April 23, 2021 E-Letter
In many ways and in many Old Testament passages God told Israel how He would deal with them and what His ultimate plan for them would be. God spelled it all out in Leviticus 26. They should have known but they still stumbled repeatedly as a blind man would.
We are posting a number of e-letters Make Sure Ministries has received from David Henke, founder of Watchman Fellowship, Inc., an apologetics ministry, on a variety of subjects. They will post on Tuesdays into the foreseeable future. As always, we appreciate your comments. Please consider clicking on the link following this blog to learn more about Watchman Fellowship and what they have to offer. E-letters have been slightly edited for clarity.
For God to fulfill His promises to Israel He must preserve Israel throughout their dispersion, and through two millennia.
As ethnic populations go in today’s world the Jews are a small number. Their number is just about equal to the margin of error in the estimated population of China, about 14 million people.
One of the things that cannot be explained in normal historical terms is the survival of the Jewish people scattered among many nations for two millennia. They have kept their identity, their culture, their religion, and their hope to return to the land promised to them.
Every other people group that has been dispersed by invaders has been absorbed in two centuries or less to the point that they are no longer a discernible group.
But God promised in Jeremiah 31:31-37 that He would preserve His people and without contradiction He has done that. The existence of Israel is one clear proof of the literal interpretive method.
Their preservation has been widely noticed even before the Jews returned to their land. Mark Twain observed in an essay in Harpers Magazine in 1899 entitled Concerning the Jews:
The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away. The Greek and Roman followed, made a vast noise and they are gone. Other peoples have sprung up, and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out and they sit in twilight now or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew. All other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?“Concerning the Jews” by Mark Twain, Harpers Magazine, 1899
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) said:
The Jews may be considered as a remarkable evidence of the truth of revealed religion, in that they were preserved so long a time a distinct nation from all others, even since their father Jacob’s time, till this day; being neither destroyed, nor abolished, nor lost by mixing with other nations.The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, p. 494
Leo Tolstoy echoed this as well in an article in 1908 entitled “What is a Jew”:
The Jew is the emblem of eternity. He who neither slaughter nor torture of thousands of years could destroy, he who neither fire, nor sword, nor Inquisition was able to wipe off the face of the earth. He who was the first to produce the Oracles of God. He who has been for so long the Guardian of Prophecy and has transmitted it to the rest of the world. Such a nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is as everlasting as Eternity itself.“What is a Jew” by Leo Tolstoy, 1908
In his book Pensées, the great French philosopher Blaise Pascal said the preservation of the Jews as a distinct people is nothing short of a supernatural phenomenon.
When Arnold Toynbee completed his classic ten-volume analysis of the rise and fall of human civilization, A Study of History, he was troubled by only one seeming refutation of his universal rules governing the inexorable decline of every people on earth. Only the Jews had survived, in defiance of Toynbee’s carefully reasoned analysis. So Toynbee proclaimed the Jews nothing more than “a vestigial remnant,” a people destined soon to perish.The Miracle of Jewish History, by Benjamin Blech, History News Network, 8/4/2007
David Ben Gurion, first President of modern Israel said:
A Jew who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.
To be continued …
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