Do you have a Jewish heart? You Should
|Part by John J. Parsons
If you say that you love the “LORD God of Israel” (יהוה אֱלהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל) — and it’s clear that the LORD God of Israel loves the Jewish people — it follows that you should likewise love the Jewish people (see Deut. 7:6-8; 14:2; 2 Sam. 7:23-24; 1 Kings 8:53; 10:9; 1 Chron 17:20-21; Isa 43:1-3; Jer. 31:31-37; Ezek. 36:24-28; Rom. 11:1-2;11:28; Hos. 11:1-11, etc.).
Deuteronomy 7:6-8 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
6 For you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure. 7 Adonai didn’t set his heart on you or choose you because you numbered more than any other people — on the contrary, you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 Rather, it was because Adonai loved you, and because he wanted to keep the oath which he had sworn to your ancestors, that Adonai brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from a life of slavery under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 14:2 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
2 because you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonaiyour God has chosen you to be his own unique treasure out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.
2 Samuel 7:23-24 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
23 Who can be compared with your people, with Isra’el? What other nation on earth did God set out to redeem and make into a people for himself? You made yourself a reputation by doing for your land things that even for you are great and terrifying, for the sake of your people whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt and from other nations and from their gods. 24 You set up your people for yourself as your people forever; and you, Adonai, became their God.
1 Kings 8:53 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
53 For you made a distinction between them and all the peoples of the earth by making them your inheritance, as you said through Moshe your servant when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Adonai Elohim.”
1 Kings 10:9 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
9 Blessed be Adonai your God, who took pleasure in you to put you on the throne of Isra’el. Because of Adonai’s eternal love for Isra’el, he has made you king, to administer judgment and justice fairly.”
1 Chronicles 17:20-21 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
20 Adonai, there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you — everything we have heard confirms that. 21 Who can be compared with your people Isra’el? What other nation on earth did God set out to redeem and turn into a people for himself? You made yourself a reputation by doing great and terrifying things, as you drove out the nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt.
Isaiah 43:1-3 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
43 But now this is what Adonai says,
he who created you, Ya‘akov,
he who formed you, Isra’el:
“Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you;
I am calling you by your name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through water, I will be with you;
when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched —
the flame will not burn you.
3 For I am Adonai, your God,
the Holy One of Isra’el, your Savior —
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and S’va for you.
Jeremiah 31:31-37 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
31 (32) It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them,” says Adonai. 32 (33) “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,” says Adonai: “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 33 (34) No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know Adonai’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.”
34 (35) This is what Adonai says,
who gives the sun as light for the day,
who ordained the laws for the moon and stars
to provide light for the night,
who stirs up the sea until its waves roar —
Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name:
35 (36) “If these laws leave my presence,” says Adonai,
“then the offspring of Isra’el will stop being
a nation in my presence forever.”
36 (37) This is what Adonai says:
“If the sky above can be measured
and the foundations of the earth be fathomed,
then I will reject all the offspring of Isra’el
for all that they have done,” says Adonai.
37 (38) “Look, the days are coming,” says Adonai, “when the city will be rebuilt for Adonai from the Tower of Hanan’el to the Corner Gate.
Ezekiel 36:24-28 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
24 For I will take you from among the nations,
gather you from all the countries,
and return you to your own soil.
25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you,
and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness
and from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart
and put a new spirit inside you;
I will take the stony heart out of your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh.
27 I will put my Spirit inside you
and cause you to live by my laws,
respect my rulings and obey them.
28 You will live in the land I gave to your ancestors.
You will be my people,
and I will be your God.
Romans 11:1-2 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
11 “In that case, I say, isn’t it that God has repudiated his people?” Heaven forbid! For I myself am a son of Isra’el, from the seed of Avraham,[a] of the tribe of Binyamin. 2 God has not repudiated his people,[b] whom he chose in advance. Or don’t you know what the Tanakh says about Eliyahu? He pleads with God against Isra’el,
Romans 11:28 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
28 With respect to the Good News they are hated for your sake. But with respect to being chosen they are loved for the Patriarchs’ sake,
Hosea 11 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
11 “When Isra’el was a child, I loved him;
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more [the prophets] called them,
the farther they went from them.
They sacrificed to the ba‘alim
and offered incense to idols.
3 “Yet it was I who taught Efrayim to walk;
I took them by their arms.
But they did not know that it was I
who was healing them,
4 who was guiding them on through human means
with reins made of love.
With them I was like someone removing
the yoke from their jaws,
and I bent down to feed them.
5 He will not return to the land of Egypt,
but Ashur will be his king,
because they refused to repent.
6 The sword will fall on his cities,
destroying the bars of his gates,
because they follow their own advice.
7 My people are hanging in suspense
about returning to me;
and though they call them upwards,
nobody makes a move.
8 Efrayim, how can I give you up,
or surrender you, Isra’el?
How could I treat you like Admah
or make you like Tzvoyim?
My heart recoils at the idea,
as compassion warms within me.
9 I will not give vent to the fierceness of my rage,
I will not return to destroy Efrayim;
for I am God, not a human being,
the Holy One among you;
so I will not come in fury.
10 They will go after Adonai,
who will roar like a lion;
for he will roar, and the children will come
trembling from the west.
11 They will tremble like a bird as they come from Egypt,
like a dove as they come from the land of Ashur;
and I will resettle them in their own houses,
After all, the LORD Yeshua is called מֶלֶךְ הַיְּהוּדִים / melech ha-Yehudim: the “King of the Jews” (Matt. 2:2, 27:11, etc.),
Matthew 2:2 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
2 and asked, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 27:11 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
11 Meanwhile, Yeshua was brought before the governor, and the governor put this question to him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Yeshua answered, “The words are yours.”
and the very term “Mashiach” [i.e., “Christ”] is a regal term denoting ‘the anointed’ King of Israel. Christians who pray to “Jesus Christ” are really praying to Yeshua as the anointed King of the Jews… And one day (very soon) Yeshua will indeed return to Jerusalem, the “City of the Great King” (Matt 5:35), to assume the throne of David and complete the redemption originally promised to the Jewish people (Zech. 12:1-13:1; 14:1-9, Ezek. 37:12-14, etc.).
Zechariah 12:1-13 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Lord Will Give Salvation
12 The oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. 3 On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. 4 On that day, declares the Lord, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.5 Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.’
6 “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem.
7 “And the Lord will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. 8 On that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, going before them. 9 And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Him Whom They Have Pierced
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land shall mourn, each family[a] by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.
13 “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.
Zechariah 14:1-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Coming Day of the Lord
14 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. 5 And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.[a]
9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
God will prove faithful to ethnic Israel. To deny this is to radically question God’s faithfulness to the “Church.” Indeed, let me say this as plainly as I can: Churches or teachers who claim that God has abandoned ethnic Israel are directly impugning the credibility of the Gospel message itself. Yes, it’s that serious of an issue…
Note the verse that says, “I will bless those who bless you, but the one who discounts you will be cursed” (Gen 12:3). Why is this the case, chaverim? The answer is found in the second half of the verse: “For in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” [i.e., through the advent of your Seed, the Messiah]. We cannot dispute the truth of the promises of God given to the Jewish people without likewise calling into question God’s promises given to us in Messiah. To say that God is “done with the Jewish people” or to consign them to a dark fate is to disregard them, to curse them, and that results in reciprocal judgment from heaven:
The physical descendants of Abraham are called בָּבַת עֵינוֹ (bavat eino), the “pupil of God’s eye” (Zech. 2:8 8 (4) and said to him, “Run and tell this young man, ‘Yerushalayim will be inhabited without walls, because there will be so many people and animals; ), a term of endearment God uses for no other nation on earth. Indeed the habitations of the nations were established based on the number of the children of Israel (see Deut. 32:8 “When ‘Elyon gave each nation its heritage, when he divided the human race, he assigned the boundaries of peoples according to Isra’el’s population;). The Scriptures declare that the LORD will never abandon His original covenant people but will yet choose them for His Name’s sake (Isa. 14:1 For Adonai will have compassion on Ya‘akov — he will once again choose Isra’el and resettle them in their own land, where foreigners will join them, attaching themselves to the house of Ya‘akov.). The church has not replaced Israel in God’s redemptive plan but is merely “grafted in” to the original “root” of Israel. “Remember,” Rabbi Paul warns, “it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you” (Rom. 11:18).
Paul has waxed eloquently in the Book of Romans that it is the Covenant of Abraham (a Hebrew covenant) that established the promises for future “seed of Abraham”. And that it is the seed of Abraham who will be the inheritors of God’s Kingdom. So, Believing gentiles, if you trust Christ then you are seed of Abraham and you are an inheritor of God’s Kingdom; that’s the promise. But what specific group of people held that promise in the form of a covenant given to them by God? The Hebrews. So how did gentiles get into a position to be seed of Abraham? We were grafted into the Hebrew’s covenants by our trust in Messiah Yeshua (Paul will discuss that at length in Romans 11). That is, if we trust in the perfect faithfulness of Jesus Christ then we will be included in the promises and terms of the Covenants of Abraham and Moses even though we are not physical Hebrews.
Romans 11 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
11 “In that case, I say, isn’t it that God has repudiated his people?” Heaven forbid! For I myself am a son of Isra’el, from the seed of Avraham,[a] of the tribe of Binyamin. 2 God has not repudiated his people,[b] whom he chose in advance. Or don’t you know what the Tanakh says about Eliyahu? He pleads with God against Isra’el, 3 “Adonai, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars, and I’m the only one left, and now they want to kill me too!”[c] 4 But what is God’s answer to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not knelt down to Ba‘al.”[d] 5 It’s the same way in the present age: there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 (Now if it is by grace, it is accordingly not based on legalistic works; if it were otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.) 7 What follows is that Isra’el has not attained the goal for which she is striving. The ones chosen have obtained it, but the rest have been made stonelike, 8 just as the Tanakh says,
“God has given them a spirit of dullness —
eyes that do not see
and ears that do not hear,
right down to the present day.”[e]
9 And David says,
“Let their dining table become for them
a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a punishment.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they can’t see,
with their backs bent continually.”[f]
11 “In that case, I say, isn’t it that they have stumbled with the result that they have permanently fallen away?” Heaven forbid! Quite the contrary, it is by means of their stumbling that the deliverance has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy.[g] 12 Moreover, if their stumbling is bringing riches to the world — that is, if Isra’el’s being placed temporarily in a condition less favored than that of the Gentiles is bringing riches to the latter — how much greater riches will Isra’el in its fullness bring them!
13 However, to those of you who are Gentiles I say this: since I myself am an emissary sent to the Gentiles, I make known the importance of my work 14 in the hope that somehow I may provoke some of my own people to jealousy and save some of them! 15 For if their casting Yeshua aside means reconciliation for the world, what will their accepting him mean? It will be life from the dead!
16 Now if the hallah offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole loaf. And if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you — a wild olive — were grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree, 18 then don’t boast as if you were better than the branches! However, if you do boast, remember that you are not supporting the root, the root is supporting you. 19 So you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 True, but so what? They were broken off because of their lack of trust. However, you keep your place only because of your trust. So don’t be arrogant; on the contrary, be terrified! 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he certainly won’t spare you! 22 So take a good look at God’s kindness and his severity: on the one hand, severity toward those who fell off; but, on the other hand, God’s kindness toward you — provided you maintain yourself in that kindness! Otherwise, you too will be cut off! 23 Moreover, the others, if they do not persist in their lack of trust, will be grafted in; because God is able to graft them back in. 24 For if you were cut out of what is by nature a wild olive tree and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree!
Note: Please don’t regard the “curse” mentioned in Gen. 12:3 to suggest that God is somehow vindictive, petty, etc. No, the reason the curse befalls those who reject God’s plan for Israel is because Israel was the means God chose to bring salvation to the world: Yeshua was born the King of the Jews who came to ransom all those who trust in him from the curse of spiritual death (Gal. 4:4, Rom. 3:2, John 4:22).
Galatians 4:4 English Standard Version (ESV)
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
Romans 3:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.
John 4:22 English Standard Version (ESV)
22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
The reason God can’t bless people who hate the Jewish people or Israel is because that would mean he would bless those who hate the truth, who spurn salvation, and who love darkness… The same God who promises us life and healing in Yeshua is the one who promised never to cast of Israel or to eternally disown the Jewish people. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, God cannot give us a good apart from himself, since there literally is no such thing.