“I will bless those who bless you, and one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
Anti-Semitism is on the rise! I know it not only because it is in the news so much but also because my mail relating to it has increased.
I was born after World War II and as I grew up I had no awareness that anyone hated Jews. To be sure, part of that naivety was because of where I was raised and how I was raised. My simple protected Mid-western upbringing by unbiased parents kept me pretty innocent.
As an adult I had heard of anti-Semitism. But I thought that the Holocaust had pretty much wiped out any possibility that it could ever rise above a whisper again. How wrong I was. Promotion of the idea that the holocaust was a myth by those who hate Jews has gained ground. Think of it: what happened in Nazi Germany is one of the most thoroughly documented events in human history. We still have living witnesses, complete with their concentration camp tattoos.
When a cartoon art exhibit opened awhile back in a country antagonistic to Israel it portrayed Jews as the root of every evil in the world today. People who flocked to the art show unknowingly walked from piece to piece under of spigot of unreasoned poison.
Over time I have written various articles about God’s favor on his people Israel based on his covenant promises to Abraham, and I’ve answered various questions about why the Jews are hated. I’ve taken some flack for it (which is okay) but I’ve also noticed an increase in hostility. Listen to this recent comment/question that came in.
“When the Jews were directed to the Promised Land, why does nobody now mention there were already people living there who had to be killed? And that the Jews massacred whole nations including women and children to get there? Do you think their contemporaries saw them in the same light as Hitler’s Nazis?” Questions, even hard ones, are good but this doesn’t seem like one with genuine interest. This seems like one tinged with antagonism!
Arising anti-Semitism should be a great concern not only to Jews, but to all of God’s people. It should also turn our eyes ahead, to that great event recorded in the book of Revelation: the battle of Armageddon. It is both terrible and exciting. Exciting because it signals the Second Coming of Christ yet terrible because of all that has to happen as we are “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13).
I am not a scholar of the End Times so I don’t claim to know the timing and sequence of all these things but most of us do know that a day will come when all the armies of the earth will gather in that certain valley with the intention of wiping out Israel. “And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon” (Revelations 16:16).
A little bit further in scripture we are given the outcome. “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful”(Revelation 17:14).
What should we do as we watch the world stage for signs of the end? For my money, I say we take careful note to observe Genesis 12:3. Love the Jewish people and support Israel. That doesn’t mean they are perfect or that the nation of Israel doesn’t make mistakes. Just remember though, the promise that they will be grafted back into the vine. “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:25-26).
In my observation, the Jewish people are particularly gifted in intelligence and creativity. Their contributions to the world’s wealth of knowledge and beauty are over-whelming. How foolish for anyone to set their heart against what God cherishes and blesses. Those who do, do so at their own peril as they set themselves against God himself.