Jews have a paradoxical history. They are the victims of the ‘longest surviving hate’ in the world- anti-Semitism. And they are continually accused of ‘cosmic evil’ even by the so-called liberal sensitive thinkers. Yet the best of the intellectuals even among the liberals are Jews. Jews are one of the most persecuted groups in the world yet they are also one of the most vilified. Liberals have the harshest words for Israel, yet Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. Jerry Thomas argues that paradoxical history of Jews is a pointer towards the two paradoxical attributes of the Biblical God- Holiness and faithfulness.
Israel was chosen by God not because of its merits, strength, wisdom or virtue but to show to the world the holiness and faithfulness of Biblical God. When Israel sins God would harshly punish Israel, an example for the world about the holy wrath of God. Yet even when Israel rejects God, God will not completely reject Israel showing about the faithfulness of God to the world. Psalmist wrote: “If his sons forsake My law and do not walk in My judgments, if they break My statues and do not keep my covenant, then I will punish their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My loving-kindness I will not utterly take from him nor allow My faithfulness to fall. My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips. Once I have sworn by my holiness: I will not lie to David.” (Psalms 89:30-35).
By rejecting Lord Jesus Christ, Israel rejected her savior, her God. We should expect the God to punish the Israel. Yet we also should expect God to bless Israel for the sake of His covenant. Let us check the facts to see whether God of the Bible is a living God.
(1) Jews at the Top; Blessings through Jesus
“The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. You will always be at the top, never at the bottom, if you faithfully obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today” (Deuteronomy 28:13).
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you: And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12: 3).
Jews constitute around 0.2% of the world’s population. This is a microscopic minority in the world map. Some of our Indian tribes have more to be sure. Yet among the Nobel Prize Winners in Science, Economics and Literature, they constitute more than 25 percent (I have excluded Nobel Peace Prize). There are 157 Jews who are Nobel Prize Winners in these subjects if we have conservative definition for Jews, i.e. one who is born as a Jew and continue as one. The number would go up if we have a liberal definition of Jews (as one who is born to Jewish parents). And the number will still shoot up if we include Nobel Peace Prize winners (nine to be precise).
Some of the greatest names in any field have a Jewish lineage. Think about science- Albert Einstein, capitalistic intellectual – Milton Friedman, communist intellectual – Karl Marx, liberal scholar – Noam Chomsky, deconstruction – Jacques Derrida, Management – Peter F Drucker, film director – Steven Spielberg, capitalist – George Soros, religion – Moses and the list can go on. Not to mention that, Jesus Christ, through whom all the nations are blessed, is also a Jew by biological birth.
To put this in perspective, let us take Muslims. Muslims constitute more than 20% of the world’s population. A very substantial number- you will agree. Yet among the Nobel Prize Winners in Science, Economics and Literature, they represent only 0.25% (I have again excluded the Nobel Peace Prize). There are only four Muslims in these subjects if we have liberal definition of Muslims, i.e. one who is born to Muslim parents. If we include the Nobel Peace Prize, number will increase by another four. Total of Muslims who got any kind of Nobel Prize is eight. And there are hardly any recognizable Muslim names in any beneficial field. It is interesting to note that even among Muslims all the prophets mentioned in the Koran except Alexander the Great (yes, he is also a prophet according to Koran) and Mohammed are mentioned first in the Jewish scriptures.
(2) Scattered across the Nations yet Formed as a Nation in a Day
“Then the LORD will scatter
you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known. And among the nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes and anguish of soul” (Deuteronomy 28:64, 65).
“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?” (Isaiah 66:8).
From A.D 70 till A.D 1948, Jews were scattered among the nations. They were persecuted among the most of nations they were scattered. In 1948, Israel became a nation dividing the land between the Jews and the Arabs. It was as though a nation was born in a day- quite unprecedented in the history. Jews accepted the division and established a prosperous liberal democracy.
Israel is the only vibrant democracy in the Middle East which has modern civil rights including the freedom of religion. Not only Jews, but also men and women of every hue and color enjoy this freedom. Suffice to say that even a Muslim enjoys maximum freedom in Israel than in any other Middle East countries. Any Muslim citizen can contest for a public office without a mullah censoring him/her (yes her too in Israel).
(3) A Prosperous Israel
The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you. Deuteronomy 28: 10
Israel is also very prosperous. IT sector is one which we can easily understand. Here is a comparison by T. N Ninan in his article ‘IT Perspectives’ published in Business Standard. T. N Ninan writes: “Israel’s record is certainly the more impressive when you realize that more than 70 Israeli companies are listed on NASDAQ—next only to the US and Canada in the country rankings. Israel has no fewer than 3,000 high-tech companies, supported by a flourishing venture capital industry that buys into garage-scale enterprises and takes them public once they have reached a certain scale. Last year alone saw foreign investors coughing up $10 billion to buy into just 30 Israeli tech firms.” He continues “When you are told that firms in Israel have developed the voice over internet protocol (VoIP), Intel’s multi-core processor, the cellular telephone and most of Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system, and that the world’s electronics giants have invested much more in Israel than in India, Bangalore’s very creditable record begins to pale.”
(3) Destroying Israel and Israel’s Victory
They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more" (Psalms 83:4).
“Israel must be wiped out from the map of the world.” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian President (CNN, October 27, 2005).
“You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you.Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you” (Leviticus 26:7).&n
Forty years back, three Arab nations ganged together to conduct another holocaust and to destroy the entire Jewish nation. In six days, Israel defeated the multitude of blood mongering Arabs. In spite of the fact that Israel was merely preventing another holocaust and defending herself, United Nations along with Arab nations condemned the Jews and passed a resolution asking Israel to withdraw to the pre-war borders. If the borders were so sacred, then why did the Arabian Muslims tried to destroy it in the first place- no one asked that question in the UN. However, in 2005, Israel partially but unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. As a reward, Palestinians increased their missile firing against Israel. You can see the statistics given below.
My source is here.
2007 – 157 (till May 21)
(If you want to read an exhaustive article on this, read it here: “Why Israel Is The Victim And The Arabs Are The Indefensible Aggressors In the Middle East” by David Horowitz published in Front Page Magazine.)
(4) Vilified among the United Nations
"The people that dwells alone, and that will not be counted among the nations" (Num. 23:9).
UN also considered Israel as the aggressor and acted like so. Here I quote extensively from Ann Bayefsky, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and an adjunct professor at Columbia University Law School. Bayefsky says:
“What does discrimination against the Jewish state mean? It means refusing to admit only Israel to the vital negotiating sessions of regional groups held daily during U.N. Commission on Human Rights meetings. It means devoting six of the 10 emergency sessions ever held by the General Assembly to Israel. It means transforming the 10th emergency session into a permanent tribunal–which has now been reconvened 12 times since 1997. By contrast, no emergency session was ever held on the Rwandan genocide, estimated to have killed a million people, or the ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands in the former Yugoslavia, or the death of millions over the past two decades of atrocities in Sudan. That's discrimination.”
“At the U.N., the language of human rights is hijacked not only to discriminate but to demonize the Jewish target. More than one quarter of the resolutions condemning a state's human rights violations adopted by the commission over 40 years have been directed at Israel. But there has never been a single resolution about the decades-long repression of the civil and political rights of 1.3 billion people in China, or the million female migrant workers in Saudi Arabia kept as virtual slaves, or the virulent racism which has brought 600,000 people to the brink of starvation in Zimbabwe. Every year, U.N. bodies are required to produce at least 25 reports on alleged human rights violations by Israel, but not one on an Iranian criminal justice system which mandates punishments like crucifixion, stoning and cross-amputation of right hand and left foot. This is not legitimate critique of states with equal or worse human rights records. It is demonization of the Jewish state.” (One Small Step, the Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2004 ).
Israel’s Blessing is only Partial: Why?
Israel’s blessing is only partial now. In fact, it is partially a curse too.
You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. Deuteronomy 28: 30
They have prosperity but not peace. They have achievements but no rewards. They have contributions but are hated. It seems to be mix of curse and blessing. God showing His holy wrath through curse and faithfulness through blessing. But why it is not a complete blessing? Why is the restoration of Israel not complete?
When Israel was desolated, two parties went out of Israel: Jews and God.
It is only Jews who have returned to Jerusalem and not the God.
Zechariah 8 says: Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me. This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her. This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."
When Will the LORD God return to Jerusalem?
Lord God had come to Jerusalem around 2000 years ago. Jews rejected Him. After LORD God went out of Israel, then Jews had to go out of Jerusalem too in A.D. 70. But when will the Lord God return?
Lord Jesus Christ lamented over Jerusalem and said: For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!' (Matthew 23: 39). When the Jews accept the Lord Jesus as their Christ and Savior, there will be complete blessing to Israel. All their curses will be removed forever.
But Christians remember, we are the new Israel and all the blessings are ours too.