“Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.Exodus 19:4
Behind Israel’s Star and Stripes
Jewish people are not necessarily people of faith. My first encounter with a Jewish Federation leader in one city (Please see The Roots of Haverim.blog to learn the story behind the visit.)1 is a good example. My hostess arranged an interview with the local newspaper’s religion editor. The evening before, I stayed as a guest in her home. I was disturbed that nothing related to God among the many beautiful books and objects displayed there. The next day as we were driving to our appointment, my lovely hostess, the president of her reform synagogue, informed me that she is an atheist! I share this because I believe Christians who love Israel as the Holy Land of the Bible need to understand that modern Israel as a nation is not precisely holy. Today’s Israel is secular and religious, ie. Israel keeps the sabbath holy as in ancient times but made abortion legal.
Therefore, I was delighted when I found ONE FOR ISRAEL’s video with Dr. Erez Soref on the meaning behind the Israeli flag.2 As a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus), Israeli Soref gives us an honest Biblical glimpse of modern Israel.
I searched for the video to share with you, but sadly to no avail. However, ONE FOR ISRAEL still has a written post taken from his broadcast, and I’m sharing the total post in case it, too, becomes unavailable. Here it is:
THE MEANING BEHIND THE ISRAELI FLAG
ONE FOR ISRAEL
The Israeli flag can be seen all around the country, symbolizing joy and dreams realized by many. If you love Israel, it is likely dear to you too. The meaning and symbolism behind the flag are important to know for all who love Israel, as it tells the story of God and His people.
THE BASE IS A PRAYER SHAWL
The background is white, with two blue stripes. This is to represent the “tallit” – the Jewish prayer shawl. The wearing of a tallit has developed from this commandment in Numbers:
Again the LORD spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners.
“And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them…and be holy for your God” Numbers 15:37-40
The tassels had to be attached to a garment, and that garment came to be known as the tallit, or prayer shawl. Note that God specifies that blue thread had to be used. Blue represented holiness; blue spoke of the heavens. A blue cloth was used to cover the ark of the covenant, and appears many times in the descriptions of the tabernacle. Yeshua looked up to the sky when praying towards the heavens, and we are supposed to associate blue with the divine. Tassels are important too and have a royal connotation. When tassels were added to a garment in ancient times, they symbolized the wearer’s authority. They were not worn by commoners but by the nobility or royalty. Israel was called to be a kingdom of priests, and the tallit is symbolic of that identity and calling.
“Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” (Ex 19:4-6)
The command to have blue threaded tassels was not in the law handed down at Sinai. It came about later, as a result of Israel’s sin, by helping the people of Israel to remember God’s laws. Numbers 15 tells us of a man caught collecting wood on Shabbat, and who was stoned to death as a result. God explains that there is one Torah for Israel’s sons and those living among them (remember there was a great mixed multitude who had joined Israel – Ex 12:38) and that there are consequences for sin done defiantly and unintentionally. Even in the case of forgetfulness or ignorance, sacrifices are still necessary to restore purity and right relationship with God.
So the base of the flag, just with a couple of blue stripes on a white background, tells us quite a lot of the story between God and His people: The blue of the tallit represents the heavens, and the white is purity brought about by the necessary sacrifices. The whole basis of the tallit came about in the context of God responding to Israel’s sin by giving symbolic, colour-coded instructions to help them remember His commandments. He had already given his law at Sinai, but the people were failing, and God was already graciously creating useful devices to remember His covenant and keep on the right path. The tassels were a visible reminder of God’s laws but also signified the special calling of Israel to be a kingdom of priests, set apart for His purposes. It is a perfect picture of Israel’s permanent, covenantal relationship with God: they are His people, and though they may fail, God’s faithfulness to them is eternal.
Often known as the Star (or shield) of David, this hexagram is more likely from the time of his son Solomon. When inside a circle, the star is known as the Seal of Solomon and seems to have some rather dark origins. It is possible that it was introduced from one of Solomon’s pagan wives, but it’s hard to know for certain. It could even be the “Star of Rephan” mentioned in Acts 7 in Stephen’s impassioned speech to the religious leaders who were about to stone him:
“You took up the tent of Moloch
and the star of your God Rephan,
the images that you made to worship;
and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.” (Acts 7:43)
The symbol of Israel had always traditionally been the menorah – a right and fitting representation of God’s plan and purposes to bring forth the Messiah to the world from within the people of Israel. The star was used on amulets but not used as a symbol for the Jewish people until the 14th century, but throughout the 17th century, it came to represent Israel more and more. In 1897, it became the emblem of the Zionist movement and ended up on the flag in 1948.
Without going too far into the sad story of how the enemy has deceived the children of Israel over and over again, suffice to say that this star is not very godly. However, it does represent part of the reality in Israel today. Whenever God acts and creates, the enemy is not far behind twisting, distorting, and producing counterfeits. But these counterfeits do not do away with the original any more than fake bank notes invalidate real ones. They exist side by side, and can cause a great deal of confusion and mess. Though Israel was reestablished and brought about by the hand of God (and preserved through divine intervention on many occasions), the modern state of Israel is not immune from the enemy’s meddlings, and we are naive to think that everything is pure as the driven snow. It is not. There has been much Freemasonry active in the very foundations of the modern state, but this in no way takes away from the fact that the descendants of Israel have been regathered from 2000 years of exile. The Bible tells us that God called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he rescued the twelve tribes of Israel through Joseph in Egypt, gave them his Torah through Moses at Sinai, and preserved them throughout history… and he is regathering them now in our days, just as He promised. These facts remain true. The two stories exist side by side.
WHEAT AND TARES
Yeshua gives us this helpful illustration:
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'”
Both the good and the bad are mixed in together but make no mistake; God knows which is which! And He will sort everything out in the end. So in many ways, the flag is a perfect emblem of the state of Israel today, telling the two stories: The chosenness of the kingdom of priests, the people of Israel and their permanent, covenantal relationship with their divine God, and the symbol suggesting the enemy’s interference in among it all. I do not see the need to reject the flag because of the star – God is aware of what is going on; he knows all and is overall. The story is not over yet. Judging by God’s faithfulness to his promises so far when it comes to Israel, we can be sure it will all work out exactly as He says in His Word.
 The Tallit and Tzitzit by Rich Robinson | Jan 1, 1994
 HaAretz, The Star of David: More Than Just a Symbol of the Jewish People or Nazi Persecution, Ronen Shnidman, Feb 17, 2014
ONE FOR ISRAEL is an initiative of native-born Israelis on the forefront of high-tech media evangelism, proclaiming salvation to Israel, raising up spiritual leaders through ONE FOR ISRAEL’s Bible College. The national shutdown brought on by Covid-19 actually opened the door for their work to reach millions of Israelis – Jews & Arabs – with evangelism as never before. The result is amazing. However, the lash back from the Orthodox rabbis whose rabbinical Judaism has blocked Israelis from learning about Yeshua – Jesus – in the past is great. Messianic believers in Israel need our prayer support.
I have followed ONE FOR ISRAEL4 closely for a while, and I appreciate how quick they are to forgive the enemies of their ministry because they desire to follow the tenets of the Torah to love their neighbor and Yeshua’s prayer to Avinu – Our Father:
“Forgive us the debt of our sins, as we forgive the debt of those who sin against us.”Hebrew Matthew 6:12
Please take the time to visit ONE FOR ISRAEL’s website and browse through their resources. Listen to some of the testimonies of fellow Israelis that have come to know Jesus – Yeshua. As the Jewish Apostal Paul told us in Romans
Brothers, my heart’s deepest desire and my prayer to God for Isra’el is for their salvation; for I can testify to their zeal for God. But it is not based on correct understanding; for, since they are unaware of God’s way of making people righteous and instead seek to set up their own, they have not submitted themselves to God’s way of making people righteous. For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts. -Romans 10;1-4, The Complete Jewish Bible
Today’s prayer for Israel:
Avinu, thank you for allowing us to witness a great move of the Holy Spirit – Ruach Hakodesh – among Israelis. We thank you for the work of the ministry of ONE FOR ISRAEL, and we add our prayers with others around the world, praying for their safety, well-being, strength, and courage to continue proclaiming the Gospel of Yeshua to their native country, Israel. We thank you for all the Israeli hearts you are touching and healing through Believers sharing Your Word and their testimonies. We ask You to thwart the attacks of spiritual forces against Israel’s Messianic communities. We lift our hearts with praise and thanksgiving to You, our Father, in the name of Your son Yeshua. Amen.
Blessed be the Holy One of Israel,
1. The Israel Letters Home Page
2. The Meaning Behind the Israeli Flag -One for Israel
3, Dr. Erez Soref -President, One for Israel
4. ONE FOR ISRAEL
© 2022 Nancy Montgomery – Haverim.blog
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