Israel and the Church
However faint the spiritual condition of Jewish people, the cry of the Shema is familiar to all. How often have we taken refuge in it, and used it as a bulwark of rejection when the uncomfortable question of an alien Jesus is pressed upon our consideration. Persuaded of the un-Jewishness of the matter, and unwilling for a religious polemic that is threatening or disquieting, we return to the fundamental tenet of our monotheistic belief-though if the truth were known we are not that avid for that ‘God’ either-to put an end to the whole unwelcome matter. Then, comfortably assured we have righteously affirmed our Jewishness, we turn again to the more serious issues of life, which in fact constitute our idolatry and chronic rejection of Him who calls.
(With quotations from Thomas M. Raitt’s A Theology of Exile, Fortress Press, 1977) The prophecies of Zephaniah, as is true with all the prophets of Israel, speak not only to the present condition and immediate future of the nation, but also its eschatological future and end. So one is warned of the Babylonian judgment then [...]
A message, especially but not exclusively, for our Jewish kinsmen as we approach the end of the millennium Be still and know that I am God…(Psalm 46:10) There is a connection between the strange providences of God and what we know of Him, and we have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in [...]
In Oswald Chamber’s devotional My Utmost for His Highest for April 26, entitled “The Supreme Climb,” we read: The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter to what belief he went contrary. Strange that one’s beliefs about [...]
A word particularly for the black community (adapted from a letter written to a sister) Our identity in God is an enormously significant subject. I understand (in measure) the terrible depletion of the Black Man in America and the great need for a self-esteem, dignity and identity in the very area in which he has [...]
From time to time one reads of how Jewish commentators are chafed by the world’s holding of Israel to a higher standard or account. Their irritation evidently stems from a secular and rational mentality that does not regard Israel as in any way exceptional with regard to other nations, and therefore not deserving of any criterion for judgment than that by which all other nations are held.
I have an outline of certain last days’ events, but there is no way that I can adhere to a linear statement or discussion. You will find that I will keep coming back to certain themes in the interweaving of strands that make up the whole. These are the last days, and I have a [...]
Anyone whose heart aches for the Jew – and for the nation Israel – recognizes that, indeed, we are at a crossroad.
The Lord is looking for a virginal first-fruits company that will follow the Lamb withersoever He goes, and in these last days, this ‘withersoever’ is going to bring us to places we never could have imagined and where we ourselves would balk, like Peter when he said, “Let this be far from You, Lord.”
Whatever is self-initiated, however well-meaning the motive, is not of God. He alone is the Creator-King who disposes from the Throne what He wills when He wills.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, is quoted by Eric J. Greenberg in a September 19, 2003 article of the Jewish Week as citing Mel Gibson, producer of the film The Passion, as “spouting classic anti-Semitism.” My personal fear is that a too frequent reiteration of that cry will ironically serve to provoke the feared phenomenon itself.
I have long been intrigued by the phrase, “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer.” Clearly Israel’s deliverance is a final, eschatological, closure event. But how is it to be effected?
I don’t know if anyone has noticed lately, but God, so long restricted to mere Friday through Sunday religious acknowledgment, is threatening to become a factor in the more serious affairs of men where He is usually excluded.
God gives us the prophet Hosea and his relationship with his adulterous wife as being a perfect parallel of His relationship with an adulterous Israel. The prophet has to experience God’s grief for His nation. If Hosea is going to be the mouthpiece of God, he is going to proclaim some hard things, and therefore needs to share God’s grief for the people he is addressing.
Modern Jewry misconstrues the gospel to be an invitation to forsake their intrinsic identity and culture as a distinct people in order to become “Christianized” into an assimilation in the mainstream culture. For the most part, Jews cherish their traditions, and sense in them, however diminished, a vitality and spirituality often more than that which ironically purports to “save” them.
The present state of Israel, like the “prophet mighty in word and deed,” like King Uzziah himself, is God-given, but given in order to be taken away!
With the message of Israel, my inmost being is called into participation of a radical kind as it brings a corrective against soulish counterfeits and lesser alternatives in the earnestness of what is at stake.
The outpouring of the Spirit needs to be restored to the context of God’s intention, centering in the restoration of a people who have not even the faintest notion of their eternal destiny, or a desire for it, and want only to be as other nations. Nevertheless, God’s word toward them will be fulfilled; His gifts and callings are irrevocable, or God voids Himself as God.
The eternal wisdom of God, demonstrated through the Church, as the necessary prelude to the Messiah’s coming
Any believer who lives presently unto the Lord, and for the Lord, out of the abundance of Life in Christ Jesus, demonstrates to the yet unbelieving Jew [or Gentile], like the Apostle Paul, the millennial mode of life of a future, restored Israel.