Is modern day Israel God’s chosen people?
Flags are very important for national identity because they symbolise the country it represents. It carries meaning and purpose. For Israel, the flag has a blue star that is often referred to as the star of David. In Judaism it is often called the Magen David, which means the “shield of David” in Hebrew. In Jewish legend, it was believed that David, as a teen, fought King Nimrod. David’s shield had two interlocking triangles and at one point the battle became intense that the two triangles fused together. The star was not meant to have any religious significance but it represents the nationalistic beliefs of the Jewish people. I was curious to explore the origins of this star of David because many Christians around the world place this symbol in their homes and churches. There are Christians who pledge their support to this flag because they see the nation of Israel as the special people mentioned in the Bible.
The first thing I realize is that the origins of the star of David is unclear. But one thing is very clear is that it did not originate from the Bible. Besides the legend of David’s battle with Nimrod, legends also associate the star with King Solomon. According to legends developed mainly by ancient Arabic writers, the star of David was actually the seal of Solomon worn as a signet ring by Solomon. This ring was magical and it gave Solomon the power to command demons, spirits or to speak with animals. Apparently Solomon used the star in his seal as a symbol of protection and power when he fell away from God and built altars to and worshipped false gods, such as Ashtoreh and Remphran (1 Kings 11).
The star of David cannot be found in any rabbinical literature until the middle ages when the Kabbalists (Jewish mystics) began to associate the symbol with deeper spiritual meaning. It was seen as an amulet or talisman with magical or occultic powers. Kabbalists saw the six points on the star as representing God’s absolute rule over the universe in all six directions: north, south, east, west, up and down. They also believed that the triangles represented humanity’s dual nature of good and evil and that the star could be used as protection against evil spirits.
Gradually it became fused as part of Jewish culture and it became a favourite architectural decoration on Jewish buildings. During World War II, Hitler forced Jews to wear a yellow Star of David as a “badge of shame.”
The star of David was reclaimed by the Zionist movement and it represented their fight for nationhood. When Israel was finally established as a nation, the star was placed on their flag. The flag of Israel is a white banner with two horizontal blue lines that have a blue Star of David in the center.
Whilst I strongly support the right for Israel to exist as a nation, and I pray for them and love them in the same way as I pray for and love the different nations of the world, I do not believe the present nation of Israel represents the chosen people of God in the Bible. They are a nation with a strong nationalistic passion like other nations of the world. Whilst I believe that the Jews do have a special place in God’s heart, the nation of Israel occupies the same place in God’s heart as all the nations of the world. God’s desire is that the gospel will be preached in this nation as well as in Palestine, the Middle East, and all the nations of the world.
The flag does not represent God’s people but has its origins in non-biblical spirituality and now represents the right for Israel to exist in the Middle East with Palestine and other Arab nations. It does not have any special or divine rights because the nation of Israel is not the biblical Israel. For me biblical Israel is now the universal people of God who have accepted the Messiah and have become God’s chosen and special people, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. (1 Peter 2:9). Jesus has reconciled Jews and Greeks to become one people (Ephesians 2: 14-18). Right now the gospel is being spread around the Gentile world but there will come a time when God will turn His face towards the Jews and we will see a real move of God amongst the Jews (Romans 9-11). Then the end will come (Matthew 24: 14) and people of every tribe and tongue will be gathered around the throne of God in worship (Revelation 7:9). I long for that day but till then I will continue to enjoy a covenant relationship with God because of the promise God made to my spiritual father Abraham and earned for me on the cross by Jesus the Messiah, and I will take my Kingdom responsibility seriously to share the good news of the Kingdom so that God’s chosen people continues to grow in the world.