In studying Abraham's life in Genesis as of late, I was made to think on a portion of scripture that is potentially significant to believers in the arena of world affairs to this date. The text has reference to God granting Abraham's descendants a portion of land in which Abraham wandered as a pilgrim and a stranger. Notice Genesis 17, verses 6 and 7:
"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."**
This text promises the successive generations of Abraham's descendents the land of Canaan as a part of the covenant that God made with Abraham. Notice this very important detail, the land was guaranteed as part of the COVENANT, or legal contract. God made a covenant, a contract with Abraham, in which He promised this land. This Covenant is referred to as the Old Covenant.
Many believers today are practically obsessed with the current nation in the Middle East called Israel. There are churches, radio programs, ministries, and television shows devoted to the protection and expansion of today's Israel. It is, they feel, their duty to God to send money and soldiers to Israel. Some ministers (and I have their publications documented) go so far as to motivate God's people with promises of blessings or curses should they choose to abstain from supporting this nation. But is this God's will for believers? Is Israel guaranteed this land even today?
Well, notice from GOD'S WORD, that this land is a part of a Covenant benefit for Israel. For them to be guaranteed this land from God Almighty, the Covenant must still be in effect today.
Please notice the following language from Hebrews:
"But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second...In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." - Hebrews 8:6-8, 13
"Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." - Hebrews 10:9
These verses clearly set forth the fact that the Old Covenant (land, circumcision, temple worship, feast days, the priesthood, etc) has been "taken away" and that Christ, through His shed blood, is the mediator of a BETTER, New Covenant. True, the Genesis 17 promise to the land was "everlasting," but it was still on the basis of the Covenant. Take away the covenant, and the Divine guarantee to the land is also taken away. This means that there is no Biblical reason for Israel to possess the land today, and you shouldn't feel guilty for not sending finances and support to further Israel's political goals and continue the expanse of her borders. Is Israel a good political ally in the Middle East? Yes. Do Christians owe them a Biblical debt? No.
Again, the support of Israel as an American ally is fine. However, we must leave it as an issue with the State Department, not the Lord's Church. Our Lord has more important issues for us to concern ourselves with, such as growing in grace and knowledge of Him, visiting the fatherless and the widows, living sanctified lives, and sharing the true gospel of Christ with His hungering children.
**Some might object that this is God's covenant with Abraham, not the children of Israel, and thereby a different covenant, essentially making it still in effect today, whereas the the Old Covenant has been "taken away." I would point out the future tense words in this passage in Genesis, indicating that God would (future tense for Abraham) establish His covenant with Abraham AND the generations following him. When God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt, he did so on the basis of His Covenant that He made with Abraham and them through Abraham. They are not separate. Exodus 2:24