Is God A Zionist?

What is 'Zionism?' Was it prophesied in the Hebrew Bible? How should followers of Jesus view the modern state of Israel and the controversy surrounding it? In this Consider This episode Dr. Brown takes you on a journey through the Scriptures and answers the question, 'Is God a Zionist'?
Before we can answer the question, "Is God a Zionist?", we first need to define the term Zionist.

Well, a Zionist is simply someone who believes that the Jewish people should have a homeland in what is now Israel. That's it.

Based on that definition, we can say that, yes, for sure God is a Zionist.

How I can be so confident?

First, the Scriptures make it perfectly clear that Israel was to be the lasting homeland of the Jewish people. And when I say "perfectly clear," I mean perfectly clear.

God Himself promised this, repeating it over and over in scores of different texts, most clearly in Psalm 105. In fact, in this passage alone, the theme is repeated in so many different ways that it's almost redundant. The Lord was making a point!

The psalm states, "He is ever mindful of His covenant, the promise He gave for a thousand generations, that He made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel, as an eternal covenant, saying, 'To you I will give the land of Canaan as your allotted heritage.'" (Psalms 105:8-11 NJPS)

Notice the vocabulary used. This is God's covenant, His eternal covenant, the promise He made, His decree; this was something He swore and confirmed; it is eternal, for a thousand generations.

Could He have made Himself any more clear?

It's true that under the Law - the Sinai Covenant - God said He would exile His people from their homeland if they sinned and bring them back if they repented.

But this does not annul His previous promises.

As Paul explained, "What I am saying is this: [the] Torah, which came 430 years later" - meaning, 430 years after God gave His promise to Abraham - "does not cancel the covenant previously confirmed by God, so as to make the promise ineffective. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise. But God has graciously given it to Abraham by means of a promise." (Galatians 3:17-18 TLV)

That promise still stands, which means that God is still a Zionist.

Second, it's impossible to explain the existence of the Jewish people in their ancient homeland today without divine intervention.

No other nation has been expelled from its homeland for a period of many hundreds of years, only to maintain its identity and then return to its original homeland.

Every other nation that has been scattered from its homeland for a period of centuries has ceased to exist as a nation, without exception - except for the Jewish people.

And note that the Jewish people survived as a nation despite centuries of terrible suffering, being expelled from country after country, being herded together in ghettos, being reduced to second-class citizenship, sometimes even facing annihilation - most recently, under the Nazis.

Yet the Jewish people live - as celebrated in Hebrew, am Yisrael chai - because God has preserved them.

As a Jew myself, I can say He has preserved us - not because of our faithfulness but because of His faithfulness. Not because of our goodness but because of His goodness.

And just think: The Nazis slaughtered six million Jews - two out of every three Jews in Europe - and yet today, there are more than six million Jews living in Israel.

This could not have happened without the hand of God.

But don't take my word for it. This is supported by the Scriptures as well, based on simple biblical logic.

You see, according to the Scriptures, when God blesses no one can curse and when He curses, no one can bless.

When He opens a door, no one can close it and when He closes a door, no one can open it.

When He smites, no one can heal and when He heals, no one can smite.

In the same way, when He gathers no one can scatter and when He scatters, no one can gather.

Since the Bible tells us that God scattered the Jewish people in His anger, there's only possible way they can be back in the Land today. God Himself regathered them!

To suggest that the Jewish people themselves, or the United Nations, reestablished Israel is to say that God's will was overthrown by human effort. Perish the thought!

This also explains why there is such extreme hostility towards the State of Israel, why so many radical groups want to wipe out the Jewish state, why the nations of the world want to determine Israel's boundaries, why these same nations refuse to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

It's the same pattern that has existed for millennia: The nations of the world are hostile to the purposes of God, in particular, His purposes for Israel.

This doesn't mean that everything Israel does is right or everything the Palestinians do is wrong.

And it doesn't mean that lovers of the God of the Bible should not pursue justice for all the Middle Eastern peoples.

But it does mean the State of Israel exists today because God decreed it.

And that means that God is a Zionist.