When God made His covenant with Abraham, He gave this promise: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse…I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 12: 3, and Genesis 22:17-18 (NIV)
In Old Testament times, the nations did witness God blessing Israel. They knew the God of Israel was true and powerful. 2 Chronicles 20:29 (NIV), “The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.” The Jews knew they were favored above all others. Amos 3:2 (NIV), “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth…” This special relationship created tension between Israel and other nations.
Before Jesus was crucified in 33 A.D., He cast off the Jews. Matthew 23:38, “Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.” The Jewish people entered a period of 1845 years of disfavor. So-called “Christian churches” brutally persecuted and killed the Jews. God took away His wall of special protection. The nations hated and persecuted these people.
But now the period of disfavor has ended. God has re-established Israel as a nation. Yet, He is causing the old animosity between Israel and the other nations to continue. Zechariah 12:2-3, 9 (ESV), “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples…On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples…”
Why? Because He is using the jealousy of the nations to gather them against Israel. Then the Almighty God will fight for Israel just as He did in olden days. “And all the nations of the earth will gather against it… And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” “Then the LORD will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past.” Zechariah 12:3, 9 and Zechariah 14:3.
During Christ’s reign, Israel will accept Jesus as their savior (Zechariah 12:10), and Jerusalem will become the capital of the world (Isaiah 2:2-3). All persecution will stop. Nations will humble themselves, be taught of the Jews, and bring their riches to them (Isaiah 60:10-12).