Ask a Christian why he or she loves and supports Israel and the Jewish people and the response will most likely be, “Genesis 12:3: Those who bless Israel, shall be blessed, and those who curse Israel shall be cursed.” It has almost become our mantra.
But is that the right answer?
Because if our love is supposed to be unconditional, then blessing Israel to get blessed has strings attached. It’s a way to get blessed, not be a blessing. Or avoid getting cursed. It’s a bit self-serving.
The fact is, the way many of us are using Genesis 12:3 is close to fetishism. It’s like Israel has become our good luck charm. Our rabbit’s foot. Caress it and it will bless you. Disrespect it and it will curse you.
Is that how we are to understand God’s promise to Abraham? Are we missing something here? I believe so. Centuries of Replacement Theology has left us with an “us” and “them” mentality due to the Jews prolonged state of disbelief regarding Messiah. We may no longer accept that the Church has displaced the Jews as God’s chosen ones, but we still see the Church and the Jews as two separate people of God. We reveal that mindset when we look at Israel’s restoration and say things like, “well, if God kept His promises to them, then we know He’ll keep His promises to us.” As if God has two different sets of promises and destinies for His people. Do not ALL the promises of God “have their yea and amen” in Yeshua? (2 Cor. 1:20)
So how then should believers, especially those not Jewish, treat Genesis 12:3?
If we look at the last part of the verse God spoke to Abraham, it says, “And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” That means all who are “in him,” that is in his seed, will be automatically blessed and be a blessing to others. But aren’t all New Covenant believers who are circumcised in heart “in him” – in Abraham’s chosen family? Absolutely. “For if you belong to [Israel’s] Messiah you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Gal. 3:29) And, “Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.” (Gal. 3:7). And again, “You brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise” (Gal. 4:28).
So if we are all included in the chosen line of Abraham’s family through faith in Yeshua, then we are already blessed, right? Right! “Those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer” (Galatians 3:9)
Our problem then is just plain unbelief. By all means we should bless the state of Israel and the Jews. But not to get something we already have! We should love and support them as family. Because that’s what families do. It is the nations who need to realize if they bless Israel (or us) they’ll get blessed. And warned if they curse Israel (or us), well, things will soon turn ugly for them.
That’s just the way it is.