Note to readers: For those wanting to prayer more specifically for Israel, the following link is excellent in guiding the reader through such an effort: http://www.operationworld.org/isra
After some preliminary remarks about his experiences on the way to Rome, we find Paul getting an audience with some people, explaining how he had arrived at Rome, and what he expected to take place. In expounding upon his chains and being under the constant supervision of a Roman soldier, we find this interesting statement in Acts 28:20 about him being chained "for the sake of the hope of Israel". It is with that statement that I am interested in unpacking in today's post. Paul clearly saw what he was undergoing as having to do with not only God's master plan for the Gospel throughout the world, but even more specifically with God's program for Israel. Whether Christians realize it or not, God still has a plan for Israel and Israel's ultimate destinity is intimately related to our own. Today's post is all about unfolding the three hopes that are gained when the Christian pays closer attention to Israel, God's abiding interest in it and how such a focus can strengthen the Christian's hope overall. Notice what scripture has to say about the following three hopes attached to God's promises to Israel and for those who adovcate the interests of His chosen people.
And prosperity within your palaces.”
8 For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, “May peace be within you.” 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good."
I know of a dear man of God with whom I pray with often. Everytime that man prays, he prays for the peace of Jerusalem. There is something supernatural attached to praying for the peace of Jersualem. It is commanded and attached with a promise. The prophet Daniel models this for us in Daniel 6:10-11 "Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God." By getting ourselves in order with what God has said in His Word, we can move on ahead in prayer. Hebrews 4:16 reminds us of the hope we find when coming to God in prayer: "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." So Israel is important to the Christian because of the hope we can find when praying for it, but notice a second hope....
The Apostle John saw in the piercing of Jesus in the side by the Roman spear the intiation of a series of events that would lead to the ultimate fullfillment of Zechariah 12:10 at Christ's second coming. The cross is ever associated with the second coming, being that what Jesus achieved on the cross and in the resurrection necessarily guarantees what He will accomplish when He comes back the second time. Revelation 1:7 quotes Zechariah 12:10 in reference to Christ's second coming: "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth willmourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen."