Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blessing the Jews

Christians are called by the scriptures to bless the Jews.

They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings (Rom 15:27).
We have received spiritual blessings from the Jews, so we are required to share our material blessings with them.

Blessing the Jews is a tricky challenge. Many Christians just assume that this means that we should bless the state of Israel, but the two are not the same. Romans refers to a group of people, not to a national state.

Blessing the Jews is not the same as blessing the Israeli state. The latter is controlled by men and women who have more faith in military power than they have in God. Many are atheists who will do anything that will work, rather than what is right. They are currently making political decisions that are contrary to God’s law of their covenant, so they are placing themselves outside God’s blessing. We should be careful about blessing a state system that God is not blessing.

The other challenge is knowing who are the Jewish people. With the passing history, the genealogical links to the descendants of Israel have been broken. Several problems make the identification of the descendents of Judah difficult.
  1. When the ten northern tribes were exiled to Assyria, most never returned. The result is that there are people all over the world who are descendants of one of the tribes of Israel, but do not know it. I assume that some of my Christian friends, who are really passionate about the Israel, are actually descendants of one of the ten tribes that were exiled to Assyria. I have often wondered if Christians who have a strong need to visit Israel are actually descendants of Israel without knowing it.

  2. During the five or six hundred years after the birth of Christianity, Jews continued to proselytise throughout the different parts of the world where they were spread. Large numbers of people who were not ethnic Jews converted to Judaism. This means that some of the Jews living in Europe or Asia at the beginning of the twentieth century were not descendents of the Judah, but descendents from other tribes who had converted to Judaism. This means that some people who call themselves Jews are not ethnic Jews. This explains why many people with an affiliation to Judaism have no urge to return to Israel.

  3. The Romans did not expel all Jews when they destroyed Jerusalem. They scattered the political, business and religious leaders to the four winds, but many of the peasant classes remained in the land of Israel. The descendants of some of these Jews are still living in Israel, but at some point there predecessors may have converted to Islam and stopped calling themselves Jews. This means that some of the Palestinians living in Israel may be descendents of Judah, without knowing it. This may explain why some Palestinians have such strong connection with their land, and others do not.

After two tumultuous millennia, the descendents of Jacob are hard to identify. Only the Holy Spirit knows who is a Jew and who is not. Therefore, the best way to bless the Jewish people is to be led by the Holy Spirit.

For more on this topic see Nation of Israel.

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