“I will bless those who bless <Israel>, and whoever curses <Israel> I will curse.” Genesis 12:3
This verse is why some Christians support Israel even when she breaks the agreements that she has made with Palestine and the world.
The United Nations rebuked Israel last week, because what she is doing is wrong. Israel’s settlements have “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” Israel is once again taking land that is not rightfully hers. These actions of Israel create instability in the region and are not good for Israel or the world — even making it hard to reprimand Palestine when they react to Israel’s ongoing wrongs with violence.
Let’s say Canada decided to expand into Minnesota, we’d have something to say about it. And we’d hope other nations would back us up. But the US didn’t even do that much. We abstained from the United Nations’ vote and then Obama let the vote stand instead of vetoing it. It was almost the right thing to do. The right thing to do would have been to vote to rebuke Israel without abstention. But Obama didn’t want to be too hard on Israel – they are our only allies in the region, etc. Yet, in my opinion, Israel must be held accountable to her agreements.
However, some Christians think the above verses constitute a contract with God: “We will support whatever Israel does, because we know that God will bless us for that. We don’t care that Israel has and is continuing to take Palestinian land and treat Palestinian people reprehensibly. We don’t care that Palestinians have the right to protect their land, the right to live and govern themselves, the right to worship God, the right to have all the things that Israel wants for themselves. We will ignore that and support Israel so that God will bless us!”
That is superstition – not Christianity. The followers of Christ know that Jesus loves all the children of the world equally and has charged us with reconciliation – bringing about true Shalom in the world. There is no Shalom – no wholeness, no oneness with God – when Israel is allowed to behave this way while we look the other way. The God who I know is not going to bless Israel or the nations that help them oppress other people.
Furthermore, there are about 150,000 Palestinians who are followers of Jesus living peacefully with Muslims in Palestine. There are about 500,000 more Palestinian Christians who have fled their homeland because of Israel. Not that it should matter. We should work for the good of all people putting their needs ahead of our own despite their religion. But my point is that these same Christians ignore the fact that they are also hurting Christians inside Palestine when siding with Israel. Then again… It is all about getting that blessing!
Where are the Jewish prophets of old? They would have spoken truth to Israel! These prophets would have also told those politicians and corporate entities (both in the US and Israel) who are using Christian superstition to their advantage to “cut it out.”
By the way, if you think that your God is planning to curse me because my words call out Israel’s wrongs, then you need a better understanding of God, because the Father of Jesus loves justice and righteousness. He is not the God of superstitious rule keeping that allows one nation to hurt another all the while hoping to get a blessing for themselves! Blessing Israel in this case, means telling them they are wrong and to straighten up.
Furthermore, there is more to that verse…
“… and in <Israel> all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen 12:3 NRS)
God called upon the people of Israel to be a nation that blesses the entire earth by being servants to the world, by living out the Kingdom of God on earth, and by inviting the rest of the world to join with them — not by taking land that isn’t theirs and making the lives of Palestinians hopeless and dismal.
Jesus passed this same calling onto his followers.
Live into the calling that Jesus has placed upon you – promote Shalom across the face of the earth. Live not into the superstition and bad theology of mistaken Christians nor into the greed of selfish corporate entities and politicians.
Let’s put the interest of others (both Israel and Palestine) before our own. It is the Christ-like thing to do.
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