Whose God is He Anyway?
A civilisation is born,
reaches its maturity, and dies. This
is the pattern of history. So it was with the Babylonians, the
Persians, Greeks and Romans - but what about the Jews?
It is interesting that often in Christian circles, to lead a
Jew to Jesus is like the pinnacle of success, the ultimate trophy
piece for successful witnessing. I remember an experience I had
after leaving Bible school in 1983. En route home to New Zealand
I had a stopover in Wellington where I had been informed of the
existence of ‘a Jewish retailer’.
Personally primed with enthusiasm and very charged up with the
‘Great Commission, I approached ‘the Jew’ with
the good news. I can still picture the event vividly. "Jesus?" he
said without batting an eyelid. "We Jewish retailers invented
Jesus so we could sell more around Christmas time." I bought a
paper and boarded my next flight.
I grew up hearing about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -
the God of Israel. It has always amazed me that ‘the Mighty
God’ who is so awesome, so big (eg "The whole earth is His
footstool…"), would label Himself in such a personalised
way. It almost seemed to me it was limiting for God to show such
a personal link to mankind.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - the God of
Israel. We don’t often hear this terminology used in
churches any more. Have you ever played Chinese whispers? You
take a line of people, and whisper a message into the first
person’s ear. They in turn whisper the message into the ear
of the second person and so on until we get to the end of the
line where we ask the last person to present the original
Yes, a message always makes it to the end person, but the
integrity of what remains can be quite amusing. "Chinese
whispers" is most probably played by members of every religion of
the world. The further you get from the source, the more second
hand and weak the message gets. How we (believers) need to return
directly to the source, the Word of God, for our direction and
world view! I am talking about reading it, studying it and
grappling with it ourselves, not via another’s
It was God Himself who coined His Name and in so doing set up
a traceable trail to His character. Why the link to the
Patriarchs, let alone the People (Israel) who generally speaking,
have not responded to Him anyway? The answer lies in Exodus 3:13-15
where Moses asks God "What is your name?" God replies "I
Am that I Am…The Lord God of your fathers, the God of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, THIS IS MY NAME FOREVER and this is my
memorial unto all generations."
My mind flicks back to a couple of my Bible college tutors who
made statements some years ago to the effect that Israel had
served its purpose, and we Gentile Christian believers now take
up the baton. We have basically replaced Israel in God’s
plan. I didn’t give it much thought until much later when I
couldn’t help but notice when reading the Bible, there is a
very real plan for literal Israel. Time and time again literal
Israel is addressed by God. In prophecy, literal Israel will
experience very real events in days to come.
Exodus 19:4-6 states Gods immutable intention for Israel, who
He calls "a peculiar treasure unto me above all people, for all
the earth is mine." In a world of quickly changing styles and
glittering developments, some things will never change.