke 13:34-35
In Hebrew we say it like this "Baruch Ha Ba B'Shem Adonai". This scripture was addressed to who? The Jewish people! You see Jesus said He would not return to Jerusalem until His people called out for Him and blessed His name. And to where is Jesus going to return? Well if you are reading the same bible I am He is going to step on the Mount of Olives and split it in half. He is returning to Jerusalem!
So if you have been longing for the coming of Messiah, then you had better get to work praying for the veil to be lifted from the eyes of the Jewish people, and for their salvation. Because Yeshua, the Jewish Savior who has extended His grace to the gentile world as well, is not coming back until the day that they call out "Baruch Ha Ba B'Shem Adonai"!
I can encourage you about the soon coming of the Lord by telling you that thousands of Jews in Israel, and even in Jerusalem itself today sing these very words regularly to the Lord. Never in history have their been more Jewish people that believe in Yeshua. But we need to see the veil lifted from all of the Jewish people worldwide, and prayer is our greatest spiritual tool in accomplishing that. From prayer God can provide personal opportunities to be a living witness, and also organized outreaches of various types, but it all is birthed in intercession.
If you have dismissed Israel and the Jewish people from your sense of personal obligation, then you might want to rethink your position. For the church who has mystically assigned the promises of Israel to themselves and declared the Jewish people forgotten by God, I think you are in for a surprise, because when the Lord comes back it is going to be to His chosen people first. Clearly, He is still on their side! Please read all of Romans Chapter eleven and ponder it, because as a believer you don't want to find yourself on the opposite side of the fence when it comes to the Apple of God's eye, Israel.
There is no more important activity for any Christian around the world today than to be giving themselves to daily prayer and intercession for the Jewish people and their inheritance Israel. The coming of the Lord depends on it.
Go ahead with your other callings and activities, but on your list of priorities, I would urge you to place at the top of your list, praying for the salvation of the Jewish people, the turning back of the enemies of Israel, and for the Peace of Jerusalem.
To all of those who claim that Israel and the Jewish people aren't relevant today, I say your hope is in vain. I make the point one last time; Jesus won't come back, until the Jewish people are saved. Think about it.