SHOULD TRUE CHRISTIANS SUPPORT ISRAEL

SERMON TOPIC: SHOULD TRUE CHRISTIANS SUPPORT ISRAEL

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 22 October 2023

Topic Groups: ISRAEL, PROPHECY

Sermon synopsis: The South African government backs the Palestinian cause, with formal diplomatic relations established in 1995, a year after the end of apartheid. It downgraded its embassy in Tel Aviv to a liaison office in 2019. “Our ambassador is back in South Africa and we will not be replacing him,” said International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. This is despite 60,000 people signing a petition calling for South Africa’s ambassador to Israel to be reinstated and for the country’s embassy in Tel Aviv to not be downgraded.

So, should true Christians be supporting Israel or not?

God promised to protect the nation of Israel. He will bless those nations who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel. This alone is a good reason to support Israel. Throughout history, we have seen the evidence that God blessed those nations who stood with Israel and cursed those who did not.

Any nation in the world (including our own) who seeks to harm Israel will face God’s wrath – sooner or later.



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SHOULD TRUE CHRISTIANS SUPPORT ISRAEL OR NOT?

The ANC-led South African government backs the Palestinian cause, with formal diplomatic relations established in 1995.

It downgraded its embassy in Tel Aviv to a liaison office in 2019. “Our ambassador is back in South Africa and we will not be replacing him,” said International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. *

* https:// jpost.com/ diaspora/ 60000-sign-petition-call-on-s-africa-to-reinstate-ambassador-to-israel-587127

SHOULD TRUE CHRISTIANS SUPPORT ISRAEL OR NOT?

Sisulu continued, “Our liaison office in Tel Aviv will have no political mandate, no trade mandate and no development cooperation mandate. It will not be responsible for trade and commercial activities.”

This is despite 60,000 people signing a petition calling for South Africa’s ambassador to Israel to be reinstated and for the country’s embassy in Tel Aviv to not be downgraded.

So, should true Christians be supporting Israel or not?

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

God established a covenant with Abraham (who was the forefather of the Jewish nation).

Genesis 12:1-3 (NASB) Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country… To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

A 3-PART COVENANT WITH ISRAEL

In the Abrahamic Covenant, God promises 3 things:

A source of blessing to the nations

Descendants – and a great nation

Land (Israel)

ISRAEL IS A BLESSING TO THE WORLD. Many Jews live life by the motto Tikkun Olam, or “Save the World”. They consider it a cornerstone of their Jewish identity, a key reason they're committed to making the world a better place.

God made his chosen people Israel to be a “light to the nations,” and we can see this in the way Israel blesses the rest of the world.

1) A SOURCE OF BLESSING TO THE WORLD

Of the 954 individual Nobel Prize recipients between 1901 and 2022, at least 212 have been Jews (22%). There have been Jewish recipients of all 6 of the Nobel Foundation's awards:

Economics: 37 (40% of total)

Physiology or Medicine: 58 (26%)

Physics: 56 (25%)

Chemistry: 36 (19%)

Literature: 16 (13%)

Peace: 9 (8%)

* https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ List_of_Jewish_Nobel_laureates

Israel has gained a reputation as a global leader in medical and digital health system innovations, with breakthroughs in the ongoing battles against Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease. *

Israel ranked sixth in the 2022 World Index of Healthcare Innovation and its hospitals and health funds are considered some of the best in the world. *

Israeli ingenuity is responsible for some of the world’s most amazing medical advances. **

* https:// jpost.com/ health-and-wellness/ article-744698 ** https:// israel21c.org/ the-top-12-most-amazing-israeli-medical-advances

Israel is a major player in science & technological innovation. In fact, perhaps only the US is more prominent globally. It has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world outside of Silicon Valley and more scientists and technicians per capita than any other economy? *

Israel boasts one of the highest numbers of research and development (R&D) centers per capita in the world. This is a testament to the country's commitment to investing in cutting-edge technology and innovation. **

* https:// grantthornton.mk ** https:// secret-israel.com/ featured/ why-israel-is-technologically-advanced

They provide water advances and other biological technologies to nations around the world.

They have succeeded in making their own desert bloom. The land was a semi-desert before 1948 and far from the “land flowing with milk and honey” of the Bible.

The Israelis drained the swamps and launched a massive and ongoing tree planting campaign.

Most importantly, they developed modern irrigation, agricultural and horticultural techniques to permit fruits, vegetables, and flowers to flourish all over the country enabling the country to feed itself.

According to a 2022 US News & World Report, Israel’s military ranked 4th in the world, behind Russia, the US, and China. *

The Israeli Air Force is recognized as one of the strongest in the world, constituting about a third of the IDF’s manpower!

An IDF pilot, Giora Epstein, holds the world record for enemy takedowns. **

* https:// timesofisrael.com/ israel-among-10-most-powerful-countries-in-the-world-in-annual-list ** https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Giora_Epstein

The IDF have more humane military practices than any other military in history. Whenever they target buildings in which civilians may be present, standard procedure is to warn residents using text messages, phone calls and distribution on leaflets.

The IDF’s Code of Ethics stresses the importance of protecting civilians no matter what “side” they are on. By contrast, Palestinian terrorists deliberately put civilians in harm’s way in a cynical attempt to defame the Jewish state. *

* https:// jns.org/ israel-palestinianconflict/ idf/ 23/ 9/ 6/ 316591

ISRAEL IS THE SAFEST PLACE FOR CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Despite the fact that there is some anti-Christian sentiment from religious extremists in Israel, this is not state-sanctioned.

Today in most Middle Eastern countries, any person who is found to be following Jesus is persecuted, discriminated against, imprisoned and at times killed.

Since the beginning of the nation of Israel, Christians have been welcomed and protected in the borders of Israel.

In addition, it is the only country in the Middle East which values the rights of women, refugees, religions and the press. It reflects these rights in its politics and ways of conducting daily life.

ALL NATIONS BLESSED

Genesis 22:18 (NASB) “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

In Galatians 3 we are told that this promised “seed of Abraham” refers to Christ – who would be a source of blessing to all nations – because he has died as a substitutionary sacrifice for all – to offer redemption and salvation for both Jew and Gentile.

It is from the Jews that we have received the Bible (Old and New Testaments), the prophets, the apostles and our blessed redeemer.

Rom 3:2 (NIV) … the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.

Rom 9:4-5 (NIV) … the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

2) A GREAT NATION

God promised Abraham that his descendants would become a nation. Israel became a great nation after they left Egypt.

A CURSE ON THOSE WHO CURSE ISRAEL

God promised to protect the nation of Israel. He will bless those nations who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel. This alone is a good reason to support Israel.

Throughout history, we have seen the evidence that God blessed those nations who stood with Israel and cursed those who did not.

Any nation in the world (including our own) who seeks to harm Israel will face God’s wrath – sooner or later.

A CURSE ON THOSE WHO CURSE ISRAEL

The Hadith is a collection of the sayings or traditions of Muhammad, revered by Muslims as a major source of religious law and moral guidance.

The Hadith states the duty of Muslims to kill Jews in the End Times, “The Day of Resurrection will not arrive until the Muslims make war against the Jews and kill them, and until a Jew hiding behind a rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: ‘Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’” – Sheikh Muhammed Abd al Hadi La’afi

THE GRAND MUFTI

The Grand Mufti is the highest official of religious law in a Sunni or Ibadi Muslim country. Starting in 1921, Muhammed Amin al-Husseini was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, using the position to promote Islam and pursue fiercely anti-Semitic policies.

In 1937 the Grand Mufti expressed his solidarity with Germany, asking the Nazi Third Reich to oppose establishment of a Jewish state, stop Jewish immigration to Palestine, and provide arms to the Arab population.

NAZI SYMPATHY

According to documentation from the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, the Nazi Germany SS helped finance al-Husseini’s efforts in the 1936-39 revolt in Palestine.

Adolf Eichmann actually visited Palestine and met with al-Husseini at that time and subsequently maintained regular contact with him later in Berlin.

NAZI SYMPATHY

While in Baghdad, Syria al-Husseini aided the pro-Nazi revolt of 1941. He then spent the rest of World War II as Hitler’s special guest in Berlin, advocating the extermination of Jews in radio broadcasts back to the Middle East and recruiting Balkan Muslims for infamous SS “mountain divisions” that tried to wipe out Jewish communities throughout the region.

At the Nuremberg Trials, Eichmann’s deputy Dieter Wisliceny (subsequently executed as a war criminal) testified: “The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan... He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz.”

Referring to a meeting with the Mufti and Himmler, Lebanese socialist academic and writer, Gilbert Achcar, observes:

The Mufti was well aware that the European Jews were being wiped out; he never claimed the contrary. Nor, unlike some of his present-day admirers, did he play the ignoble, perverse, and stupid game of Holocaust denial … His armour-propre would not allow him to justify himself to the Jews … gloating that the Jews had paid a much higher price than the Germans… “Their losses in the Second World War represent more than thirty percent of the total number of their people …” Statements like this, from a man who was well placed to know what the Nazis had done … constitute a powerful argument against Holocaust deniers. *

* Ibid.

One German officer noted in his journals that the Mufti would liked to have seen the Jews “preferably all killed.” On a visit to Auschwitz, he reportedly admonished the guards running the gas chambers to work more diligently.

In September 1943, intense negotiations to rescue 500 Jewish children from the Arbe concentration camp collapsed due to the objection of al-Husseini who blocked the children’s departure to Turkey because they would end up in Palestine. *

* http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Haj_Amin_al-Husseini

In June 1943 the Mufti recommended to the Hungarian minister that it would be better to send Jews in Hungary to concentration camps in Poland rather than let them find asylum in Palestine.

A year later, on 25 July 1944 (when he certainly knew the details about the Nazi program to destroy the Jews) he wrote to the Hungarian foreign minister to register his objection to the release of certificates for 900 Jewish children and 100 adults for transfer from Hungary, fearing they might end up in Palestine. *

* Ibid.

Throughout the war, he appeared regularly on German radio broadcasts to the Middle East, preaching his pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic message to the Arab masses back home.

On 1 March 1944, while speaking on Radio Berlin, al-Husseini said: “Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honour. God is with you.” *

* Ibid.

This same Mufti was the uncle and mentor of Yasser Arafat, the leader of the PLO.

Arafat began his career working for the Mufti after the war and would continue to praise him as late as 2002. *

* https:// worldfuturefund.org/ wffmaster/ reading/ Total/ hitler.mufti.htm

Now some Palestinian supporters try to distance themselves from al-Husseini because of his Nazi links.

They are not anti-Semitic they claim, just anti-Zionists. But look at these placards.

THE STATE OF ISRAEL

Following UN Resolution181 (calling for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states) David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948.

Resolution 181 was rejected by the local Arab population and the Arab States, who declared their intention of preventing the creation of the Jewish State by all means.

A wave of violent attacks was launched against the Jewish population and when Israel declared its independence, five Arab armies (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) invaded the new state the same night, seeking its annihilation.

Israel prevailed in what came to be known as its War of Independence, but the war bore a heavy cost: 1% of the total population died in the war. * * https:// mfa.gov.il/ Jubilee-years/ Pages/ 1947-UN-General-Assembly-Resolution-181- The-international-community-says-Yes-to- the-establishment-of-the-State-of-Israel.aspx

At war's end, Egypt had control of the Gaza Strip and Jordan annexed the West Bank. Neither saw fit to establish a Palestinian state in the territory they were to control for 19 years until the Six Day War of 1967. *

Some 800,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries, finding refuge and a new home in Israel. *

* Ibid.

The Arab population of the Mandate territory also suffered as a result of the Arab refusal to accept the partition plan. Some 700,000 heeded their leaders' calls to flee or left after being caught up in the fighting.

The large numbers who stayed in Israel became full citizens, with equal rights, while their brethren were kept by their Arab hosts in perpetual refugee status to serve as pawns in the political struggle against Israel. *

* Ibid.

US SUPPORT OF ISRAEL

US President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day Ben-Gurion announced it - the first country to do so.

Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign aid: until February 2022, the US had provided Israel US$150 billion (non-inflation-adjusted) in bilateral assistance. *

* https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Israel%E2%80%93 United_States_relations

PALESTINIAN OBJECTIVES TODAY

At a mosque in Sudan in 2007, the Acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Sheik Ahmad Bahr said:

… you will be victorious, while America and Israel will be annihilated, Allah willing… They are cowards, who are eager for life, while we are eager for death for the sake of Allah…Oh Allah, vanquish the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, vanquish the Americans and their supporters. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one. *

* SOURCE: MEMRI TV

THE MAGOG ATTACK ON ISRAEL

Ezekiel 38-39 predicts an end-time alliance of nations who attack Israel.

Timing: This takes place either:

At the start of the Tribulation. (In Ezekiel, it takes 7 months to bury the dead.)

At the end of the Tribulation. (If it is the same as Armageddon.)

The alliance is headed by Magog (Russia).

Ezek 38:15-16 (NIV) You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you … a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land.

THE MUSLIM ALLIES OF MAGOG

Ezek 38:5-6 (NIV) Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops…

Russia is joined by Muslim nations who hate Israel:

Persia: Iran

Put: Libya

Cush: Sudan (or Ethiopia)

Beth Togarmah: Turkey

God promised Abraham’s descendants land. Today the land includes Israel although the boundaries actually incorporates all the land extending from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River.

Gen 15:18 (ESV) On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates …”

3) LAND

Currently, the Jews only occupy part of the land that God had promised to them. But some day - when Christ rules in the Millennial kingdom based in Jerusalem - God will give them all of the land that he promised.

Because of this, Israel has a God-given right to their land, a right to be a nation, and a right to defend themselves.

If we don’t believe God keeps his promises to Israel, how can Christians be sure that God’s promises to us will be fulfilled?

The pro-Palestinian argument is that Israelis are actually European Jews who trumped up the idea of an Israeli identity in order to steal land, but who actually belong in Europe and need to go back.

Israelis are in Israel, and not in Europe, mainly because Europe spent centuries violently rejecting them for not being European. They had little choice but to adopt a distinct national identity, which they began doing in the 1800s. This became known as the Zionist movement.

In 1946, the land was NOT Palestinian but British.

Palestinians rejected this UN partition plan in favour of war.

Green areas were occupied by Jordan & Egypt, not “Palestine”

Green areas are the first-ever Palestinian-ruled areas – created by Israel.

Graphical overview of Jerusalem's historical periods

SOURCE: https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Timeline_of_Jerusalem

Graphical overview of Jerusalem's historical periods

Graphical overview of Jerusalem's historical periods

At no time did the land of Israel belong to a people group called the Palestinians.

SO WHERE DID THE NAME “PALESTINE” COME FROM?

In the early 2nd century the Emperor Hadrian decided to build a new Roman city called Colonia Aelia Capitolina on the ruins of Jerusalem.

When a Jewish revolt broke out because of Hadrian’s attempted Hellenization of Judea, Roman armies were sent to crush the resistance. Bar Kokhba, a man hailed as Messiah, was the leader of the resistance.

Roman losses were heavy but Hadrian’s army eventually crushed the rebellion in AD 135, leaving some 580,000 Jews dead.

After the war, Hadrian continued his persecution of Jews and defiantly erected a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on the Temple site. In an act of contempt, he also attempted to erase the memory of Judea by renaming the province Syria Palaestina.

This is the origin of the term “Palestine” and was a deliberate ploy to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel by naming it after their old enemies - the Philistines.

Did the modern Palestinians come from the Philistines?

No! A groundbreaking new study of DNA taken from the bones of ancient residents of the coastal city of Ashkelon suggests that Philistines came from Southern Europe. After two centuries, however, the European genetic markers were dwarfed by the Levantine gene pool, suggesting intensive intermarriage. The Philistine culture and peoplehood remained distinct from other local communities for six centuries.*

* https:// timesofisrael.com/ know-thine-enemy-dna-study-solves-ancient-riddle-of-origins-of-the-philistines

A member of the Leon Levy Expedition’s physical anthropology team documents a 10th – 9th century BC burial in Ashkelon’s Philistine cemetery. Photo: ©Melissa Aja/ Leon Levy Expedition

So the Philistines - the “sea people” from the Aegean (possibly Cyprus) - were more closely related to the Greeks and with no connection ethnically, linguistically, or historically with Arabia.

In the 12th century BC, they conquered a small pocket of land on the southern Mediterranean coastal plain between modern Tel Aviv and Gaza. They were the Biblical enemies of Israel with the most infamous Philistines being Goliath and Delilah.

So who are the modern Palestinians?

They are ethnically Arab, as are many other Middle Easterners. Before 1964 the modern Palestinians were simply known as Arabs.

Historian James L. Gelvin (an American scholar of Middle Eastern history) argues that Palestinian nationalism was a direct reaction to Zionism.

In the 1947 UN Partition Plan, you don’t even find the term “Palestinians.” It refer to “the “Jewish population” and “the Arab population.”

THE OTTOMANS

The British never colonized the land from the Arabs.

In 1517, the Ottoman Empire conquered Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine from the Mamluks.

From 1517 to 1917, what is today Israel, along with much of the Middle East, was ruled by the Ottoman Turks.

Turks are not Arabs! They are a Japhetic race, not Semitic.

Allenby entering Jerusalem on foot in 1917 to show respect for the holy place

During World War 1 (1914–18), the British Empire’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force under General Edmund Allenby drove the Turks out of the Levant during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.

As an ally of Germany, the Turkish Ottoman empire was defeated by the Allied Powers in World War 1 and this resulted in the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire.

** https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Mandatory_Palestine

All the Arab nations were created from the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, following its defeat by the Allies in WW1.

In the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence the British had agreed to honour Arab independence if they revolted against the Ottomans, while at the same time the Balfour Declaration of 1917, promised British support for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine.

Let’s put things in perspective. Can you find Waldo? The blue strip of land is Israel (smaller in area then the Kruger National Park).

BRITISH MANDATE

At the war’s end the British and French set up a joint “Occupied Enemy Territory Administration” in what had been Ottoman Southern Syria. *

The land west of the Jordan River, known as Palestine, was under direct British administration from 1920 until 1948. *

The British mandate included the land east of the Jordan River, known as Transjordan. In 1928, Britain officially provided King Abdullah with full autonomy over this area.

BRITISH MANDATE

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, used the Western Wall as a focal point for his anti-Zionist campaigns. He incited Muslims by proclaiming the Wall a holy Muslim site which Jews were trying to seize. *

Muslim riots in 1929 against Jewish worshipers at the Wall were instigated by the claim that Jewish prayer endangered the mosques holy to Islam. *

* SOURCE: CAMERA - Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

JORDANIAN CONTROL

After the 1948 War of Independence, Jerusalem became a divided city. Israel only gained control of West Jerusalem, the newer Jewish Section of the city. The Old City of Jerusalem, the Biblical city, fell into the hands of Jordan. Jordan subsequently refused Jews access to their holy sites (including the Temple Mount and Western Wall) in violation of the Armistice Agreement.

During Jordan’s 19-year occupation of eastern Jerusalem (1948-1967), Jewish holy places were desecrated, vandalized and destroyed. Christian churches were prohibited from buying property in Jerusalem and Christian religious organizations were restricted from owning property near Holy places. *

* Ibid.

On 7 June 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israeli forces took control of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. Chief Military Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, led the soldiers in religious celebrations on the Temple Mount and at the Western Wall.

Rabbi Shlomo Goren at the Western Wall in 1967 shortly after the liberation of Jerusalem.

Many Jews saw the capture of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as an event with messianic significance, while many Christians recalled the words Jesus spoke:

They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

TIMES OF THE GENTILES

Jesus foresaw the church age where the whole world had the gospel preached to them:

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14)

What will signal the end of the time of the Gentiles?

“Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)

Premillennial Christians view see the retaking of the Old City of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War as a significant milestone, which will ultimately usher the Second Coming of Jesus to establish his millennial kingdom on earth.

ALL NATIONS WILL ULTIMATELY TURN AGAINST ISRAEL

Scripture predicts that the nations of the world will turn against Israel

Zechariah 12:3 On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.

GOD DEFENDS HIS PEOPLE

But at the second coming of Christ (the second Advent) God will rise up to defend his people when the world turns against them.

Zechariah 14:2-4 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped … Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west …

At Armageddon, Jesus will defeat the nations gathering against Jerusalem.

GOD DEFENDS HIS PEOPLE

CHRIST JUDGES THE NATIONS WHO HATE ISRAEL

Joel 3:1-2 “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land …

SHOULD CHRISTIANS SUPPORT ISRAEL OR NOT?

Zechariah 2:8 For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye.

God says to those nations who will oppose Israel in the end times:

CONCLUSION

The Bible teaches that God loves both Jews and Gentiles (John 3:16). But God does have a special love and plan for his chosen people. And his covenant with Abraham is an everlasting covenant – which he still upholds today.




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