By Nathan Jones
Why is little Israel the focus of the whole world?
To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Jim Fletcher, the founder and director of a ministry in Arkansas called Prophecy Matters. Jim has been an author and book editor for many years, and when in the 1990's took his first trip to Israel to do some book research, he became hooked on the nation and people. Jim is now a strong advocate for Israel.
Focus of the Whole World
Dr. Reagan: Why in the world is such a tiny nation, smaller than the state of New Jersey, such a focus of the world? If anything happens in Jerusalem, it's in the headlines all over the world the next day. Why is that?
Jim Fletcher: About 20 years ago I was listening to Dave Hunt and he basically said, "Because God said so." It's important to God and He intends to reveal Himself in the last days to everyone through the nation of Israel. Also, the story of Israel dominates Scripture which shows it's a big subject for God and therefore should be a big subject for us.
Dr. Reagan: When you said Israel is important to God, the thought suddenly popped into my mind that it's very important to Satan, too. Satan doesn't want certain things to happen in Israel, and he's certainly not very happy about the Jews being regathered.
Jim Fletcher: That's right. This all started with the Fall in Genesis 3. We see the drama played out all throughout the pages of Scripture right up through Revelation.
Dr. Reagan: What's the spiritual significance of Israel? Why is it that so many Christians and Bible prophecy ministries focus on the Jewish people?
Jim Fletcher: The Lord said that He chose the Jews, not because they were greater in number or anything like that, but He choose them because He loved their fathers and intended to reveal himself through them. That's the foundational reason. He chose them for the establishment of His Word and to go forth throughout the world as a living example of God's redemption.
Dr. Reagan: I'd also add that through the Jews the world can bear witness to the many, many promises God made to them thousands of years ago which we are seeing come true before our very eyes today.
Jim Fletcher: That's right. Prophecy concerning the Jews today really dominates the pages of the Old Testament. For instance, look at the end of Deuteronomy. God tells Israel in quite astonishing detail exactly what's going to happen to them should they forget Him.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, He tells the fledgling nation of Israel that if they are unfaithful He would put certain curses upon them like teenage rebellion, divorce epidemic, loss in wars, economic problems, and loss of crops. Then He says to the effect, "If that doesn't bring you back to me in repentance, then the ultimate curse I will put upon you is you will be ejected from your land and you'll wander the earth for a long period of time."
Jim Fletcher: That's exactly correct. Like I say to people often, "What you read in the Bible is what you see in reality." And, what is utterly amazing, God in fact said that after many days He would bring the Jewish exiles back to their land in a second regathering. We are seeing that very thing happen today.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, God promised to bring the Jews back into the land a second time. And yet, many people say to me, "The regathering of the Jewish people from all over couldn't be a supernatural act of God because the Jews have never repented and are still in rebellion against God. So, why would He regather them?"
Jim Fletcher: They're saying that because they're reading Scripture through the lens of an anti-Jewish bias, which I think is the foundation for that kind of opinion. We know otherwise because as you often say, "The plain sense of Scripture is very clear."
Dr. Reagan: Yes, and to me what God is doing today as He brings the Jewish people back in unbelief is a magnificent illustration of His grace and mercy. They don't deserve it, they haven't earned it, but He's giving it to them anyway. The same could be said for us. What have we earned, or what do we deserve? The only thing we deserve is death, but God in His grace and mercy gave His Son to die on the cross for us and made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. And, what He's doing among the Jewish people today is a glorious illustration of the grace of God.
Jim Fletcher: I have some most fascinating conversations with people today who are critics of the return of the Jews. They'll often declare, "Those people aren't even religious." My answer is, "What would you expect them to be doing at this moment in history? They are exactly where they're supposed to be. God said He would bring them back in unbelief, physically to the land first, and then He would restore them spiritually.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, and that's exactly what's happening. One of the most remarkable Scriptures in the Old Testament is found in the book of Jeremiah where he says that when history is over and done with and the Jews look back on their history, they will no longer swear by the God who delivered them from Egyptian captivity, but they'll swear instead by the God who regathered them from the four corners of the earth. But wait, it's the same God, so what's he saying? He's saying that they are going to consider what's going on right now with the regathering to be a greater miracle than their deliverance from Egyptian captivity. We're witnessing that today! But, the average Church member has no idea how important it is or that it's even a work of God.
Jim Fletcher: That's right. They have no clue. There isn't much teaching about this in churches and most of the big ministries today purposely leave this subject alone. And yet, you're right, Israel's glory is ahead of her. They have a wonderful and marvelous future that the Lord is going to provide for them. We are so privileged to be able to watch it unfold.
In the second part of our series on the importance of Israel, Jim Fletcher will explain why the United States should be supporting Israel.