Manoah’s Wife is doing a survey of the book of Esther. The post I’ve linked to got me to thinking about something. A quick summary of the story goes like this. The King declares that everyone bow to Haman, his second in command. But Haman finds out that one man will not bow. Mordecia was his name, a Jew. Haman vows to kill not only Mordecia but all the Jews in the kingdom. Why all of them? Why the Jews?
We read of what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews before and during World War II and we are horrified. How could this happen? The fact is that this has happened throughout history all the way back to the time of Esther. Some say this is because they are cursed by God, that they are being punished for killing Jesus. I find that baffling. It’s not the Jews alone who are guilty of Jesus’ crucifixion. I know that Jesus went to the cross because of the sins of all of us, because of my sin. And really the idea of God cursing the Jews doesn’t wash because the Jews are a blessed people. You give them half a chance and they wind up blessed financially. They become doctors and lawyers and captains of industry and finance. And they are hated for it, for these blessings from God. (I realize I am stereotyping here. Jews are not all alike. I know I’m making some broad brush statements but I am going somewhere with this. Trust me.)
Maybe they are hated because they won’t assimilate. Think about it. There are Italian Americans and Irish Americans but you don’t think of Jewish Americans. Like no other race in history they have maintained their racial identity. Even when they are non-practicing or non-religious Jews they are Jews. It’s like they are a nation unto themselves.
But none of this accounts for the completely irrational hatred of the Jews, the determination throughout history to wipe from the face of the earth. Sometimes this hatred has been used for political purposes. You get people united in hatred of the Jews and they won’t notice the other stuff you are doing. But that’s not the main story. The main issue is this irrational, rabid, unholy wrath against the Jews.
I think it comes down to this. Jews will not bow. They see themselves as God’s chosen people and they will bow to none other but Him.
So what does that mean to me as a Christian? I Peter 1:9 says this:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Romans 11 says we have been grafted into the vine of Israel. Ephesians 1 speaks of our adoption into the family of God. We have been grafted into the vine of the spiritual Israel. We have been adopted into His family. We are children of God. We are different, a people set apart. A nation unto ourselves.
So here’s the thing. We hear talk of all religions having part of the truth, of many ways to God, of tolerance and understanding and we remain silent because we don’t want to be seen as intolerant or ignorant. What do we do about that? Here’s what I think I’ll do. I’ll drive a stake in the ground and make this statement:
I bow my knee to God the Father, to His Son Jesus Christ, and to my teacher and guide the Holy Spirit. I will bow my knee to no other, no king, no leader, no government, no denomination. No other.
And I declare that there is no other way to be grafted into the vine, to find adoption into God’s family, to be a part of His royal priesthood, His holy nation, but by Christ and Christ alone.
Copyright © 2012 by Angus B. Lewis
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