Popular televangelist and author Joel Osteen recently commented on a visit he and his wife made to Israel, expressing his conviction that "God's hand is upon" the Jewish nation, which he also called the "heritage" of Christians.
Osteen sat down with Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), to discuss his perspective on one of the most-reported on countries in the world.
Osteen commented on visiting Israel for the first time in about 25 years.
"I felt amazing peace there, even among the people," Osteen said. "I went over there thinking 'Oh man there's so much violence and all this stuff going on, which there is,' but people seem to have such a resolve... I saw the hope."
The Lakewood, Texas minister also commented on how a such a small country could garner so much worldwide attention.
"When I think about that small country — how can it get so much attention? God's hand is upon it. It's our heritage, so we stand with the people of Israel," the It's Best Life Now author said.
Sekulow, a Messianic Jewish lawyer, raised ssues concerning Israel in biblical prophecy.
"We know what happens to Israel, those that follow the Scriptures, it's very clear — Israel is not going away," Sekulow said.
He asked Osteen if he felt that God had a special plan for Israel and if, during his visit, he sensed that people in Israel were aware of their apparent special place with God.
"Do you sense that they... know that God has a special plan for that country?" Sekulow asked.
Osteen responded, "I felt like they do. Everyone we talked to...I felt like they knew God's hand was upon them. They live that way, in my opinion," Osteen said, emphasizing again how peaceful he felt during his visit to the Middle Eastern country.
In referring to Israel's place in Scripture, Sekulow echoed a viewpoint held by some Christians that maitains that Israel holds eschatological significance in biblical prophecy.