On Saturday, October 27, America experienced its latest senseless tragedy when a lone gunman entered a synagogue shouting anti-Semitic words and killed eleven innocent lives.
For those who thought anti-Semitism was a thing of the past, this incident came as a fresh reminder that it is just a stone’s throw away. A recent report revealed a dramatic rise in anti-Semitic activities both in the US and Europe in the last two years. Sadly, we are apt to see more outbursts of anti-Semitic in the future.
The Bible reveals Satan’s particular hatred for the Jewish people. All through biblical history, Satan is portrayed as a serpent ready to devour the Man-Child; when he is unable to do so, he then turns to persecute the woman (Israel) who gives birth to Him (Revelation 12:1-6). Whether Pharaoh cruelly devising a way to drown all firstborn males, Haman building gallows to have Mordecai executed, or Herod destroying the babes of Bethlehem, in each generation demonically inspired anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head. The latest is the slaying of Jews in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. As a pastor friend of mine recently stated, “Blaming and hating the Jews is as old as Haman in Persia, as new as yesterday’s shooting, and as widespread as the UN general assembly.”
The Church owes a debt of love and gratitude to the Jewish people. After all, the twelve apostles of the Lamb were all Jews. Each writer of precious Scripture (with the exception of one) was a Jew. How can the true believer therefore ever hate the Jew to whom he or she owes such a debt of gratitude? As a reminder of that, I quote in the remainder of this blog an anonymous poem which I have known for years simply entitled, “The Jew.” It reminds us as believers of the debt of gratitude we owe to the Jew for preserving for us the precious pages of Holy Scripture:
Scattered by God’s almighty hand,
Afflicted and forlorn,
Sad wanderers from their pleasant Land,
Do Judah’s children mourn;
And e’en in Christian countries, few
Breathe thoughts of pity for the Jew.
Yet listen, Gentile, do you love
The Bible’s precious page?
Then let your heart with kindness move
To Israel’s heritage;
Who traced those lines of love for you?
Each sacred writer was a Jew.
And then as years and ages passed,
And Nations rose and fell,
Though clouds and darkness oft were cast
O’er captive Israel
The oracles of God for you
Were kept in safety by the Jew.
And when the great Redeemer came
For guilty man to bleed.
He did not take an angel’s name,
No, born of Abraham’s seed,
Jesus, who gave His life for you—
The gentle Saviour — was a Jew.
And though His own received Him not,
And turned in pride away,
Whence is the Gentile’s happier lot?
Are you more just than they?
No! God in pity turned to you—
Have you no pity for the Jew?
Go, then, and bend your knee to pray For Israel’s ancient race;
Ask the dear Saviour every day— To call them by His grace.
Go, for a debt of love is due
From Christian Gentiles to the Jew.