God’s Unrelenting Love for Israel

Thursday, June 8, 2023

The Lord said that David was “A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22).

There’s a big difference between having a heart for God and having a heart after God’s heart. You can love God and have a desire to serve Him without loving what He loves.

But if you want to be like David—if you want to be a person who has a heart after God’s heart—you must love what He loves.

So, here’s a question I want to ask you: Do you really have a heart after God’s heart?

If you do, then you will carry His love for Israel and the Jewish people. Why do I say that? Because Scripture makes clear the Lord’s unrelenting love for His beloved land and chosen people.

In my previous article, I mentioned that over five million intercessors recently spent twenty-one days praying for the salvation and deliverance of Israel.

One question many have is Why should I, a new covenant Gentile believer in Jesus Christ, pray for Israel?

Others also wonder Why did five million intercessors recently spend three weeks praying for a nation the size of New Jersey?

Over the next several weeks, I will answer these questions by listing eleven reasons Gentile believers in Jesus Christ should pray for Israel.

To get started, I explain the most important reason in this article—God still loves Israel deeply.

If you want to be like David, if you want to be a person after God’s heart, then loving Israel and the Jewish people like the Lord is vital.

Israel Inscribed upon God’s Hand

For thousands of years, the devil has tried to annihilate the Jews, yet somehow the Jewish people have survived. Other ancient cultures have disappeared from the earth, leaving only a legacy of historical greatness. The Jews, however, have survived the ghettos, pogroms, concentration camps, and extermination ovens.

Though demon-possessed despots have tried to annihilate the Jews, God has faithfully preserved them through the years. Nevertheless, the Jewish people have suffered greatly. They have been murdered by the Crusaders, burned alive by the Inquisitors, accused as Christ-killers, hated, abused, abandoned, and despised. They have been targeted for annihilation by Assyria, Babylon, Rome, Nazi Germany, and Islam.

The Jews have been the number one target of Satan himself. Though many nations have rejected Israel, there is One who has never forgotten her. Isaiah prophesied:

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me” (Isa. 49:14-16).

Through the Crusades, the Inquisitions, and Hitler’s Final Solution, God’s eye was always on His beloved people. God has not forgotten Israel nor has He rejected her. On the contrary, God has inscribed Israel on the palms of His hands.

The Apple of God’s Eye

Prophesying over Israel, Zechariah declared, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8).

The apple of the eye is the pupil—one of the most sensitive parts of the body. It symbolizes something or someone that is deeply cherished and highly valued. This verse shows us that the land of Israel and the Jewish people are sensitive subjects to the Lord; He treasures them both deeply. Harming the Jews is like poking a finger in the eye of God; it is a direct infringement against the Almighty.

The Lord’s Heart for the Jewish People

If you want to stand in the gap for Israel and intercede for the Jewish people, nothing is more important than understanding God’s heart for the Jews.

Reading through the Psalms and the Prophets, you quickly realize God’s deep affections and passionate emotions for Israel. The Bible paints a vivid picture of God’s exuberant zeal and fervent love for His covenant land and chosen people.

In describing God’s heart for the Jews, the Scriptures use words such as precious, exceedingly jealous, delight, desire, chosen, and sought out.

God is called Israel’s Father, Keeper, and Shepherd. Moreover, the Bible reveals that God’s eye is on the city of Jerusalem; He is watching over His land with dedicated focus.

Scripture reveals that God’s heart for Israel still:

  1. Burns with desire (Ps. 132:13-14; Isa. 62:3-4; Zeph. 3:16-17);
  2. Is exceedingly jealous (Zech. 1:14; Zech. 8:2);
  3. Overflows with love and compassion (Jer. 31:3-4; Mic. 7:18-20; Isa. 54:5-10);
  4. Is filled with mercy (Isa. 51:3; Ezek. 39:25; Isa. 40:1-2);
  5. Is steadfast in faithfulness (Isa. 25:1; Ps. 121:4; Isa. 27:2-3; Jer. 33:24-26);
  6. Abounds with goodness (Ps. 73:1; Hos. 3:5; Zech. 8:13-15).

Paul said, “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:1-3).

Paul, the ever-rejoicing apostle, also had “great sorrow and unceasing grief” in his heart for the Jews. With intense longing, Paul declared that he would be willing to be accursed and separated from Christ if that would lead the Israelites to salvation. Now that is zeal and passion for all Israel to be saved!

Paul’s desire for Israel’s salvation was not natural, but supernatural. Because he drew near to God, the Lord put His unrelenting desire for Israel’s salvation within his heart.

Take a few minutes and ask the Lord to impart His consuming passion for Israel into your heart, so that you might be a faithful watchman and intercessor, who partners with the Lord in fervent prayer until Jerusalem becomes the praise of the earth.

If you want to learn more, please see my message Why Pray for Israel – Part 1.

Bryan Kessler