SON- Dad, Mr. Peterson thinks it is important that we understand about the Middle East in our 7th grade Social Studies class. He thinks some of us may have to fight in wars someday. I have a question for you, OK?
PASTOR HAIGEN- What’s that, son?
SON- Will you explain to me again why we as Christians should support Israel in its wars over there?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Because the dispute is over the land, houses, orchards and the property, and Israel is home to God’s chosen people. God promised the land of Palestine to the Jews.
SON- Who is a Jew?
PASTOR HAIGEN- What do you mean, "Who is a Jew"? Jews are people who pray in synagogues, observe the 10 Commandments, observe the Sabbath every Saturday, and so on.
SON- But, didn’t you tell me most Jewish people don’t even attend synagogues or follow the laws of the Old Testament...are they still considered Jews?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Well, many Jews have fallen away from the faith. But, ugh, they’re still considered Jews.
PASTOR HAIGEN- -Because they are descendents of Abraham. Specifically, God promised the land of Israel to the descendents of Abraham.
SON- So God’s promise to Abraham’s descendents is based on a blood relationship to Abraham?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Yes.
SON- How can a man who wants to immigrate to Israel trace his ancestors thousands of years back all the way back to Abraham?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Well...I suppose he can’t. Genealogy records back to Abraham don’t likely exist for anybody. But under Israel’s Right of Return laws, I think he just needs to be recognized as a Jew by the Jewish community. Do you understand now?
SON- Not exactly dad. I mean, doesn’t the Bible say Abraham was born in the city of Ur, which is in modern day Iraq?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Yes
SON- If Jews are descended from Abraham, why don’t they look like other people we see on TV from Iraq or from the Middle East?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Well, some of them do. There are Jews who look just as Arab as Saddam Hussein.
SON- Why do all the Jews in my school and those I’ve seen on television look like white people?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Well, when the Jews were dispersed in the Diaspora- that was in the same century when Jesus was crucified- many went to Europe.
SON- So, living among Europeans, they turned into white people?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Of course not. They probably intermarried with the indigenous populations, and it’s also likely many people of European descent converted to Judaism.
SON- So why did they go back to Israel?
PASTOR HAGAN- To get land that Abraham promised their ancestors.
SON- So how can anyone know if they have Abraham’s blood? Manny Abasse, who is in our class, looks like an Arab, and his parents told him they came here because some of these Jewish people from Europe took their grandparents’ house in Israel.
PASTOR HAGAN- God gave the land to the Jews and not to the Arabs. The Bible tells about it in Genesis 12, and many other places. Didn’t you memorize those verses in Bible class, Son?
SON- Yea, Dad, I remember: God sent Abraham out into the wilderness to a new land and promised to protect him if he did what God said, right? And Joseph and Mary both descended from Abraham, so Jesus came from his tribe, right Dad?
PASTOR HAGAN- Yes son, very good! But a lot more is implied. God said He would give Abraham’s future generations all the land forever. If you have any doubts, many other places in the Bible absolutely confirm that this is what God meant. Don’t you remember my sermons about the land without a people and a people without a land? As Christians we cannot argue with God’s holy word, can we son?
SON- No Dad, I wouldn’t do that, and you know I trust you, like Abraham trusted God and Isaac trusted his father. And I know you are smart about the Bible and history...but I have to get this straight about the land. Manny says his parents told him Jews stole their property with guns and killed the Arabs who would not leave. Do you think his dad lied to him?
PASTOR HAGAN- Your friend is a Muslim so he is not capable of understanding God’s holy law. They are blessed because they descended from Ishmael, Jacob’s half brother. But God blessed them less than the Jews, and their blessing did not include land. Even if the Jews used force it is justified because they were taking back the land God gave them; it’s part of their "right to return". You will find God even tells us where the land is in Genesis 15, it is between two big rivers- the Nile and the Euphrates.
SON- Is it fair for Jewish people to take the land of Palestine that other people live on without at least proving they descended from Jacob, and that the Arab didn’t? I mean Manny looks more like a native Middle Easterner than most Jews.
PASTOR HAIGEN- Well, son, when we talk about the seed of Abraham having a right to the land, it’s not just a blood right. It’s also a spiritual right, meaning those who are the spiritual seed of Abraham are the same as his genetic sons and don’t need to provide proof of lineage.
SON- Dad, we sang those songs at camp and at Sunday school about us Christians being the "Sons of Father Abraham" and "Climbing Jacob’s Ladder." So do Christians also have a right to the land in Palestine? If I could get my land I think I would give it to Manny.
PASTOR HAIGEN- Sorry son, only Jews have land rights under God’s promise to Abraham.
Its absolutely true that we Christians are spiritual sons of Abraham, just as the songs says, which means we will go to heaven if we believe in God’s promise through His Son. But Jews are the only ones with an earthly claim to the land of Israel; God gave it to them. That’s what is taught in seminary, and it’s generally recognized by Evangelical Christians, and I can give you a hundred Bible sites that prove it without a doubt. Son, some things you must accept by faith. You don’t want to doubt God’s holy word, do you, Son?
SON- No Dad, but Manny’s folks says there are Christians in Palestine who lost their houses too. So do Jews have a right to take the houses from Christians?
PASTOR HAIGEN- The Christians you are talking about is Arabs, and we don’t really know if they are true believers.
SON- Well Dad, I really believe in Jesus, why can’t I have land there?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Because Christians are Abraham’s spiritual seed, but not in the way Jews are. God made a covenant with Israel and swore loyalty to her, and Israel decides who is a Jew with land rights and who is not.
SON- Who is Israel?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Israel is the government of the Jewish state that was formed after World War II in Palestine.
SON- Do they decide who gets the land based on the Bible?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Well, I guess you could say they do; the government sometimes quotes Genesis 12 as one authority. But as a Christian I take it on faith that the Government of Israel is able to decide who came from Abraham. I don’t see why God would deceive us as to who are his chosen people. I have faith that modern day Jews are either spiritual children or directly descended from Abraham, and through God’s covenant have exclusive right to Palestine.
SON- Should I tell Manny we have to take it on faith that the people who took their land have a right to it, and all Christians believe that?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Son, there are some people who say they are Christians but who don’t believe in the chosen peoples rights. They are wrong about a lot of things and we don’t need to know about them. It boils down to that Manny and his family and others who don’t believe as we do need to become true believers in Jesus Christ before the rapture comes and leaves them behind or worse yet they die unsaved.
SON- So tell me one more time, why was it right for the Jews to come to Palestine and take Manny’s house?
PASTOR HAIGEN- Son, I don’t know why you are having trouble with this; you get straight A’s in school. We can’t try to right every wrong. But Israel will always be the home of the Jews. God promised the land of Israel and Palestine to them. The Palestinians cannot overcome God’s will; they must leave like your friend’s parents did.
SON- I am not sure I can explain it to Manny and my class so it will make sense to them.
PASTOR HAGAN- Its simple son, you just have to believe that the Jews are God’s chosen people.
SON- Oh! I think we’re back to where we started, Dad. ...I guess I will do my homework and go to bed. Goodnight Dad.