Wednesday, October 3, 2012

the Israeli apologetic

Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
Ezekiel 36:22

God's move to restore Israel was not predicated upon their merit as a nation. He did so to bring glory to Himself. It was all done for the sake of God's holy name. That is why God acts. His actions and works are rooted in His own holiness. And that is why He is God. Only God has the root of His motivation squarely centered in His own holiness. That is why His deeds are always right.

The promises made to Israel in this context are intense. God promises to restore them physically, nationally, economically, and most importantly, spiritually. He would restore the fortunes of His people so that the world would know that He is God. In that sense, Israel is an apologetic for the person of God and His work in the world.

In many ways this is still the case. Most of the dimensions of the prophetic content of Ezekiel 36 are still being fulfilled. So Israel is still a big testimony to the existence and grace of God. I know that I have no other explanation for the Jewish people than the hand of God clearly upon them. Given the history of the world, the Jews by all rights should have been eradicated millennia ago. Yet God has miraculously protected them and kept covenant with a less than perfect people. Israel is, for me, proof of the validity of scripture. And God has a unique relationship with the Jewish people still today that I respect, appreciate, and evaluate biblically.

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