I don’t think it is without significance that on the morning of the twentieth anniversary of the “Toronto Blessing” I sat in my hotel watching Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressing the Israeli Knesset and pledging the ongoing support of his nation to Israel. Two poignant moments occurred together for Canada – honouring revival and honouring Israel. I believe the two are inextricably linked in the heart and mind of God.
As Christians we know that according to the promises made in Scripture, God will never abandon His people Israel. The apostle Paul states it clearly in Romans 11:1,2,
“I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! … God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.”
and in v. 28,29
“… they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.”
The gospel is for all nations and ethnic groups without exception, and each will have representation before the eternal throne of God. However, there is no earthly nation like Israel. They are totally unique in their history, present, and future.
As revival across the globe continues spreading to all nations, God’s restoration and renewal of Israel will continue in tandem. Those nations who love her will prosper. Those which despise her will suffer the consequences of being in disagreement with the purposes of God. That doesn’t for one minute mean that God endorses every action of current Israel, any more than He endorses our own individual sin, but it does mean that like ourselves, they are loved by God based on His choice and purposes in Christ and not, on the basis of deeds.
In Luke 21:29 Jesus alluded to the sign that the coming of His Kingdom was near. He referred to the ‘fig tree and all the trees’ beginning to bud. Often the ‘fig tree’ is a reference to Israel, and the other trees here represent the other nations of the world, all different in shape, size, and type of fruit. He seems to be saying, “When you see Israel as well as all the other nations starting to bud with revival, then you can be sure that the promised Kingdom of God is about to be revealed.”
As a church we pray often for the restoration of Israel to God’s full purposes for her, and for her protection among the nations. We also pray for increased spiritual revival in all the nations and tribes of the earth. Both go hand in hand as we march towards the return of the King.