"And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly....But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year." --Genesis 17: 20-21
While I was attending college in my early twenties, I met and befriended a young lady originally from Russia. She and her family were religious refugees who had been given asylum in the United States.
She was a Jew.
I was fascinated by her accent, her story and the enormous sacrifice made by her parents and grandparents by uprooting their lives and their family to start over in America. After spending a considerable amount of time with her family, I came to see that, although they were basking in their newly acquired freedoms and liberties, they were most definitely products of the Soviet Union; often times speaking fondly of Lenin and his policies and very critically of Reagan and his "Tear Down Your Wall" speech. They drank lots of vodka and lived very modestly. However, the most fascinating aspect of her life to me was that although her family had been given asylum as Jewish refugees, they didn't believe in or worship God. My simple mind and my small world had naively assumed that if you were a Jew, you believed in God. This family educated me otherwise: they mocked the idea that the Torah was the inspired Word of God, they most certainly didn't abide by any Jewish laws, they didn't take part in any Jewish festival or holiday; they were self-proclaimed agnostics. And the idea of being a-religious was normal, if not preferable, to them; you see, coming from a socialist country like Russia, where there was no discussion of any god, they didn't understand our national affections toward God or appreciate the American notion of exceptionalism. They didn't understand how God and our country were intertwined; how our being special, set apart, a city on a hill was directly related to our Judeo-Christian heritage and founding faith. They didn't understand why God, Jesus and religion were part of the national dialogue.
Growing up in small-town Texas, I didn't have the opportunity to meet too many Jews during my childhood. In fact, now that I think about it, Jesus was the only Jew I knew before meeting my college friend, and admittedly, as a child and adolescent, I didn't know Him too terribly well. So please, understand: growing up I had no idea what Jewish people, all over the world, had historically endured and were continuing to endure in modern times. As a child, the Holocaust was something that was briefly discussed in social studies class and Hanukkah was a strangely named holiday that existed on the calender between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And while we are on this subject, to all of you Common Core curriculum advocates: the Holocaust really did occur and your wayward attempt to teach our child otherwise is not only offensive to the memory of those, Jewish or not, who perished or survived it, but enraging to people like me. This curriculum nightmare generated by idiotic progressives is a perfect example of why my husband and I have taken our children out of the public school system. Okay, I feel a little better now that I have gotten that off of my chest. Continuing...When I was about twelve years old, my dad thought it would be good and educational for my younger brother and me to watch the movie, "Schindler's List". I am still traumatized. Seriously, I blame the emotional devastation accompanied with watching that film for my continued dislike of movies. Well, that's not entirely true. I don't watch movies now because I don't want to line the pockets of moronic Hollywood liberals. But as a teenager, I didn't watch movies because I never fully recovered from seeing the ovens and emaciated faces of "Schlinder's List".
I say all of this to explain that once I met my friend and put a beautiful, real face to the Jewish people, whether ethnically Jewish and religiously so, I felt deeply connected to them. I began to read about Jewish culture, not only from a Biblical perspective, but from a secular one as well. I began to read about the atrocities of the Holocaust: the ovens, the experiments, the millions of victims. I was aghast at photographs depicting the emaciated survivors, the mass grave sites, the gas chambers and the infant-sized human remains. About ten years ago, I read a psychoanalytical evaluation of Hitler that addressed his childhood, his family, his incarceration, his rise to power and his cowardly suicide. I was deeply disturbed by the 'legality' of his murderous policies and the apparent blindness and indifference of the German people. I don't know how millions of people are detained, imprisoned, tortured and murdered and a nation seemingly doesn't know. I began to study the nation of Israel and how its' creation in 1949 changed the Middle East and the world forevermore. And, in the spirit of honesty, yes, I read and reread passages of scripture, from both the Old and New Testament, from Abraham to John's Revelation, and was absolutely astounded by the prophecy (and fulfillment) associated with these special, chosen, persecuted people and their promise-land-nation.
So let's just lay it out there...Obviously, I am a Christian and believe that Jesus was born to a virgin Jewish girl named Mary. I believe that Jesus was a Jewish carpenter (thank you Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade); that He was sinless, shameless, fully human, perfection; the prophesied Messiah. I believe that He was crucified by Jewish religious leaders scared of and intimidated by His message and His influence. I believe that God created Jesus a Jew in fulfillment of His Old Testament promises and that in doing so, He made it clear that the Jewish people are chosen, above all others, and that they are the reason for much of what He orchestrates. His punishment for the Jews has at times been necessary and severe. But His love and affection for these amazingly unique people has never waivered.
So, as a Gentile Christian, an adopted heir, I believe that the Jews are very, very special and that the creation of modern-day Israel was divine providence. I believe that Israeli protection and security should be important to every person, leader, and nation who claims to believe in God. I believe it to be woefully unwise to align ourselves against the chosen people of Almighty God and/or speak negatively of their right to possess a land that He promised them. I know that the LORD will bring His plans and desires to fruition regardless of how many charismatic, highly educated, seemingly tolerant, compassionate, liberal statesmen disagree; but even so, anti-Israeli association makes me very, very nervous. It really isn't about what we think is fair, just, right or wrong. One day, fair and just and right will be made clear and wrong and evil will be gone forever. So, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Obama, and all of the rest of the leaders calling, publicly and privately, for a two-state-solution resulting in major land and security concessions to be made by Israel, the Israelis and Mr. Netanyahu, I would extend this caution: you may accomplish what you desire now, but your success will be just like your earthly authority--temporary. The policies you create, the national boundaries you determine, the international acclaim you may garner will be vapor in the wind when the Supreme Judge delivers His final verdict. All people will stand in judgment and all nations will be held accountable.
Israel has been a loyal ally to the United States and up until the current administration, America has always reciprocated in kind. Israel is like America's really tough, scruffy little brother. They can totally take care of themselves: they don't need us as much as we think they do. I don't mean to over simplify, our relationship with Israel is complex but has always been very close and very clear: America and Israel are on the same side. We have faced common enemies and both nations have benefited from standing united against radical foes seeking to undermine freedom and security both in that region of the world and here at home. And listen, I get the President's MO: seemingly lessen our support for Israel; thus proving to the surrounding Middle Eastern nations that America can be even-handed, fair, tolerant, a new mindset in foreign policy. Bad idea. Very bad idea, Mr. President. We aren't going to change any minds over there. We are going to make friends with people and nations who hate all that we stand for. If this administration bombed Israel tomorrow, Iran still would't like us. If this administration assassinated Netanyahu tonight, Syria and Lebanon would simply ask for more blood. We shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that we can make friends in that part of the world. It isn't going to happen. And at this point, the one friendly nation we have, this administration has completely and utterly alienated.
Unfortunately, I fell out of touch with my special Jewish friend many, many years ago. I have often wondered where she is and what became of her life. I deeply regret not being a stronger witness to her and her family and have prayed that they crossed paths with Godly people better than me that planted seeds in their hearts and changed their spiritual status from 'indifferently agnostic' to absolutely saved. I pray that she, and other Jews around the world, whether they reside in America or Israel or Russia will find rest, peace and meaning in the sanctuary of salvation and live out eternity in perfect freedom. I pray that America will reconnect with our Israeli friends and that our nation will do its part in securing their special, promised land.