Our Scriptural Calling
From the beginning, the founders of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem received a clear mandate from Scripture to be a ‘ministry of comfort’ to Israel and the Jewish people, based on Isaiah 40:1-2.
Isaiah was one of the great Hebrew prophets sent to warn the nation of Israel of the looming judgment and exile ahead due to their sin and rebellion. Yet Isaiah always left his people with the hope of return, knowing that one day a faithful, unchanging God surely would bring them back to the Land promised to Abraham as an “everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8). This promised regathering is a recurring theme in Isaiah chapters 40 to 66, and thus this portion of Scripture is often referred to as the “Isaiah of Comfort”.
Isaiah chapter 40 begins with a divine charge to a Gentile people who follow the God of Israel to go and “comfort” the Jewish people with the message that their time of exile from Jerusalem and hard service among the nations is at an end. Many Christians today can readily identify with this biblical mandate, firstly because we have witnessed in modern times the remarkable Ingathering of the Jewish people back to their ancient homeland as promised by God. We also acknowledge with deep regret that our Christian forbearers often compounded Jewish suffering in exile down through the centuries, motivating us to now seek to heal the many wounds inflicted in the name of Christ.
These were Christians who believed God had rejected the Jews for rejecting Jesus, because that is what they would have done. But the Scriptures describe Him as totally faithful and unchanging, such that “it is impossible for God to lie” (Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 6:18). This immutable nature of God’s character is not an easy concept for humans to grasp, because we are fallible and view God as being much like us. Yet God is totally reliable and trustworthy, and our support for Israel today is anchored in the absolute faithfulness of God to always keep His promises, including those He made to Israel.
Thus, we seek to give real meaning and expression to the biblical injunction to “comfort” Israel (Isaiah 40:1-2). Elsewhere in Scripture, we are directed to “bless” Israel (Genesis 12:3), and to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul also encourages Gentile Christians to “show mercy” to the Jewish people (Romans 11:31-32), adding that we are indebted to them for all the spiritual blessings we have received through Israel (Romans 15:26-27). So you are invited to join with us in our biblical calling to comfort Israel.