Imagine a World Without Israel

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‘Imagine a World Without Israel – or is that not allowed?’ was reported to have been a recent headline at a liberal website. I couldn’t find the article – but the thought kept going through my mind -‘A world without Israel – hmmm. Just what would a world without Israel be like?’ Probably the author of the article was thinking that global peace would be possible if not for the existence of Israel. And world peace is a worthy goal – right? Lets take a closer look at a world without Israel.

First – I don’t think you can separate the Jews from the land of Israel. I believe the idea of a world without Israel is the same world Adolf Hitler was seeking when he tried to murder every Jew on the planet – just because they were Jews. So in imagining a world without Israel you are imagining a world without Jews.

Have you ever actually met a Jew? I have met only a few that I know of. And those were just casual meetings. I have seen some Jews interviewed on a variety of news programs. None of them struck me as having a charismatic personality. The exception to that statement would be Benjamin Netanyahu. He really seems like just a nice man. If he were your neighbor you would probably have a good neighbor. And I do have some valid praise for some Jews. These Jews are listed in the Bible.

Of course – before we mention Jews listed in the Bible – we have to acknowledge – that without the Jews who wrote the Bible – we would have no Bible to read. Good grief!!! I can’t even get through one day without opening the Bible. It is my lifeline to my God. A world without the Bible is too awful to even imagine.

You can call Abraham the first Jew. He loved the same God I love. I have heard it preached that the angels who visited Abraham before going down to Sodom were actually Jehovah and Jesus. Abraham fed them and visited with them.

The history of the Jewish people is recorded in detail in the Old Testament. Some years were good years, and some years were bad. There were some really big sinners among the group. There were also some very great servants of the Most High God.

It was known among the Jewish people that God had promised a savior. This savior would come through the Jewish people. The Messiah was promised to come through a specific line of the Jews. It was required that the Jews survive until Jesus was born in order to fulfill the prophecies concerning the Messiah exactly as prophesied.

Eventually, Jesus came. He came through a Jewish girl who was willing to do what ever God asked of her. Which of us today is willing to do whatever God asks of us without questioning Him?

Then there was Joseph. He married Mary the mother of Jesus, even though he knew the baby she was carrying was not his. An angel came to Joseph and told him what was happening with Mary. So, once in all of history, a man was instructed by God to believe that his intended wife was still a virgin – even though she definitely was pregnant. Joseph did what God asked of him. Joseph provided an earthly home for our savior Jesus. Joseph was certainly a man of commendable and strong faith.

John the Baptist was a follower of Jesus. He was the voice crying in the wilderness. John was followed by many, and could have chosen to cause a division instead of unity among those seeking Jesus. Instead John said he must decrease that Jesus might increase. John willing played second fiddle to someone who could have been considered to be of a lower birth than John himself. Who among us now can easily step aside when greatness or power is in our hands?

Then Jesus began his ministry. He chose twelve Jews to follow Him and help spread the good news that man could be reconciled to God. They weren’t perfect people. They all made mistakes; doubted at times; misunderstood what Jesus was doing; and generally failed on a daily basis. So what became of these people?

Everyone knows that Judas betrayed Jesus and then went out and hanged himself. What about the rest of them? There are accounts of what happened to them. I don’t know how well any of the reports are documented, but it is safe to say they were all faithful to death, and most of them were murdered for their faith. We can say for sure they planted the first New Testament churches. They were the first Christians. The Jews are the patriarchs of the Christian Church.

There were Jewish women who followed Jesus. They even stayed with him at the cross. The Bible doesn’t tell us of any gentile followers of Jesus who were there when Jesus was crucified.

It was a Jewish woman who first saw Jesus after His resurrection. Jesus showed Himself to the disciples. He gave them all a second chance to follow Him.

Eventually along came Paul. Paul refers to himself as a Jew among Jews. That means he was important. He rejected Jesus and persecuted believers in Christ. He didn’t waste his time just taxing Christians and making them take low paying jobs. Paul had Christians murdered. Eventually Paul had a change of heart. He became a follower of Jesus Christ. In Paul I see the greatest human being who ever lived, because it was Paul – a Jew among Jews – who brought the gospel to the gentiles. For that alone the Christians should be eternally grateful to the Jews. (Jesus of course was greater than Paul – but He was more than a man.)

While we don’t have a lot of details about the first churches, we do know that the Jews were the first converts to Christianity. Jesus was preaching in and around Jerusalem. There were people there who were not Jews. Some of them heard Jesus. There were many Romans there for sure. They heard the gospel. I am sure some believed. The miracles would have drawn crowds from the entire population. In seeking a miracle, some would have become followers. But Jesus was preaching to the Jews. The first Christians were predominately Jews.

And the New Testament Church established by Jesus Christ was delivered to the world by the Jews. That alone should show the world that God was not finished with the Jews after Calvary. World history focuses on the Jews who rejected Jesus as their Messiah. It fails to recognize and honor the Jews through which the gospel was first preached to the gentiles. Christ is the everlasting bond between the Jew and the Gentile.

It is also clear that the children of Israel had something else yet to be done. The nation of Israel was destroyed as a nation around 70 years AD. They were taken captive and dispersed throughout the known world. Yet they survived as a distinct people for nearly 2000 years before their ancient homeland was in part restored to them in 1948. Why would God have allowed the nation to be ‘born in a day’ if He had no further purpose for Israel? Another question is how was it possible for a group of people as small in number as the Jews to remain a distinct people while roaming around the globe for 2000 years? That can only be explained as the intervention of God.

Now the world is reconsidering the wisdom of ever allowing the Jews a homeland in the ancient land of their father’s. The Arabs have convinced themselves that the Jews have no claim to the land of Israel because they believe the Jews were never there in the first place. That is what they believe half the time. The other half of the time they believe that Ishmael was the real inheritor of that land. Ishmael was the first son of Abraham. He was born ‘of the flesh’. That means Abraham and Sara were trying to ‘help God out’. Abraham had a son with his wife’s maid. Ishmael eventually grew up and had twelve sons. It is from Ishmael that the Arabs descended.

Then, Abraham and Sara had a child of their own. Isaac was the child born of the promise of God. From Isaac came Israel, and from Israel (Jacob) came twelve sons. The Jews come from those twelve.

So what we have going on in the Mid-East is a very old family feud. The Arabs did follow the God of Abraham until Mohammad came along. But I don’t recall ever reading anything about family bonding or unity between Isaac and Ishmael’s sons. God had promised to make Ishmael’s children a great nation as well. If they had loved God enough to trust Him, what a difference it would have made to the entire world. Instead, hatred eventually won over faith. The entire world is paying the price today.

I believe you can fight anti-Semitism to some extent by just pointing out what a debt is owed to the Jews. Some evil Jews did contribute to the crucifixion of Jesus. But other Jews took the gospel to the world. The actual crucifixion was carried out by Romans. We have to admit the murder of Jesus was a joint effort. Furthermore, it was my sin that crucified him. And it was your sin as well. For my own peace of mind, I would rather someone else’s hands drove the nails in His hands and feet. But it was because of my sin that He came to die. And it was for your sin as well. No one is without sin.

Today – Israel is facing a growing hatred from the Moslems and most of the world. The call it ‘anti-Semitism’ but that just means Jews are hated simply because they are Jews.

The United States has stood with Israel because the United States has always been a largely Christian nation – fully understanding God’s promise to bless those who bless the Jews – and curse those who curse them. Sadly, as the foundations of our faith are eroded in our society, the nation’s commitment to Israel is also being eroded.

If our nation fails in its duty to befriend the Jews, there is still hope through the individual Christians of America. Regardless of what the government does, it is still the duty of every Christian to stand up for Israel and her right to exist.

A good question for each of us is, “How can I be a blessing to the Jews?” On my part, that is at least partly a selfish question because I am looking for the blessing God promises to those that bless the Jews. I am also looking to avoid the curse that God promised to those that curse the Jews.

It is pretty obvious that we should be obedient and ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’. We can also point out the debt of gratitude we owe to a people who gave us the Bible, our Savior Jesus Christ, and first carried the gospel to the Gentile.

The song for this article is “The Holy City”. It sings of the New Jerusalem – that will not pass away! And in the New Jerusalem the Jew and Gentile will be at peace with God and at peace with each other.

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http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/h/o/l/holycity.htm

THE HOLY CITY

Last night I lay a sleeping,

There came a dream so fair,

I stood in old Jerusalem

Beside the temple there.

I heard the children singing,

And ever as they sang,

Methought the voice of angels

From Heav’n in answer rang;

Methought the voice of angels

From Heav’n in answer rang:-

“Jerusalem! Jerusalem!

Lift up your gates and sing,

Hosanna in the highest

Hosanna to your King!”

And then methought my dream was chang’d,

The streets no longer rang,

Hush’d were the glad hosannas

The little children sang.

The sun grew dark with mystery,

The morn was cold and chill,

As the shadow of a cross arose

Upon a lonely hill,

As the shadow of a cross arose

Upon a lonely hill.

“Jerusalem! Jerusalem!

Hark! how the angels sing,

Hosanna in the highest,

Hosanna to your King.”

And once again the scene was chang’d,

New earth there seem’d to be,

I saw the Holy City

Beside the tideless sea;

The light of God was on its streets,

The gates were open wide,

And all who would might enter,

And no one was denied.

No need of moon or stars by night,

Or sun to shine by day,

It was the new Jerusalem,

That would not pass away,

It was the new Jerusalem,

That would not pass away.

“Jerusalem! Jerusalem!

Sing, for the night is o’er!

Hosanna in the highest,

Hosanna for evermore!

Hosanna in the highest,

Hosanna for evermore!”

God bless you.

Barbara Henderson

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Source by Barbara Henderson

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