Zionism is more than just a political movement or supporting Israel, and the right of Jewish people to a homeland. Zionism is the migration of the Jewish people back to their home. It put into action the faith, courage, and determination of the nation of Israel that had always been and was to be restored.
“And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’”—Isaiah 51:16
The Bible mentions Zion over 150 times. Originally, the word refers to the very hill on which Jerusalem was built—the very hill that God chose.
“For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place…”—Psalm 132:13
In the Bible, Zion is synonymous with the City of David, the City of God, and the Kingdom of God. The word Zion means ‘fortification’ and encompasses the idea of being raised up—such as a monument. As time passed, God revealed a spiritual meaning to the ancient physical city.
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.”—Hebrews 12:22-24
The meaning of Zionism for Believers is our allegiance with Israel and God—the Lord has called Believers to stand by His people and the city on the hill.
A Brief History of Zionism
Zionism, as we know it today, was fathered in the late 19th century by Theodore Herzl—who dreamed of establishing a sanctuary for the Jewish people in their rightful homeland, as it was for thousands of years.
Even before Herzl, the promise of return to the Holy Land was a core belief of Jewish culture. After all, Israel was the birthplace of Judaism, and before the diaspora, they had lived there for thousands of years.
Exile and persecution had scattered Jews all across Europe and the Middle East. Still, their roots had always remained in Israel. A drive to return and claim their rightful soil inspired many to make the trip to Israel, and there have been periodic migrations to Jerusalem throughout history.
By the late 1860s, there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Herzl’s Zionist movement encouraged more to join, especially in the face of growing anti-Semitism in Europe.
Herzl also proposed Argentina as a possible location for its temperate climate and availability of land, but ultimately decided the territory of their ancestors was a superior destination.
“And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you… But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”—Deuteronomy 4:27-29
Although the Jewish people had been scattered, it was their heritage that united them to return to Jerusalem.
The early Jewish communities thrived, and when waves of immigrants flocked there in the name of Zionism, they worked extraordinarily hard to develop the land. Together, they bonded and formed an alliance that would eventually become the independent state of Israel in 1948.
They were determined to return legally and develop the land themselves, but for the benefit of Jews and non-Jews alike. The ultimate vision was one of peace and harmony with their Arab, Christian, and Muslim neighbors—a dream that Israel is still working toward today.
What Does It Mean to Be a Zionist Today?
Simply put, a Zionist is someone who supports Israel and is an ally of God’s chosen people. A Zionist invests in God’s mission to restore the Holy Land and grant continued success to the nation of Israel.
A Zionist understands the significant history of the Jewish people and how they have endured persecution and exile. A Zionist’s mission is to help the Jewish people find their way home safely.
“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away”—Isaiah 35:10
Today, the same principles that united the early Jewish pioneers are found in Zionists around the world—people of various backgrounds and nationalities. It’s all about supporting Israel!
- Celebrate Israeli Freedom and Success
Israel is one of the world’s youngest countries, and already one of the most successful and fastest growing.
The majority of Israel’s most notable achievements have not only been of benefit to Israelis, but also the entire world. Drip irrigation, solar windows, and panoramic power are just a few of Israel’s most successful inventions.
Israel has also helped the United States military develop technology to protect soldiers fighting for freedom in the Middle East and beyond. Read more about the U.S. military’s relationship with Israel here.
- Honor the Sacrifices for Freedom
Men and women are expected to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces for a period of three and two years, respectively. They undergo intensive training and are constantly pushed to the limits in battle.
Israel has fought and won eight recognized wars, during most of which the fledgling nation was outnumbered and surrounded by enemies on all sides. Despite the odds, the IDF has prevailed in war after war and conflict after conflict.
Thanks to the brave men and women who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, we can continue to take long strides toward a better world with Israel. We can continue to help God fulfill His mission to restore the land and establish a lasting peace in the Middle East!
- Invest in Developing Israel
When it comes to restoring the Holy Land, there is still plenty of work to be done! God invites us to join Israel for His glory. He has entrusted the Evangelical community to help them, and He has assigned us to guide the forces of the world to work in Israel’s favor.
Find out how you can invest in Israel by downloading our FREE investment guide!