I can't remember exactly when it happened, but ever since I became aware of the nation of Israel I have loved that country as much as, if not more than, my own fatherland, Nigeria. Not very patriotic I know, but what can I say? I think my affection grew out of the knowledge that my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's earthly origins is Jewish.
Israel is a tiny country no larger than a small state in Nigeria or the USA, with a population dwarfed by that of some major cities in the world. It therefore boggles the imagination why such a small country has come under such intense aggression over the years. Since 1948 when Israel became a nation again they've faced hatred and violence from the Islamic nations that surround them on every side. In addition jewish people all over the world have suffered from the effects of antisemitism. Shamefully antisemitism is also found in certain sections of the church in the form of replacemant theology, which teaches that God is finished with Israel and the Church has now taken Israel's place.
Far from it, Israel is and has always been the apple of God's eye (Deutronomy 32:10, Zecharia 2:8). They have not always got it right and have suffered for it over the centuries through invasions by enemy nations, captivity, the crusades, various pogroms and worst of all the holocaust. For such a small nation and for what they have endured through the centuries it is a miracle that she still exists. It is indeed divine providence that has preserved her. Paul's letter to the Romans from the 11th to the 19th chapter does not mince words in laying this truth bare. Israel was the means through which the Light of the world came and God still has her very much in His plans.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (Psalm 122:6).