“I will bless those who bless you And curse him that curses you; And all the families of the earth Shall bless themselves by you.” Genesis 12:3 (The Israel Bible™)
When Israel-loving Christians meet with Jews, Genesis 12:3 is frequently mentioned. To gain a deeper understanding of that verse, and of the necessity for Christians to bless Israel, Breaking Israel News interviewed four prominent Christian leaders whose ministries focus on Israel.
In their own way, each of the four leaders we spoke with connected Christian responsibility to bless Israel with the redemptive process at the End of Days.
For more than 25 years, Dean Bye of Return Ministries has been involved in “education and facilitating projects related to the ‘return and restoration of Israel’ for the international Church community.”
His work inspires him to challenge other Christians to follow in his footsteps. As he explained to Breaking Israel News, “It is vital that a Christian understand and cooperate with the covenants made with Israel, which are foundational to the redemptive plans of God for the whole earth.”
Bye wants Christians to know that they stand to benefit personally from blessing Israel. He elaborated. “When a Christian, motivated from a love of God, incorporates a lifestyle that blesses Israel, as instructed in Genesis 12:3, they can believe [in] the greater blessings of God in their own life, family, church and nation.
“As I trust and believe in the power of the law of gravity, so do I trust and believe in God’s covenant made with Abraham that determines blessing or curses for family, church and even a nation.”
Beyond the benefits to an individual Christian, Bye asserted that “Historically, it has been seen ever so clearly. So goes the way of a nation determined by how that nation has dealt with God’s people and land.”
“All my life, I have loved the Jewish people and felt an affinity with them. My wonderful parents taught me the Bible and to revere the Jewish people. Later, when God called me to the television ministry, I had an unforgettable epic dream in which I saw the United Nations angry at Israel, but also I saw the Shechinah glory of God on Mt. Zion, and I heard a voice say to me that I must stand with Israel when all the nations of the world turn against Israel.
“I have always had a great desire to support Israel because I know that the Bible teaches that eventually, Israel will become the head and not the tail. Meanwhile, we’re in a spiritual battle. One of my favorite prayers to God is from Psalms.
Be mindful of me, Hashem, when You favor Your people; take note of me when You deliver them, Psalms 106:4
Darg pointed out to Breaking Israel News that she has already been blessed by her personal love for Israel. “God has given me a supernatural love for the land and all its peoples.
I bless Israel not only because it is the right thing to do, but simply because Israel and the Jewish people are a top priority in my life. We all know that Genesis 12:3 promises that we will be blessed for blessing Israel, and my continually blessed life is a testimony to the validity of that Bible promise. My children have also been singularly blessed.
“Christianity would have no genesis without the Jewish people and the Bible. I owe Israel gratitude and service. I’m always watching on the walls of Jerusalem and guarding God’s holy purposes in prayer!
“Increasingly atheists, anarchists and the media rebel against a holy God; they accuse the God of the Bible and the Jewish people of being cruel and unfair. As Bible believers and ambassadors of truth, evangelical Christians must continually correct slanders against God and the Jewish people.”
Ah, Those who call evil good And good evil; Who present darkness as light And light as darkness; Who present bitter as sweet And sweet as bitter! Isaiah 5:20
Darg concluded her comments by connecting Christian support for Israel with the End of Days. “It is incumbent upon all believers to stand with God’s people. It always shocks me to hear a so-called Christian minister preaching Replacement Theology and speaking anti-Zionist sentiments. Such misguided souls are really missing out big time on the euphoria of End Time prophetic events.”
Merla Watson, along with her husband Merv, co-founded the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, as well as the Feast of Tabernacles celebration for thousands of Christians who come to Israel for Sukkot. The Watsons have been living in Israel for 40 years.
She implores Christians to take the obligation to bless Israel seriously, in part to make up for millennia of Christian antisemitism. “First of all, you need to know that if you are not serious in your support of Israel, if it’s just sentimental, don’t waste your time! It requires your utmost perseverance and love at all times! How are we to reach out to this precious suffering people when we represent Christians over the centuries who caused such needless bloodshed of the Jewish people?”
Watson traces her love for the Jewish people to a childhood memory of witnessing the Holocaust from a photo in her father’s newspaper. Her father responded to her curiosity by saying, “This is what the world is doing to God’s chosen people, and the world will pay for it!”
Watson said, “At that precise moment, a seed was planted in my heart.”
In 1970, Watson visited Israel for the first time. As the plane touched down, her life was changed. “I was not prepared for my reaction. I am definitely not a crier, but when that plane landed at the Tel Aviv airport, I was sobbing uncontrollably. My husband asked, “What’s the matter with you?’ I blurted out, ‘I only know I’m coming home!’ And from that day to this, my top concern in life has been to bless and encourage this extremely gifted people.”
The Watsons live just outside of Jerusalem and they raised their children here. She believes that their presence in the Land, with all of its challenges, is her family’s unique way of blessing Israel.
“Although it’s been tough economically to live here and to be allowed to do so, not being Jewish ourselves, we would not want to live anywhere else! We have had many personal trials and challenges in the 40 years we have been here, but we recognize the fact that if we are to have anything whatsoever to offer these dear people, we ourselves must also experience tragedy and sorrow.”
Watson concluded by summarizing the reward of her family’s life in Israel, and the price she is willing to pay for the blessing. “It is entirely possible that one day we may even have to offer our very life’s blood for the existence of the Jewish people! We are here now on the front lines of prophetic fulfillment. What could be more exciting than that?”
Tommy Waller, President and Founder of HaYovel, an organization that brings Christians to Israel to support Jewish farmers, takes a wide angle view of the verse from Genesis. “it’s the first verse that really brings the idea that this is not just about Israel, it’s not just about the Jewish people. It’s about the whole world.
“The key for me in understanding the blessing is looking on to the curse. it seems to me that when we’re looking at Israel and wanting to bless Israel, first of all we can’t take what God has given and established lightly. This promise is not something that the world can take lightly. It’s going to have ramifications. There is going to be serious consequence for not blessing, not standing [with Israel].
“Not to care about Israel is to curse it,” Waller asserted.
“As I think about that verse, I think about our responsibility. What is it?
“Isaiah 52 says how beautiful are the feet of the nations who come and speak this good news. What is this good news? Christians would think good news is something else. But the good news according to this definition here is to say to Zion that your God reigns – to recognize the God of Israel, the God of Zion.
Waller focused his comments on the End of Days, when God will reward those from the nations who stood with Israel and blessed her.
“The prophet continues and says something very beautiful that, as a result of this agreement with Israel, we’re all going to start singing together.”
“It seems to me it’s all going to culminate, as in Isaiah 56, when it talks about the nations coming together.”
Happy is the man who does this, The man who holds fast to it: Who keeps the Shabbat and does not profane it, And stays his hand from doing any evil. Isaiah 56:2
“Keeping Shabbat even together, all the nations. Isaiah 56 says it’s going to happen. We’re going to keep Shabbat with the Nation of Israel. We’re actually going to worship in the Holy Temple together. Isaiah emphatically says [so].”
I will bring them to My sacred mount And let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices Shall be welcome on My mizbayach; For My House shall be called A house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:7
“I’m excited about that. And there are a lot of Christians waking up to that reality of joining the Jewish people. Thank God, the Jewish people held on to the promise so that all the families of the earth could be blessed and so all of us can worship together and sing together, amazingly.”
He ended his comments to Breaking Israel News with a prayerful vision, “I look forward to that day when we’re all singing together and worshiping God in Jerusalem. I know that gives me great hope and great excitement. I’m so looking forward to the families of the earth who have been so destroyed by the onslaught of this anti-Israel rhetoric and all the things that God wants to establish on the earth, may it be established in our day.”