I received a telephone call from the godly wife of a prominent minister in Southern California. She and her husband are amongst the foremost promoters of love and appreciation for the Jewish people. She had a concern and when I listened to her, it became my concern. She told me of how certain persons and agencies were proposing a formula by which people hoped to receive material gain for themselves and their families. Their proposal might be called the Bless Israel” formula. It was simple: Do what you can to bless Israel materially and God will likewise bless you in a material manner.
Christians were told that if they would invest in certain Israeli stocks and bonds, God would prosper them—not necessarily from the stocks or bonds they bought—but in some other way. If they bought Israeli goods, gave money to Israeli charities, etc., God would return what they gave manifold.
The proposal was presented as a Scripture-based principle, yet it overlooks the passage from which it was drawn:
Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
What we must see from the passage is that the blessing to all the families of the earth was not something that you could put in the bank or in the living room. No, the blessings that God promises to those who bless Israel are spiritual blessings. The greatest blessing of all that came through this promise is the blessing of the Messiah who came through the Jewish people to be the Savior of the nations.
I appreciate those who desire to give to Israeli charities, and I would not discourage anyone from doing so. But let me say that Jewish charities are well-organized. The Jewish people certainly welcome the help of others, but there is an underlying feeling that we should take responsibility to care for our own.
If you want to bless Israel God’s way, I urge you to see to it that Jews get the gospel. The greatest blessing in my life has been coming to know Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah. Orville Freestone blessed me by taking a risk and witnessing to me even though my underlying attitude was hostile unbelief. It was this Gentile family—father, son (both named Orville), wife and brother—who brought to me the blessing of belonging to the Jewish Messiah, Jesus. Through the years, I have been able to bless others the same way.