I’ve been to Israel many times and never felt unsafe. The times I spent in downtown Chicago were far more frightening to me than any of my night walks in Israel.
But let’s be honest, Israel has never known life without conflict. Israel has been a bridge way between some of the history’s greatest civilizations. The land has been fought over for centuries—the Bible is a historical record of some of these major battles. Even when God commanded Abraham to go there, it was not safe. When he told Joshua to enter, it was not safe. When the Jews returned from Babylon, it was not safe. Jerusalem is the “City of Peace” but it has seen 118 separate conflicts. It has been surrounded by armies 23 times. It has been attacked an additional 52 times and has been captured and recaptured 44 times. Did I also mention it has been destroyed twice? Therefore, we can assume that this small nation knows how to protect its land and people better than most countries in the world.
I like how Chris Davis said it – “Is it safe to go to Israel?” is the wrong question.
I think the right perspective may be, “Am I called to go to Israel?” Believers in Christ don’t always make a decision based on safety or lack of risk. Rather, we trust God with the outcome of all our situations, and we obey His call to do things—for our soul and for others—that do not always make sense. I believe that when you decide to go to Israel, you are answering a call to obedience. Yes, it may look like all the right circumstances emerged to make it possible for you to go, but I am sure that God worked through those circumstances to make this happen. Lean into that and trust that God will lead and protect you.
The Middle East is always in some unrest. However, I assure you that if it is ever too unsafe for people to travel there the proper precautions will be made. Our government, their government, the tour company, or the pastor leading your tour, will never put you in the way of danger intentionally. If those leading your tour believe it is not safe enough to take you to this Holy Land, they wouldn’t take you. I am sure of it.
Be praying for the Middle East and the people of Israel. What we may be afraid of or concerned about has become the everyday norm for them. Also, give an answer for the trust you have in your God when people ask, “Are you sure you should be going to Israel?” Let them know that you will be safe but the truth is that every day you trust your God with your life. Whether you are driving home on the highway from work or walking the streets of Jerusalem, trust God with your life.
If you are interested in coming with me — or should I say, “If you are feeling called…” — then come with me next year! Sign up here to let me know you are interested!
Interested in travel to Israel or already signed up to go with a tour? I invite you to join PrepareforIsrael.com, a resource I’ve put together with you in mind! You’ll not only learn the practical travel tips I wished I’d known before my first trip to Israel; but you’ll get a preview of historical sites you’ll visit and learn why they are important to the Christian faith, deepening your experience when you finally see it in person. EVERYONE who is interested in going to Israel will benefit from what is shared. Shalom!