Nothing like a good cheeseburger…. or is there?
To end off this blog series on Christian Zionism, I want to offer the following parable.
My wife is a gourmet cook. She is fantastic. Not only that, she loves to cook. I love to eat her cooking, so we have a mutual appreciation thing going on.
One of my favorite foods is a juicy cheeseburger. I typically order one, if the restaurant has a good burger, much to my wife’s chagrin and concern over proper diet.
But let us say that one day, my wife calls me up at work and says that she is promising to fix me a nice, juicy cheeseburger for dinner. Now, I have had a long, hard day, so the expectation of this future meal sounds very inviting. Furthermore, she has now promised to fix me such a burger. So far, so good.
Is the secular nation state of Israel a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? A Veracity blogger tries to give an answer. Is he right, or is he misguided?
In this blog post series on Christian Zionism, I have tried to cover a vast amount of material, highlighting the most significant, while still trying my best to hear all sides in the debate. At this point, I can only make a tentative conclusion. The Bible is a big book after all, and so as long as the Lord tarries, I hope to keep studying and keep learning the truths as expressed in His Word.
I would hope to think that we as Christians can have robust conversations amongst ourselves on the topic of Zionism, in a spirit of “agreeing to disagree.” As long as we seek after the truth as found in God’s Word, we stand on good ground. My hope is that these blog posts have helped to move the conversation along. If you think I have something wrong, please let me know so that I can learn from you.
So here is my attempt to make a conclusion, however tentative it may be.
Martin Luther (1483-1546), by Cranach (credit: Wikipedia). Would Martin Luther eat his words and go to Jerusalem today, and get circumcised?
“If the Jews are Abraham’s descendants, then we would expect them to have a state of their own. But what do we see? We see them living among us scattered and despised….”1
“If the Jews were ever to reestablish themselves in the Holy Land, [I] would be the first to go there and have [myself] circumcised.” 2
— Martin Luther
In Martin Luther’s day, the Jews were dispersed all over Europe and parts of Asia. The sense of the Jews being different from everybody else eventually fed into the horrors of pogroms in later centuries. Luther’s frustration, that his Jewish neighbors seemed so resistant to his evangelistic efforts, finally sent the pious advocate of Reformation theology into an odd rage against the rabbis, in his old age.
But what would Martin Luther think today, considering the events that have taken place in the Middle East over the last century? Would he scowl and double-down on his discontent with the Jews? Would he eat his own words, and make the journey to the Middle East, and take the surgical knife upon himself? Would he judge the legitimacy of such a nation state based on how well she treated her neighbors? Or would he be more cautious, and puzzle more… and even marvel… over why so many of these dispersed peoples have made it back to their ancestral land?
What is the “big deal” about 1948 and Israel?
I need to address one more crucial aspect of the discussion concerning the land promise to Israel, before starting an attempt at some type of conclusion. What really is the timeframe for the fulfillment of the hopes of Zion, for the land?
Up to this point, the main question has been whether or not biblical prophecy was fulfilled by the creation of the modern-nation state of Israel in 1948. But is it so clear that such a question can be easily resolved simply by looking at a single year in history?
On one hand, there are dozens of passages from the Bible that would indicate a future timeframe for the land fulfillment. Here is just one, Amos 9:11-15 (I will just quote the most meaty part):
…I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them…I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the Lord your God.
That seems pretty obvious and clear, is it not? …. Or is it? Continue reading