Israel is the Bible’s Central Nation

Posted on July 12, 2022

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By David Ettinger

The Wrong Focus
One of the biggest oversights in the evangelical Church today is the self-focused view most believers have of the Bible.

From both the pulpit and Sunday School classes, Christians are pervasively being taught that God: loves them; is with them when they need Him; will never forsake them; and is always looking after them for good.

These things of course are true. Indeed, Psalm 55:2 says: “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” And 1 Peter 5:7 is similar: “… cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.”

So yes, God does love His children, cares about us, and is concerned about our welfare. But, in the vast majority of Western churches, this is the overriding message being taught. The intentions of Bible teachers are good as they want to help their congregations to cope in this ever-darkening world.

And though equipping the saints in this way is laudable, it has its drawbacks if it’s the prevalent Bible teaching of churches. The adverse offshoot of such teaching is that it focuses believers primarily on themselves. It instills in Christians the belief that “I come first,” and focuses their attention almost exclusively on their own world – their friends, family, home town, city, and country.

But is this the primary objective of the Bible – to focus believers almost solely on themselves? Of course not. The focus of the Bible is God the Father and God the Son. The prime message of the Bible is that of salvation; that is, how can sinful condemned humanity be made righteous in the eyes of a perfect and holy God.

And another thing Bible-believing Christians – especially those in the West – have difficulty grasping is that the West is not the earthly region upon which the Bible is centered. Americans think the world is all about America, and no doubt Europeans think it’s all about Europe. The same applies to those in other parts of the globes.

But the truth is, far from being Western-focused in perspective, the Bible is Middle East-focused, and more specifically, Israel-focused.

Israel Centralization
The centralizing of Israel as the focus of the Bible began when God instructed Abraham to journey to Canaan (Genesis 12:1-5). Ever since that world-changing directive in the life of that solitary man, Israel has been “the apple of [God’s] eye” (Zechariah 2:8).  

Sadly, however, for many believers, Israel-centralization culminated with the birth, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, who of course resided in Israel. Though true that the plan for salvation in Christ has spread to the furthest reaches of the earth (Matthew 28:20; Acts 1:8), God has never rescinded any of His promises to Israel, nor has He removed His love from Israel nor toppled her from her place of centralization.

One proof of this is how Israel continues to exist! Numerous nations, kingdoms, and empires have tried to obliterate Israel from the face of the earth, but have failed miserably, and in some cases, have themselves been obliterated!

Another proof of Israel’s special place in God’s heart is that after more than 1,900 years out of her land, God miraculously brought her back to the very same piece of real estate she had occupied in the days of her antiquity – and with the same language, to boot!

Yet sadly, such teaching about Israel is rare to nonexistent in Western churches. Even those which believe Israel is still a part of God’s plan rarely teach about it, instead almost exclusively focusing on the importance of individuals and how they can navigate the treacherous waters of this godless world.

And then there’s the majority of the Western church which prescribes to Replacement Theology – the belief that the Church as replaced Israel, and that all the “good” promises given to Israel in the Old Testament have been transferred to the Church.

How unfortunate. Why? Such neglect of Israel-centric teaching and an Israel-centralized perspective of the Bible represents an abandonment – or at least disregard – of what God teaches about the place of Israel in the world. For where far too many Christians regard Israel as having no relevance – or not even regard Israel at all – God deems Israel as crucial to His plan for humanity, and she remains the unyielding object of His love, care, and preservation.

What God Says About Israel
Just a smattering of verses.

  • Deuteronomy 7:6: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His personal possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Israel God’s Chosen People).
  • Jeremiah 31:23: “This is what the LORD of armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Once again they will speak this word in the land of Judah and in its cities when I restore their fortunes, ‘The LORD bless you, O place of righteousness, O holy hill!’” (Israel blessed of God).
  • Isaiah 2:2-3: “Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; so that He may teach us about His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law will go out from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Israel set above all nations.)
  • Romans 11:1: “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? Far from it!” (Israel NOT rejected: New Testament verse.)
  • Romans 11:25-27: “For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery – so that you will not be wise in your own estimation – that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.’ ‘This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins’.” (Israel redeemed and restored.)

An Israel-Centered Bible
Those who cast off Israel, or believe Israel is not the focus of the Bible, will have to get around the profusion of passages – of which the above is just a smidgen – in order to sell their errant viewpoint.

Some claim that the vast majority of these proof-passages are from the Old Testament, but that’s a non-argument. God annunciated His regard for Israel irrefutably and explicitly in the O.T., and nowhere in the New Testament has He disavowed it or declared it null and void.

What is clear is that God has a deep and abiding love for Israel, and the Western Church is doing virtually nothing to instill this into the hearts of believers. Yes, God loves His blood-purchased children in Christ, and churches are quick and right to teach this. But God also loves Israel, and the Church is mute when it comes to teaching the flock to love her as well – that is, to love what the Lord loves.

“‘For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My favor will not be removed from you, nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,’ says the LORD who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10).

May the Western church recognize and affirm Israel’s rightful place as God’s chosen, central, and beloved people!

David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.