Does God favour Israel over other nations?

by | Jan 23, 2024 | January 2024 | 0 comments

At first reading of the Bible, it may appear that God favours Israel above other nations. In fact, most people think like that. The people of Israel also thought that they are more important to God than anybody else.

When the conflict erupted between Israel and Palestine the world was divided into two camps. One camp supports Palestinians or Gaza, and the other camp supports Israel. Many Christians support Israel because they think God is on Israel’s side. But, is he?

What side should Christians take? Some have turned to the Bible for answers. In the Book of Amos, God gave a prophecy against the people of Gaza or Palestine.

This is what the Lord says: “The people of Gaza have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sent whole villages into exile, selling them as slaves to Edom. So I will send down fire on the walls of Gaza, and all its fortresses will be destroyed.“ (Amos 1:6-7 NLT).

On this reading it may appear that what Israel is doing to Gaza is a fulfilment of God’s judgment on Gaza as prophesied by prophet Amos above.

However, that conclusion is false. In the Book of Amos God pronounces several judgments against different nations, not just Gaza.

This is what the Lord says: “The people of Judah have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They have rejected the instruction of the Lord, refusing to obey his decrees. They have been led astray by the same lies that deceived their ancestors. So I will send down fire on Judah, and all the fortresses of Jerusalem will be destroyed.” This is what the Lord says: “The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sell honourable people for silver and poor people for a pair of sandals.“ (Amos 2:4-6 NLT)

You will notice that the judgement pronounced on Gaza in chapter one is exactly the same as the judgement pronounced on Judah and Israel in chapter two, almost word for word. God’s judgement is on all nations, Jew and Gentile. There is no nation righteous before God. The righteousness that God approves is only found in Christ. In Chapter 9 of the same book of Amos, God asks Israel a rhetorical question:

Are you Israelites more important to me than the Ethiopians?” asks the Lord. “I brought Israel out of Egypt, BUT I ALSO brought the Philistines (Palestinians) from Crete and led the Arameans out of Kir.“ (Amos 9:7 NLT)

 Israelites are not more important to God than the Ethiopians, or the Palestinians, or the Russians, or the Ukrainians, or the Congolese, or the Sudanese, or any other nation.

God is not a respecter of persons. In fact, that is the NUMBER ONE LESSON that Jesus taught the Apostle Peter after Pentecost. In Acts 10, Peter said “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.“ (Acts 10:34-35 NLT)

Jesus came to destroy the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile. The season of Advent is a time of reflecting on the coming of Jesus and the peace he brought.

For he(Jesus) himself is our peace, who has made the two groups (Jew and Gentile) one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:14 NIV)

The gospel teaches us that God is for ALL nations and peoples.

There is a third camp on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or any conflict for that matter. It is the camp of Jesus, a camp of peace, and a camp of reconciliation. As Paul says in Second Corinthians, God “brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful ministry of reconciliation.“ (2 Corinthians. 5:18-19 NLT)

Christians should not be on the Israeli side or the Palestinian side. They must be on the side of peace, for our Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. That’s what we celebrate at Advent. Advent tells us that God is not a respecter of persons. Jesus came into the world because God so loved the world, that is, all nations, that he was willing to give his only son for the salvation of ALL nations. He will be coming again to usher world peace and bring judgment on sin of all people. At that time, all knees shall bow, whether Palestinian, Jew, Russian, American, Congolese, or Chinese, and all tongues shall confess that Jesus is Lord. God does not favour Israel over other nations. In Christ, God loves all nations and wants to see them saved. Amen.


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