By understanding the birthplace of Christianity, and the people who live there, we can build a deeper relationship with God.
God has made an unbreakable covenant with the Jewish people and its results are undeniable. Despite the turmoil of the Middle East, Israel is a vibrant country, contributing to world leading advancements in technology, health, business and sustainability.
As believers we are called to serve God and heal the world. Yet God also specifically calls us to support, comfort and strengthen Israel and its people.
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The multi-cultural tapestry of Israeli society challenges all to thrive.
The State of Israel is the Middle East's only democracy, providing the full rights of citizenship for people of all cultures and faiths. Israel seeks to bless and advance its neighbours, where ever they permit it to do so. Israeli law protects the free exercise of religion - and ensures that all faiths have unimpeded access to its many holy sites. Jews and Arabs, Christians and Muslims, all participate in public life, contributing to the rich tapestry of Israeli culture.
The country is home to a lively free press, a vibrant civil society, and an independent judicial system. Like all Western democracies, Israel faces challenges to ensure socio-economic equality for its minority populations. Due to Israel being a 70 year young country, social welfare programs for its citizen, socio-economic disadvantaged and especially for the older generation need to be continually built for strength.
An unbreakable promise and an everlasting covenant between God and a people group.
The Abrahamic Covenant constitutes God’s decision to save the world and to do so through Abraham and his descendants (John 4:22). This Abrahamic Covenant constitutes God’s ability to save the world through the death of Christ and thereby fulfil the promises of blessing (salvation) made to the world in the Abrahamic Covenant (Luke 1:54-55; 68-74). The Abrahamic Covenant is therefore eternal and unconditional in that it sets apart the nation of Israel as the vehicle of world redemption (Genesis 12:1-3). Also, for this purpose it bequeaths to the Jewish people the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:7-8, Psalm 105:9-15). The Abrahamic Covenant is therefore eternal and cannot be annulled (Galatians 3:17) and consequently Israel’s modern day restoration is not a coincidence, but clear evidence of God’s faithfulness to His Covenant made with His friend Abraham 4000 years ago. The return of the Jewish people to the Land of Canaan - as their everlasting possession - is only a consequential fulfilment of that very promise contained in the Abrahamic Covenant.
The Gospel was to the Jew first - but was then extended to the Gentiles, but never will God break his eternal covenant with the Jewish people to bless and sustain them until the second return of the Messiah. Why - it was God sovereign choice to elect the Jewish people, who through their lineage brought forth world redemption - Jesus. Jesus can be tracked back to David and David's lineage all the way to Abraham (Matthew 1:1-17). This very lineage, its preservation and sustaining, God eternally cemented into the Abrahamic covenant.
The Holocaust was the deliberate, coldblooded murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany.
The Holocaust was the deliberate, coldblooded murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany. While the Nazi persecution of the Jews began in 1933, the mass murder was committed during World War II, and lasted four and a half years. In 1942, they murdered two and a half million Jews within 250 days. The murderers never showed any restraint. There was no escape. The murderers were not content with destroying the communities; they also traced and hunted down each Jewish fugitive. They believed that being a Jew was a crime and every single one had to be put to death. They only stopped when the Allies defeated them.
Most of the Jews of Europe were killed by 1945. A civilisation, life style and Jewish culture that had flourished for almost 2,000 years was no more. They never meted out justice to their tormentors – for what justice could ever be achieved after such a crime? Rather, they turned to rebuilding: new families forever under the shadow of those absent; new life stories forever warped by the wounds; new communities, forever haunted by the loss.
Learn how Jesus' Jewish origin has shaped and informed our Christian faith.
What would it be like to journey back to the first century and to walk with Rabbi Jesus as one of his Jewish disciples? How would your understanding of the gospel have been shaped by the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the Jewish culture in which you lived? The fascinating Jewish world of Jesus, offers inspirational insights that will empower your faith. When set in context - the prayers, feasts, history, culture, and customs that shaped Jesus and those who followed will also give us context and so valuable insights to bless and heal the world through our own lives through the message of love.
You will hear the parables as they must have sounded to first-century Jews, powerful and surprising. You will join the conversations that were already going on among the rabbis of his day. You will watch with new understanding as the events of his life unfold. And you will emerge with new excitement about the roots of your own Christian faith.
Knowing your jewish roots of your christian faith will change the way you read Scripture and deepen your understanding of the life of Jesus. By looking at the Jewishness of Jesus, you will be taken on a captivating journey into the heart of Judaism, one that is both balanced and insightful, helping you to better understand and appreciate our Christian faith.
A reminder that our lives are to be lived under the protection and the sovereignty of God.
This Feast is part of the three great pilgrim Feasts of the Bible the other two being Passover and Pentecost (Leviticus 23:33-44). Essentially it is the Feast of the triumph of the Kingdom of God as it demonstrates the commitment of God’s people to God as Lord and King of their lives. It is for this reason that the Israelites were commanded to live in leafy booths for seven days in the wilderness. These were very fragile and could not protect one from the harsh desert conditions.
The lesson was clear; a lesson of unswerving trust that God would protect them and care for them. That is why the Feast Tabernacles is a picture of the Triumph of the Kingdom of God since it reminds us that our entire lives are to be lived under the protection and sovereignty of God.
In short, God is our source and Jesus recognised this when He stood up on the final great day of the Feast of Tabernacles and called upon the people to drink refreshing water from his life (John 7:37-39). The Feast of Tabernacles is a joyful feast and commanded to be so by God Himself (Leviticus 23:40) and it will be that Feast that all nations will be required to keep in the age to come after Jesus comes again (Zechariah 14:16-17). Our annual Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is indeed a foreshadowing of this coming great day.
The world's leading start-up nation.
In just seven decades, Israel has transitioned from a developing nation to a bustling hub for innovative and scrappy tech companies, earning Israel the title of "Start-Up Nation". The cultural, economic and geopolitical crucible that Israelis are subjected to from a young age produces individuals who do not fear failure, who are willing to shoulder great responsibilities and are always curious to explore how things could be better.
This unique combination of character traits has led Israel to develop one of the most advanced and innovative tech sectors in the world. Israel is on the cutting edge in science, medicine, high-tech, and agriculture.
As a leader in disaster relief and international development, the Jewish State continues to change lives in all corners of the globe - from aiding earthquake victims in Haiti to bringing agricultural technology to Africa.
Education empowers to then speak the truth with courage and strength to combat an old phenomena that requires our communal responsibility and response to be defeated - and to never rise again.
In most of world’s democratic societies today, traditional anti-Semitism is frowned upon and there is a deep-felt apprehension against repeating any of the errors of Europe’s anti-Semitic history, which culminated in the Nazi Holocaust. However, this irrational strain of hate has morphed into modern variants. If one wants to spot it, look for the following traits: double-standards imposed on Israel, historical revisionism, minimising and distorting the Holocaust and its significance, and criticising Israel’s right to self-defence.
Anti-semitism has, for too long, spread lies about Israel and the Jewish people. Even today, people in Israel from a variety of backgrounds live under the constant threat of attack through terror, as well as boycotts, sanctions and divestment. The people of Israel need un-biased support and are permitted to thrive. The current wave of this type of activism is the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), which casts itself as a grassroots movement and aims to isolate and fatally weaken Israel and produce from disputed territories to the point of defeat.