As the introduction to this article states, it is the substance of two school assembly talks, in Kilskeery Independent Christian School, I gave to the children back in 2016 to mark ‘Holocaust Memorial Day’, January 27th.
It states some truths that are very relevant in the light of the upsurge of hatred toward the Jewish people, not just on the borders of Israel but reports of anti-semitism are coming in from many lands where there is an ignorance of what modern society owes to the Jewish race.
I trust that it is a blessing to you.
Sincerely in Christ’s name,
Why we should love the Jewish people
(Holocaust Memorial Day 2016.)
The substance of two school morning assembly messages given in Kilskeery Independent Christian School, by retired minister and school administrator, Rev Ivan Foster, on 27th and 28th January.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed,” Genesis 12:1-3.
It is clear from the first words spoken to Abraham, from whom sprang the Jewish people, that he and his descendants would be those about whom there would a division of opinions. There would be those that would “bless” them and there would be those who would “curse” them!
Those that “bless” them would be blessed of God and those that “cursed” them would be cursed of God. They were, in heaven’s eyes, a very special people.
On this day in 1945, there took place the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp. With that event the world was given irrefutable evidence of the cruel and satanic attack upon the Jewish people by Nazi Germany. It has been set as a day to remember that dreadful wickedness.
Today I want to tell you why we should and must love the Jewish people.
1. OUR BLESSED SAVIOUR, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WAS A JEW.
We are given the Saviour’s ancestry repeatedly in the Holy Scriptures.
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham,” Matthew 1:1.
“Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh,” Romans 1:3.
“Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen,” Romans 9:4-5.
The Lord Jesus was the Son of God but He took into union with His divine nature, spotless human nature, being born of the Virgin Mary. By race He was a Jew!
How can we not love that people of whom our blessed Redeemer sprang?
2. THE JEWS GAVE US THE HO LY SCRIPTURES.
The Bible you children hold in your hands today is a Jewish book. The writers, inspired by God, were almost all Jews. Since we do not know who wrote the book of Job, we make that the only exception. What a blessing has come to the world from these blessed scriptures!
“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God,” Romans 3:1-2.
“For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” Deuteronomy 4:7-8.
They became God’s missionaries to us in Europe and to all the world.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15. The eleven men thus commissioned with the task of telling the world the glorious message of salvation were all Jews. How we rejoice in their obedience and in their sacrifice for each one with the exception of John died as a martyr for the cause of Christ.
“And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; there stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days,” Acts 16:8-12.
Here is the entrance of the gospel into Europe.
“After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome,” Acts 19:21.
The gospel is moving further west and nearer to us here in Ireland.
“Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company,” Romans 15:24.
The westward movement continues and the light was soon to dawn in the British Isles. Today we salute those, chiefly Jews, whose labours brought us that light.
3. WE SHOULD LOVE THE JEW BECAUSE OF THE TERRIBLE SUFFERING THEY MUST YET FACE.
While marking the sufferings under Nazism, we sadly note what the Saviour tells us regarding the future of the Jewish people. The Lord Jesus tells us that the Jewish people will go through great tribulation under the Antichrist. It must be said that by rejecting their Messiah and by uttering those dreadful words, recorded in Matthew 27:24-25: “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children,” the Jewish nation brought upon their heads the terrible wrath of God. Of this the Saviour had warned. “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” Matthew 23:34-39.
The Saviour warns of future suffering, greater than any yet endured, which will come upon the Jewish people in the days of the Antichrist. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened,” Matthew 24:15-22.
4. BECAUSE GOD WILL YET BLESS THE WORLD THROUGH THE JEW.
They who were the means under God of bringing the gospel to the world 2000 years ago, will yet be used of God in an even greater way in the future. God is not yet finished with the Jews!
Listen to these words of Paul.
“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew,” Romans 11:1-2.
“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?” Romans 11:11-12.
“For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Romans 11:15.
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins,” Romans 11:25-27.
There is a future, a great and glorious future for the Jew!
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel,” Matthew 19:28.
“That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel,” Luke 22:30.
5. A PROMISE OF BLESSING IS GIVEN TO THOSE THAT LOVE ISRAEL.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee,” Psalm 122:6.
Peace will one day come to Jerusalem as a result of the prayers of God’s people. The peace that will come will then fill the world.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah 52:7.
“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies,” Isaiah 66:10-14.
It will be a day of peace for the world.
“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more,” Isaiah 2:4.
“He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire,” Psalm 46:9.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea,” Isaiah 11:9.
This, very briefly, is a setting forth of the glorious future God has planned for the Jewish people and through them for the world.
Ought we not therefore to love them and pray for them now that God would hasten the day of their redemption and that of the world?
“Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen,” Psalm 72:18-19.