Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Israel, a gift to humanity, A promise to Abraham

An Orthodox Jewish Rabbi spoke these words to me a few years ago....."Service to one another is a responsibility the whole of mankind has been gifted."

I remember the first time that I visited a Jewish Synagogue in Portland, Oregon. It occurred to me one day several years ago....'I am reading this book (the scriptures) written by the Jews and I have never heard a Jewish man teach from this book'

When talking about the Jews the only thing that I had ever really heard was about how they only teach from the Talmud. The Talmud was of course evil, not of God. In other words, my deference to pastoral authority precluded me from considering anything Jewish as far as my conservative, evangelical, biblical education, was concerned. In fact, when reading about Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and David Ben Gurion it soon became clear to me that Jews were socialists?.....lol

In the mid to late 80's a fascination with all things Israel, sprung up in my spirit. It was like, for me an addiction or a veracious desire to understand this nation forever fighting to exist. I began to study political Israel, the Knesset structure and the parties involved. It did not take long for me to realize that Israel's government is just as screwed up as we are here in the states when the ideologies of conservatism and liberalism collide. Equally, I began to realize too, that these lines are drawn within Judaism as well. The synagogues are conservative, liberal, ultra liberal and of course the in between folks.

Ultimately, what started happening was the antisemitic rhetoric that is often bandied about openly or covertly within my Christian education was being dismantled. I started seeing for myself, living history. It was like making a connection to the Jewish people that I had always had with regard to being black in America. I started seeing these folks fighting a similar battle.

Charlie Schiffman
Well, I started reading other material, other Jewish literature. Elie Wiesel comes to mind instantly. Our beloved Charlie Schiffman, who the world lost earlier this year handed to me a book by Elie Wiesel, "Five Biblical Portraits" Saul-Jonah, Jeremiah, Elijah-Joshua...This book, a little tattered and frayed is one of my prized possessions for several reasons. Charlie gave it to me being the first reason but also, why he gave it to me. Reading this book changed how I saw these biblical giants through a Christian lens. I think it was through this book that my paradigm shift began to occur. I have had this book since the early 90's.

I have since read a ton of Jewish literature by a variety of authors. I have studied several Rabbis from various centuries. Learning from those who believe in the deity of Jesus (Yeshua, proper) and those who do not. I have read thousands of articles concerning pogroms and church hatred towards anything Jewish throughout the centuries. The rise of Islam which eventually spread across the "Middle East" like a grass fire and the hellish existence imposed on the Jewish people, now scattered, contending with a Moslem world and the Catholic/Christian world....All the while most blacks are a forcibly indentured people around the globe. Yes, the world is lost, still lost!

I am reminded of the gift. 

I see the prophetic things happening because, well because...they are in deed prophetic. However, to chase after what has been written to the degree that we fail to utilize the gift is to me, just another instance of being lost.

My wife returned from Israel and said these words to me, "Israel is a gift to all of us"

I have learned so much as a direct result of opening books, doing my own research, meeting with and becoming friends with, many, many Jews. It is such that when I hear the ever present antisemitic rhetoric I click the "off switch" in my spirit. It's much easier a thing to do as opposed to argue a lie.
I would much rather walk in the gift right now, today, in order to make the world a better place. Moreover, I like the idea of loving my neighbor.

Their is an unabashed, evil moving across the globe. It has the body of Islam and the ability of hell itself. In the scriptures, to those of us who are paying attention, we know these things to be born of judgment.  Roughly, 1800 years ago, to a Jew, that same hell was Catholicism. Religion is like a perpetual death machine, it only needs believers to propel it through the centuries. We have history as proof, one only needs to open a book.

My hope is in the promise made to Abraham thousands of years ago. He is the father of nations, not Churches or Mosques or even Synagogues for that matter. Our creator gave to us...nations and rules to good governance. Again, these are gifts presented to mankind though.....Israel.

Genesis 22:15 
יח  וְהִתְבָּרְכוּ בְזַרְעֲךָ, כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ, עֵקֶב, אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקֹלִי.18 and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast hearkened to My voice.'


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