Whose God is He anyway?
May I remind you that the western world media are largely
anti Israel, often without even comprehending it. Why? For the same reason they
are antagonistic to Christ without knowing it! We'll come back to this...
In 1999 I penned some articles laying a foundation for the
'Whose God Is He Anyway' series. I am going to restate a number of the main
areas of interest in this article, believing that we need to be constantly
reminded about the God we serve, and His chosen relationship with Israel: In
Genesis 17:1 God appears to ninety nine year old Abram and identifies Himself as
"El Shaddai" (meaning covenant God). I wonder if Abram had any understanding
at that point of the significance of what was about to happen?... It was God who
gave Himself the title of "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -– the God of
Israel". What is currently going on in Israel must be understood in this
During the six day war in 1967, General Moshe Dyan of the
Israeli army said " If we lose this war, I'll start another one in my wife's
There is a fundamental difference in philosophy between the
Jewish people and our own. Their philosophy does not invalidate ours, the trick
is always to add to our understanding, allowing if necessary for a change in
equilibrium (balance point) and proceeding from there.
The Jewish saying "God is what God does" summarises
the very practical viewpoint these people possess. The God of Israel is seen as
a functional God, the one who provides rain for growth, protection for people
and laws for specific but very useful reasons. For example, if we describe a
container as being 'a large bowl, white colour with a blue stripe, has a rim,
made of plastic' a Hebrew mind will describe it differently. 'It can hold
approx 1 gallon, has a rim to hold onto when it's full and heavy, is
constructed of hard plastic so that it won't break if dropped...'
It's all to do with God's character being expressed
through what He has said or done -– an understanding of which is the whole
point of life, providing security and confidence, and the ability to go on when
things are difficult.
An inscription found on a cellar wall in Cologne where Jews
hid from the Nazi's reads "I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.
I believe in love even when not feeling it. I believe in God even when He is
The Jewish race has had to 'know' about a functional God.
Theories count for nought when the chips are down.
Why are the Jews hated? The answers to this question will
take more than this article to cover. The obvious answer is that the Jews really
had no choice with the popularity issue from the time God established them as
His chosen people. In Hebrew there is a saying 'sinat hinnam' meaning 'hating
without a cause'. As we know, Jesus was hated in this manner. The
followers of Jesus have been promised a similar reception. From time to time in
the Western world, we experience unnecessary hostility, brought on by....? You
guessed it, quite often there is absolutely no cause. The Apostle Paul displayed
this hatred for Christians prior to his meeting with Jesus on the road to
Damascus -– Stephen took the brunt of this hatred. The Jews have been 'hated
without a cause' throughout their entire history -– the term antisemitism
fits into this picture. The Western media display sinat hinnam toward Israel,
without even knowing why.
A fundamental issue is that the God of Israel differs from
all the gods of the pagan world -– He doesn't wish to co-exist. He has made
it clear that He is not from here and to a very certain degree is not a part of
this world -– His dimensions are infinitely greater. We have come to understand
that He is a loving personal God, very much in touch with our desires and lives.
The fact is He initiated this relationship side Himself, when we were unable to
even make contact with Him. The Jewish people attribute a far greater power to
God than any other ancient religion. Josephus (Jewish historian) called this 'Theocracy
-– placing all sovereignty in the hands of God'. "God is the cause of
all things. From earthquakes to political and military disasters. There is no
other source of power, demons being God activated; divinity is indivisible,
unique, single. And, since God is not merely bigger than this world, but
infinitely bigger, the idea of representing Him is absurd" Von Rad.
Again, God set the rules and made it clear that His people
should have no graven images. Moreover He said in Exodus 34:13-15 '...destroy
the images in the land'. Israel, for doing what they were told, although not
always correctly, bears the negative response from onlookers. Clearly, man alone
would be made in God's image.
The world religions have always, and always will resent the
'firey challenge' of the fundamentalist Jewish Faith. We Christians should
not fall into the trap of bending to public pressure. The popular media is not
particularly interested in expressing the interests of Almighty God.
The land given by God to Israel has always carried something
of an air of uncertainty with it. Genesis 15:18-21 outlines the region being 'gifted'.
The problem then (and now) is that there were people living there already. I
must stress again, it was God's call. Prophetically speaking, there is a lot
of activity to come in the Middle East if this prophecy is to be fulfilled.
Also, if Israel loses any of the land she won in the 1967 war, it will be a
temporal loss, it will revert back to Israeli ownership.
Lets touch on Islamic peace for a moment: "In the
Arab-Islamic teaching concerning peace with non-Moslems, the peace is entirely
an Islamic affair: it is initiated by the Moslems when they feel it is a
necessity, and anticipate its practical benefits; and they end at their will
whenever they feel they should or can. Even when peace treaties are entered into
by the Islamic people with non-Moslems, the enemy remains an enemy. In the
Islamic thought and teaching, it is permissible to conclude peace treaties for
practical reasons, on the road to ultimate Islamic victory. The Islamic concept
of peace is therefore the cessation of hostilities until such time the
conditions favour resumption of hostilities that will ultimately lead to Islamic
victory" Abdul Halim Haddam, Vice President of Syria.
Finally, there is ongoing debate as to the literal meaning of
the name Israel but it can mean: He who fights God; He who fights for God; He
whom God fights; whom God rules...the general picture is that the burden put on
this group of people was always going to bring trouble...along with privilege.
It's a complex story with a number of twists -– don't be
taken by everything you read in the popular press!