“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
As the United States of America celebrates 241 years of liberty, grace and blessings today, we thought it would be insightful to look at the link between the Hebraic roots of the birth of the US and those of the nation of Israel.
These roots have led to Divine favor and an interdependence between the two nations that cannot be easily broken.
“Israel needs the US. And the US needs Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he welcomed US President Donald Trump to Israel in May of this year.
In fact, Israel is America’s largest benefactor of foreign aid and is slated to receive $38 billion between 2019–2028.
While most people understand that Israel needs the US to provide defense and political support, here we will take a brief tour of why the US cares so much about Israel, and even needs Israel—reasons that most politicians and pundits won’t admit publicly, yet they are acknowledged deep in their souls.
Israel Represents America’s DNA
The historical and spiritual DNA of Israel’s founding is inseparably linked to that of the United States of America.
From the moment the English Pilgrims, left the tyranny of their Pharaoh (England’s king), they saw themselves as the New Israelites. Crossing the Red Sea (Atlantic Ocean), they stepped off the Mayflower onto their Promised Land.
There at Plymouth Bay, they planned to build a New Zion set apart from any other nation, ruled only by the guidance of God’s Word as given to Moses and the Israelites.
Because of their quest to purify the faith from the Roman, Greek and Latin infiltrations of the Church, they became known as Puritans.
Those Puritans who also wanted to officially separate from the Church of England were called Separatists.
The Puritans who founded the American colonies took hold of God’s covenant with Moses and the early Israelites as if He had given it directly to themselves as the new Israelites.
“If we keep this covenant, we shall find that the God of Israel is among us, but if we deal falsely with our God, … we be consumed out of the good land wither we are going,” said John Winthrop, English Puritan lawyer and first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
So serious were their convictions that Scripture references are listed for 15 Capital offenses in the Connecticut Code of 1650 and the Massachusetts Code of 1660. And half of the New Haven Colony code referred to laws in the Tanakh (Old Testament), while only a few came from the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).
However, the Puritans’ ultra-literal approach to the Mosaic law without a true Jewish understanding in determining their applications led to extreme measures that would make many Jewish People cringe.
As one example, their efforts to purify the justice system led to the infamous witch hunts in Salem (a city name found in the Book of Genesis, derived from the Hebrew word Shalom or Peace).
Though a Jewish mindset in the Tanakh was sometimes missing from Puritan theology, the Hebrew language and internal references to Biblical figures became a staple of life.
Colonial leaders were often referred to as Moses and Joshua.
Boys were named Isaiah, Solomon, Benjamin, Levi and the like. Cities were named Hebron, Sharon, Bethany, Bethel. Mountains were christened Carmel, Nebo, Zion, and Olive.
And while universities were not offering Hebrew courses in England, they became a foundation of American higher education.
The first teacher of Hebrew at an American university was a “converted” Jew named Judah Monis, whom people simply referred to as “Rabbi.”
Monis taught at Harvard, established in 1636 as a Puritan seminary. Harvard as well as Dartmouth, Yale, King’s College, and many more required the study of Hebrew, since it was considered the mother of all tongues and one could not rightly divide the Word of God, especially as a clergyman, without studying it.
Until the early 1800s, Harvard commencement ceremonies even included a speech in Hebrew, as did Yale and other universities.
Bible education didn’t start at college, however. Parents sent their children to public grade schools, expecting them to learn Scripture as part of their reading lessons. And many of these schools also taught Hebrew. (The Hebrew Impact on Western Civilization, by Dagobert D. Runes)
The US Needs Israel to Remind Her to Stay Humble
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15)
It would be the fourth and fifth generations of the first Pilgrims who entered the war for freedom. And they did so in a woefully unprepared Continental Army that lacked proper training, equipment, and resources to adequately fight the mighty British military.
But God was with them.
At the final battle at Yorktown, for instance, 17,000 French and American troops suddenly surrounded British General Cornwallis, pushing him against the sea. On October 19, 1781, he surrendered and the Revolutionary War was effectively over.
“Who but God could have ordained the critical arrival of the Gallic (French) fleet, so as to … assist … in the siege … of Yorktown?” wrote Yale President Ezra Stiles on May 8, 1783. (WND)
And so it was for Israel as it entered its Promised Land under the leadership of Moses’ servant, Joshua:
“Joshua captured all these kings and their lands at one time, because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.” (Joshua 10:42)
While much controversy exists over the spiritual beliefs of General George Washington, we do know where he placed his confidence in the many victories of the Revolution.
In a letter to William Gordon in March of 1781, Washington said that Providence (as he often called the Divine Creator God) “has at times been my only dependence, for all other resources seemed to have failed us.” (WND)
Benjamin Franklin identified the colonial struggle for freedom with Israel’s struggle so intensely that he tried to keep that story alive from generation to generation in his design of a national seal.
His handwritten description of his proposed seal reads:
Pharaoh sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his head and a Sword in his hand, passing through the divided Waters of the Red Sea in Pursuit of the Israelites: Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Cloud, expressive of the divine Presence and Command, beaming on Moses who stands on the shore and extending his hand over the Sea causes it to overwhelm Pharaoh.
Motto: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”
The very presence of a strong Israel today in such a hostile region reminds us all that God is ultimately in control, and His control should engender our humility.
God honors humility and abhors pride, as stated in the Book of Proverbs:
“The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)
It was Pharaoh’s pride that God defeated so that His people could be free to worship Him in the land He set aside for them.
The Lord confronted Pharaoh, saying:
“How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, so that they may worship Me.” (Exodus 10:3)
Pharaoh refused God’s direction to humble himself, leaving God to deal with his pride by sending a total of 10 plagues, including the death of Pharaoh’s own son.
May our leaders continue to stay in God’s favor by never forgetting to acknowledge that God is in control and that our victories of liberty in Israel and America belong only to Him.
The US Needs Israel So That It Will Stay Blessed
“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
One can argue that God’s purpose in blessing the United States with wealth and worldwide influence is so that by the time He was ready to rebirth Israel in 1948, the US would use those resources to bless her.
And one can argue that God has strategically placed American presidents in position at key moments in history to make His plan a reality.
Against the advice of most of his State Department and delegation at the UN, who wanted to stay neutral in the region so as not to offend the Arabs, on May 14, 1948, the Baptist-raised US President Harry Truman became the first world leader to acknowledge the new State of Israel.
And he was re-elected the following year.
Though France provided Israel with much of its offensive military equipment in her formative years, in 1968 US President Lyndon Johnson and Congress picked up the baton.
Johnson was the first US president to approve the sale of American fighter jets to Israel, and that set a precedent for supporting Israel in offensive arms transfers ever since.
Why did Johnson switch American policy from staying militarily neutral in the Middle East to supporting Israel with offensive weapons?
“When Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin asked Johnson why the United States supports Israel when there are 80 million Arabs and only three million Israelis, the President replied simply: ‘Because it is right.’” (Jewish Virtual Library)
In 1973, during a critical point in the Lebanon War, when it seemed Israel would not survive, President Richard Nixon defied his cabinet and ordered massive military transfers to Israel. Israel survived.
In 1985, President Ronald Reagan signed its first Free Trade Agreement with any nation—Israel.
Since 2007, the US has sent nearly $30 billion in military grants to Israel. And a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the US was signed last year that will give her $5 billion in missile defense aid and $33 billion in grants for defense purchases between 2019–2028.
Why? One can continue to argue that in order for the US to stay blessed, it needs to continue sharing its wealth, military might, and political influence in support of Israel or else those blessings will be picked up by some other nation who is willing to do so.
Included in those blessings of wealth and resources for the US are highly strategic and practical benefits for supporting Israel, as well.
The US Needs Israel for Regional Stability
Israel allows the US to have influence in the Middle East that would otherwise go to Russia and radical Islamic forces.
Many nations in the Middle East have sought US intervention and favor in their own interactions with Israel. For example, Egypt moved away from an alliance with Russia in the early 1970s in favor of aligning with the US.
Some years later, the US influenced Egypt to enter a peace agreement with Israel that has stayed in force to this day.
Likewise, the US has made arms agreements with Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, which give the US a significant influence and presence in the region.
However, Russia has recently established permanent military bases in Syria and is forging a big brother alliance with Iran, which gives us a glimpse into what the region would look like without American intervention: an entire continent aligned not only with radical anti-American Islamic forces, but also the traditionally anti-American regime of Russia.
The US Needs Israel to Protect Christian and Jewish Holy Sites
Without Israel, Arab nations would successfully rewrite history by erasing the historical connection of the Jewish People to the Holy Land.
We see this today as Arab leaders continue to win support at the UN and world forums for their claim to the Temple Mount and Western Wall, as well as all of Jerusalem.
Israel, on the other hand, allows archaeologists to discover the truth about Israel’s history under scientifically-controlled conditions that prove the validity and accuracy of the Hebrew Scriptures.
“In our excavations, we are watching the ancient city rise again,” said AnaRina Heymann, Outreach Coordinator for the City of David, “This city is being liberated from her millennia-old prison through the archaeological excavations.” (Breaking Israel News)
The US Needs Israel for Her Ingenuity
“Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.” (Genesis 18:18)
The primary exports of Israel are software and technology products, but also the invaluable ingenuity behind these products.
The fact that 22% of all Nobel prizes have gone to Jews (who comprise 0.2% of the world’s population) indicates what Israel is capable of producing and innovating on behalf of the world when given the freedom to do so.
According to AIPAC, American’s pro-Israel lobby, Israel contains “the most scientists, technicians, start-ups, and published scientific papers per capita in the world.”
The US recognized Israel’s potential in 1972 when it started the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) with a $30 million endowment that has since funded $600 million in research and development of practical innovations that save lives and improve living conditions throughout the world.
To date, thirty US states have signed their own bilateral agreements with Israel to pursue advances in business, technology, agriculture and homeland security.
And over 200 US companies have locations in Israel. Intel, Google, and Motorola are among the top American business investors, establishing research and development centers throughout the start-up nation.
In a land mass where oil dominates natural resources and exports, tiny Israel stands uniquely apart in that its primary export is technology and its resource are the people behind the innovations, as this CIA Factbook map shows:
There is one more important reason that the US as a primarily Christian nation needs Israel.
US Believers Need Israel to Display the Promise-Keeping Power of God to the World
“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.” (Micah 7:18)
Many people and church leaders believe that all of God’s promises to Israel of a geographical and spiritual restoration have been taken away from the Jewish People and transferred to the Body of Messiah. But we can clearly see His promises to the Jewish People being fulfilled throughout Israel today, and they will continue to do so until Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) returns.
Simply put, if God had indeed taken away the promises of Israel’s restoration to the land forever, He would have kept the Jewish People in a permanent status of “scattered.”
Man cannot override God.
“‘With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,’ says the Lord, your Redeemer. ‘This is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, Who has mercy on you.” (Isaiah 54:8–10)
God has kept His promises to Israel of both exile and restoration.
The miraculous providences that have birthed and sustained the modern State of Israel are as evident as those of the United States of America. But God did not do this work completely alone.
He blessed people and nations with the ability to partner with Him in this end-time move of God.
Today, may both of our nations reflect on this truth that George Washington wrote two years after the Revolution ended:
“I am sure that there never was a people who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency which was so often manifested during the Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.”