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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Why the God-Haters Hate Israel

(See also: Why is Israel so Hated?)

One of the greatest evidences that there is a God—to whom we owe our very lives, and whose Word we are to follow—is the mere existence of a nation called Israel. Thus the rampant hatred for the children of Abraham. Nevertheless, science again makes clear what Scripture long ago revealed.

A 60 Minutes episode from the year 2000 —of which I have a transcript—reported on a genetics study that revealed a “priestly Y-chromosome” among the general Jewish population. In other words, all those who claimed to be Jewish priests (only males) shared a common male ancestor. As Lesley Stahl then reported, “The results proved that Jewish priests from all around the world are, in fact, descended from one single man, a common paternal ancestor somewhere back in time.”

To tease her listening audience, Stahl asked, “How long ago did this great, great, great-grandfather live?” The scientist she was interviewing provided the answer: 3,000 years ago. In other words, right in line with the time-line presented by the Bible for when Moses’ brother Aaron—the patriarch of the Jewish priesthood—lived.

Likewise, in the year 2000, a study widely reported on revealed that the Jews and the Arabs shared a common genetic heritage. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the Y-chromosome—which is passed directly and unaltered from father to son—of male Jews and Arabs and found that they shared “a common set of genetic signatures.”

This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows—and believes—Scripture. The first two sons of Abraham were Ishmael—the son of Hagar and the patriarch of the Arabs—and Isaac, the son of Sarah and the patriarch of the Jews. Thus the “common genetic signature” is the result of both Jews and Arabs being descendants of Abraham.

Most everyone with at least a spotty Sunday school background knows something of the biblical account of “Father Abraham.” If nothing else, we can probably recall the ancient trilogy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob—later named Israel—fathered twelve sons who would become the “twelve tribes of Israel” and would inherit the Promised Land. The Bible first mentions Abraham—initially named “Abram,” a decedent of Noah’s son, Shem—in the chronology given in Genesis chapter 11. Genesis chapter 12 begins with the telling “Call of Abram.” It reads,

The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’

Note that the nation born of Abraham will be “a blessing” to the whole world. Scripture is replete with this theme. Genesis alone has several references. In addition to the above, there are Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14. Without using the word “blessing,” Scripture makes it clear that Israel is the vehicle through which God—in multiple ways—will bless the earth.

Scripture also makes it clear that Israel was not chosen because it was the largest and most powerful nation (Deut. 7:7), or because of her righteousness (Deut. 9:5). In other words, Israel was not chosen for the glory of (or to glorify) Israel, but to glorify the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In other words, God chose the weak—Israel was in slavery when it became a nation—so that the world would know that the God of Israel was the one true God. (Egypt was the first to get a dramatic lesson.)

The idea that Israel was “set apart” as a “witness to the nations” is also a common thought throughout Judaism and Christianity—especially evangelical Christianity. Exodus 19:6 declares, “[Y]ou will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Isaiah 43:12 reads, “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am God.’” One of the ways Israel was (and is) a blessing to the earth is the testimony of the Jews to the very existence of God. In the late nineteenth century, England’s Queen Victoria reportedly asked her Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “Mr. Prime Minister, what evidence can you give me of the existence of God?” After thinking for a moment, Disraeli replied, “The Jew, your majesty.”

A significant manner in which the Jews were a blessing to all of humanity, and another means through which they were a witness to all the earth, was through the written word of God. The Jews were God’s scribes, recording His words and deeds so that people might hear (or read) and believe. As the Apostle Paul, at the beginning of Romans chapter 3 notes, “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew…Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.” The oral, and eventually, the written Word of God is an amazing testimony of God’s existence, His presence, and His power.

And last, Christianity teaches that the redemption of all mankind came through the Jews. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was a descendant of Abraham, born out of the tribe of Judah. As Paul also reveals in Romans, “the Jews and the Gentiles alike are all under sin” and in need of salvation. Of course, the message of Paul was the message of Jesus: whether Jew or Gentile, salvation is through Christ alone. Writing to the church in Rome, Paul concludes, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly…No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” (Rom. 2:28-29a)

As I noted in The Miracle and Magnificence of America, long before the Pilgrims departed Europe for a new home, the spiritual heritage of America has been linked with Jerusalem and Israel. Because of events such as the Great Plague, during the fifteenth century there was widespread belief that the end of time was near. Many Christians of this time also believed that before Christ would return, Jerusalem had to be in the hands of Christians. As the result of his study of Scripture, along with his study of the works of first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and noted theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine, Christopher Columbus believed the same. Thus Columbus literally saw himself as an agent of the apocalypse.

As life in Europe became increasingly difficult for the Pilgrims, in spite of what they were hearing concerning the death and destruction at Jamestown, more and more, God’s plan seemed to point to America as their home. The pastor of young William Bradford’s congregation at the time was John Robinson. During this time, Pastor Robinson revealed that he believed God was calling them to a New Jerusalem—in America. Robinson wrote,

Now as the people of God in old time were called out of Babylon civil, the place of their bodily bondage, and were to come to Jerusalem, and there to build the Lord’s temple…so are the people of God now to go out of Babylon spiritual to Jerusalem…and build themselves as lively stones into a spiritual house, or temple, for the Lord to dwell in…for we are the sons and daughters of Abraham by faith.

The God who spoke to Abraham and Moses is the same God who inspired the Pilgrims and the Puritans—the people who are most responsible for the founding of the United States. Though Christianity teaches that we are all under a new covenant with our Creator, the nation of Israel still stands as a testimony to the Truth. Thus any move that further legitimizes Israel—such as official recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and placing our embassy there—will be strongly opposed by those who hate the Truth.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

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