Yes, God has a plan for Israel, and His way shall prevail. The Oslo Peace Accord fell apart. The current Quartet Road Map of the European Union, United States, United Nations and Russia will eventually fail as well. Why? Because God has a road map direct from the council of His Word, and His Word shall prevail.
Speaking through the prophet Isaiah, God said, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). The Word of God will accomplish all that God desires and will succeed completely in every way He intended. God is not sitting in heaven wringing His hands, in a deep sweat from the stress and worry of the Middle East conflicts. He is not searching for a politician who can bring peace. He is the Deliverer and the Prince of Peace!
God has a road map for Israel’s future, and He is looking for people on Earth who will come into agreement with His plan. Will you be one who will come into agreement with God in heaven about Israel’s future?
The Countdown to Zechariah Twelve
In January of 2004, the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night and said, Watchman, tell me, what do you see? I looked up and in a visionary experience saw a clock that was not there in the natural, hanging on the bedroom wall. The time on the clock read 11:53 p.m. and above the 12 were the letters “Zech.” The Holy Spirit then said, Watchman, tell me, what do you hear? Then suddenly the external, audible voice of the Lord came: It is the countdown to Zechariah 12.
I rested in the presence of God for a while and did not move until His manifest presence withdrew. Then I turned on the light and read Zechariah 12. It is the most amazing chapter, all about a city named Jerusalem. Let’s read a portion of it together:
The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundations of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” . . .
“In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. And… I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”
Zechariah 12:1–3, 8–10
The countdown to Zechariah 12 is on. I am not saying this will happen in the next seven minutes, seven years or seventy years. What I do know is that God’s prophetic clock is moving toward a kairos moment when God’s plan for Jerusalem will be consummated. This is the final countdown!
God has a road map, and it points toward Zechariah 12:10. It is easy to identify with Zechariah 12:3 as we hear about the nations coming against Jerusalem. But read further and you will see that Zechariah 12:10 declares that God will pour out the Spirit of grace and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and they will look upon the One whom they pierced and will mourn. Let’s arise and pray for Israel’s destiny!
Romans 11 through Isaiah 53
Since that revelatory encounter, I have pondered on the time shown on the clock—11:53. Perhaps it is something like this: Romans 11 will be fulfilled through Isaiah 53. Romans 11—“all Israel will be saved”—will be fulfilled by a revelation of the Messiah in Isaiah 53.
Romans 11:12 speaks of how the Jews’ rejection of their Messiah has brought salvation to the Gentiles. Paul says, “[If] their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!” Romans 11:15 goes on to say, “For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
What do you think “life from the dead” looks like? The Father will reward His Son, the Messiah, for His sufferings. The salvation of Israel is a key component of that reward, and the Father will not do without it. If we are going to align ourselves with the God of Israel, we are going to have to align ourselves with His covenants and His prophetic promises of the salvation of the Jews and the restoration of Jerusalem.
It is not difficult to find political analysts, historians, reporters and even theologians ready to explain their theories and share commentary on Israel’s current state of affairs. But despite the abundance of opinions and strong feelings, the future of Israel still remains a mystery to most of the world. Paul, the apostle and bond slave of the Lord Jesus Christ, did not want believers to be uninformed of this mystery or to be wise in their own estimation concerning Israel (see Romans 11:25). The Holy Spirit through Paul made a number of very clear points in Romans 11.
Despite what it may look like, Israel has not fallen so far from God that they can never return. In fact, their falling away was ordained by God as a measure of grace to us, the Gentiles. Paul said it this way: “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Galatians 3:14, NIV).
The Gentiles are being embraced by the Jewish Messiah in part to make Jews jealous (see Romans 11:11). Gentiles are not “natural branches” on God’s family tree, but rather “wild olive shoots” who must recognize that they have been grafted in. God’s plan is to graft the “natural branches” into their own olive tree once again (see Romans 11:24), resulting in the reality that “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).
We must not be wise in our own estimation when it comes to Israel or be uninformed of this mystery. Romans 11:25 says that “A partial hardening has happened to Israel until—”
Until what? Maybe you have read this verse many times. Have you realized that the word until is the key word in this passage? “A partial hardening has happened to Israel until—” That means there is a point in time when the hardening will be removed. That time of hardening will end when “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25).
What does the fullness of the Gentiles look like? Perhaps it deals in part with the day Jerusalem was released from Gentile control and restored to Israeli rule in 1967. But knowing the God that we serve, this probably does not deal only with land but with hearts as well.
What Gentile people group would, in the minds of most people, be the most unlikely to come to faith in the Jewish Messiah? Would it not be the Islamic people? What if the Holy Spirit moved powerfully upon a remnant of the Islamic people and they turned away from their false god to serve the Jewish Messiah? What if a movement of God fell upon them with the signs and wonders of an apostolic dimension, and they were grafted in as wild olive shoots to the Master’s tree? Talk about pricking the Jewish heart to jealousy!
What I know for sure is that God has a road map, and His will shall be done.
God’s Plan Includes You
The story of Israel is all about a God who keeps His promises. In my lifetime, I have seen a nation born in one day, restored never to be plucked out again. From this point of restoration, God’s road map calls for a body of believers, with the spirit of Mordecai and Esther, to carry God’s heart for such a time as this.
The road leads to Romans 11, and it goes through Isaiah 53. It is the salvation of all Israel through the revelation of their suffering Servant. When Israel is grafted back in, it will be nothing less than life from the dead. When we labor for Israel, we are laboring for the greatest worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit that there has ever been.