Dr. Hocking, I have been receiving your newsletter for some time, and was happy to get your latest in the mail today.
I believe God has a special place for the people of Israel, as He always had. I believe He will fulfill all of His promises to that people, and even is doing so now.
But I must contend with your support of the state of Israel. God never gives support to this centralized government in scripture. Indeed He laments Israel’s desire for the establishment of centralized government from the start, rightly identifying this form of tyranny as pagan in origin.
God established his higher law and Judges over Israel, not an arbitrary human law-giver. Jesus demonstrated the proper ethic in regards to the state, admonishing His disciples to care for the least of these. The role of the state in Romans 13 is strictly Judicial, and has nothing to do with foreign diplomacy, or social welfare.
Israel was to be a loose federation of tribes, where each man was free to do “what was right in his own eyes,” rather than having to serve a king. His own conscience was to rule him, and he was to bear full responsibility and sovereignty over himself and his family before God. So each man was also responsible to defend his land with his tribe. Only with the advent of kings do we observe illegitimate aggressive warfare. Once the Israelites had a king to fight for them, the Lord no longer did their fighting for them, as he had through Joshua and Judges. Exceptions were made, but only when the King emptied himself of his position and submitted to God.
The present nation state of Israel was founded by illegitimate means, with the use of force not specifically decreed by God. Innocents, even believers, were murdered, and continue to die in vain.
It is wrong for the church to support the nation-state of Israel, or any other nation state. Centralized government is a pagan institution. If there is any good to be done in this world it is the full and exclusive responsibility of the church to do it. Indeed, lest a man be regenerate, all his good works are as filthy rags.
Please reconsider your position. I recognize it will be a difficult thing for you to do, because it will affect much of your eschatology. But we ought to allow scripture to interpret scripture. And the message we receive from the Torah, from the historical books, from I Samuel, that is both the law, and the prophets, and from the gospels is that manipulation of the political mechanism and the unprovoked use of force are illegitimate means for achieving the gospel. The only other acknowledged office in the law was that of the priest, whom was supported by the voluntary sacrifices of the people. In this, the church and the state were kept separate.