It is a daily occurrence to find news stories which loudly proclaim that Israel has no right to exist and that Palestine is the true, just and rightful country in the Holy Land. Just last week, I saw someone had posted on our Facebook page, “Jerusalem the Eternal Capital of Palestine!” So, I decided to go back to the basics and take the opportunity to articulate why I support Israel, a Jewish Israel with Jerusalem as its Eternal Capital. I have chosen the Bible as my “founding document” because I am a Christian and my entire life is based on the principle that every Word of the Bible is true and inspired by God. This is what the Bible has to say.
The first time the words ‘everlasting covenant‘ are used in the Bible is in Genesis 9:16. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. This is God’s promise to Noah that he will never again destroy all of mankind. Indeed, God says specifically “every living creature of all flesh”. Today Jews around the world recite a prayer every time they see a rainbow, ‘Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who remembers the covenant, is faithful to His Covenant, and keeps His word.’ It is a visual reminder that God is not fickle, He doesn’t change his mind and He means what He says. When I think about the gods that are depicted in Greek mythology, they are very capricious. It is extremely comforting to me to know that the God I serve does not change.
The next time “everlasting covenant” is used is in Genesis chapter 17. God repeats these two words no less than 3 times in that chapter. In verses, 7, 13, and 19 God says to Abraham that He will establish His covenant with Abraham and Abraham’s descendants throughout all their generations as an everlasting covenant.
Interestingly enough, when you read this in context, Ishmael has already been born, and God specifically tells Abraham, this everlasting covenant will be “with your son Isaac, whom Sarah your wife will bear.” God already knows that the enemy will attempt to annul His words and His covenant, by deception. The devil knows people will usually reject a bold-faced lie, but if you can twist the truth just a little bit, it is just as much an outright lie, but it is easier to deceive people into believing that this twisted truth is truth itself. We see this so clearly in Genesis 3:3, as Satan says to Eve, “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ (emphasis added by me) Because Satan added to God’s Word, Eve is deceived — and we know the rest of that story!
The same can be seen today. If the world were to deny the Jewish right to the Land of Israel and assert, instead, that it was the home of the Vikings, no one would pay attention. Everyone would say, no it is Israel, home of the Israelites. But the deception for so many has come from the little shift away from what God so clearly said in Genesis 17:19, that the everlasting covenant with Abraham would be established through his son Isaac.
As we read on, there is a second everlasting covenant made between God and the descendants of Abraham, this one is in Leviticus and Numbers. It is the Levitical Priesthood covenant that is made with the sons of Aaron.
Again in 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles and Psalms, David talks about the everlasting covenant, the Abrahamic covenant. He sings it beautifully in Psalms 105, “He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant.”
The next time we find the words everlasting covenant is in the prophets, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, as God speaks through them prophetically about today. He says, that the people will forsake Him, will be cast out of the land, BUT, He will remember the everlasting covenant He made with their father Abraham, He will remember His covenant and will establish it forever. One of my favorite verses doesn’t contain the words, everlasting covenant, but it does speak to that idea. The entire chapter of Jeremiah 31 is God speaking about the covenant He has with His people. It tells the story of Israel’s departure from serving God, and their punishment for that sin, but more importantly it gives hope as it lays the foundation for the modern state of Israel that we see today, the people returning to the land, returning to serving God, coming home to Zion.
My favorite verses are found in verses 35 – 37, (paraphrase) as long as the sun gives light by day, and the moon and the stars shine at night, the seed of Israel (Jacob, Isaac, Abraham) shall be a nation before God forever, if the heavens can be measured, or the foundations of the earth searched then God will cast off all the seed of Israel for what they have done. These are powerful scriptures, and clearly answer anyone who says, that God’s everlasting covenant with Israel is null and void, because they rejected Jesus, or that God has rejected them because they have sinned. I could never believe the Church has replaced Israel and God no longer has a plan for His people and the Nation of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because if I believed that, I would, in essence be saying that I cannot trust God or His Word. As I see the sun rise every morning and the moon and the stars every night, I have an assurance that God keeps His covenant.
Director, US Office