A reader writes:
Speaking of the sons of Abraham, God says, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” Mark, it is quite safe to say you’re under a curse with your views of Israel.
In case anyone is wondering, my views on Israel are that it is a secular nation-state like any other, with as much right to exist as Australia or France. It’s an ally and deserves to be treated as any other secular nation-state that is an ally, no more and no less. However, I don’t believe it to be divinely founded, nor to be immaculately conceived and preserved from all sin original and actual.
About that whole “promise to Abraham” thing. Here is Paul on that:
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9* So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith. 10* For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them.” 11* Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law; for “He who through faith is righteous shall live”; * 12* but the law does not rest on faith, for “He who does them shall live by them.” 13* Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree”– 14 that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15 To give a human example, brethren: no one annuls even a man’s will, * or adds to it, once it has been ratified. 16* Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many; but, referring to one, “And to your offspring,” which is Christ. (Galatians 3:8-16)
In short, the attempt to make that passage mean that anybody who fails to confess the sinless perfection of the secular state of Israel is “cursed” is complete and utter crap. The seed referred to is Christ, not the state of Israel. It is through him all nations are blessed. Those who curse him shall have the curse redound to them. This has nothing whatever to do with the secular nation-state of Israel.
That said, Scripture also says, “Bless those who curse you.” So to the reader who wrote to curse me:
The LORD bless you and keep you: The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
I forgive you for the sake of Christ, the seed of Abraham.