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  • Pastor Paul Davis

A UNIQUE PEOPLE

The following is from Israel and the Church, by Ronald E. Diprose, pp. 21-26


“The survival of the people of Israel and of their culture over three millennia and in almost impossible conditions requires an explanation … in spite of the contempt in which they have been held and repeated waves of aggressive anti-Semitism, they have found the energy to make significant contributions to human well-being and culture …

“The quality and extent of the cultural contribution of the Jews is reflected, in recent times, in the number of Nobel Prize winners of Jewish origin. A survey of the period from 1910 to 1960 shows that during that half century more than thirty Jews, mostly of German origin, received the Nobel Prize in fields such as medicine, physics, and chemistry. In subsequent years, further Nobel Prizes in science and literature have been awarded to persons of Jewish origin. Moreover, in 1960 no less than thirty-two Jews were members of the Royal Society of the English Academy of Science.


“This is all the more remarkable when it is remembered that most of these Jewish contributions were made in a climate of anti-Semitism. Many of the Jewish members of the Royal Society were Jews who had found refuge from anti-Semitic persecution in England. Even Albert Einstein, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1922 and was declared the man of the twentieth century by Time magazine, drew upon himself a continual stream of verbal abuse and was forced into exile, by reason of his race.

“All attempts to exterminate the Jews, whether perpetrated in God’s name or not, have met with failure ...

“The acme of all attempts to destroy the Jews … was reached with the policies of the Third Reich (1934-1945). Jewish families, who for generations had been assimilated in German society, were listed among those to be exterminated. Adolf Hitler was so convinced that he was about to exterminate the Jewish race that he ordered the concentration of objects of Jewish cultural interest in the city of Prague, where he planned to construct a large Jewish museum, in order that Jewish culture would not be totally forgotten by humanity.


“While the perpetrators of the pogroms and the Third Reich were bent on destroying the Jewish communities within their reach, a very different movement called Zionism was gaining momentum within Jewry itself. This movement had the ultimate aim of ‘securing for the Jewish people a home in Palestine guaranteed by public law.’ This was finally achieved with the birth of the modern State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The subsequent history of this elect people is common knowledge and it is no longer possible to ignore the surprising survival of the Jewish nation ...

“Israel’s special status as an elect nation was never intended to be an end in itself. One of the terms of God’s covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was that through Israel all the world would be blessed (Gen. 12:3; 26:4; 28:14). In reiterating this covenant promise to Jacob, God explicitly stated his plan to bless the world through Israel and her offspring (Gen. 28:14).


“Even in Old Testament times, while the nation of Israel was in the process of learning to know and obey God, God so ordered their existence as to bring blessing to others through them. To mention just a few examples, Israel was instrumental in making known the true God to the Egyptians at the time of the Exodus, to the Ninevites at the time of Jonah, and to all those living under the dominion of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar at the time of Daniel (Ex. 1-15; Jonah; Dan. 1-4). The supreme example of the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob bringing blessing to the whole of mankind is, of course, the saving work of Jesus the Messiah, ‘the son of David, the son of Abraham,’ accomplished during his first advent (Matt. 1:1, 21; cf. Isa. 49:1-7). No blessing can compare with the gift of eternal salvation which is offered to all peoples on the basis of the Jewish Messiah’s substitutionary death and resurrection (Rom. 3:21-4:25). In this connection it should not be forgotten that it was Jesus Himself who insisted that ‘salvation is of the Jews’ (Jhn. 4:22).”

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