The Suffering Servant
Will anti-Zionist, anti-Semites blame God for encouraging and enabling the Jewish "monopoly" on suffering? After all, aren't those who refuse to forget the horrors of the Holocaust and warn of man's inhumanity to man, following a biblical precedent?
Didn't the Hebrew God enshrine Israel's suffering by creating a holy day to commemorate their deliverance from Egyptian bondage? Didn't the God of the Hebrews sear Israel's suffering into mankind's memory by instituting PASSOVER, a religious festival God commands all nations to observe? Didn't the Egyptians enslave other peoples, as well? Yet who hears about them, except perhaps in a passing comment?
Didn't the God of Israel dedicate a WHOLE BOOK to a Jewish tragedy that was averted? Doesn't the Book of Esther warn anti-Semites to this day that "he that touches you touches the apple of His eye"? (Zech. 2:8). Of what other nation has such been said? Weren't other peoples threatened throughout history and yet the Bible doesn't make mention of them?
And is it some part of a "Jewish conspiracy" for the whole world to mourn the murder of Jesus Christ by the Romans (yet the Italians aren't branded to this day as "Christ-killers")? Didn't the Romans torture and crucify thousands of individuals? Are CHRISTIANS the biggest cry-babies? Has Jesus' death been exaggerated and milked for all it's worth by Christians fixated with His suffering and self-sacrifice? I'm speaking foolishly (like those who think the Jews have exaggerated their misery) to make a point.
It's not politically-correct, however, the plain truth is that not all lives are equal. Ancient Israel recognized that the life of the king, the nation's leader, was far more important than that of his soldiers (1 Sam. 18:3; 2 Sam. 21:17). Some people and nations have a greater influence and impact upon history. It's not because of Israel's inherent goodness or superiority, we've been warned about believing that, but because of God's overall plan and purpose. At this time, in God's plan of salvation, the lives of Jews and Israelites are incomparable to any other, even as true Christians (in whom God's Spirit dwells) are greater and different than other humans who are only ordinary (1 Cor. 2:9-16). That's why it is written, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" (Ps. 116:15; Numbers 23:10). Isn't God concerned with the death of everyone?
The BIG DIFFERENCE between Jesus and Israel (physical & spiritual) versus other individuals and nations, is simply that we are GOD'S SON! (Hos. 11:1; Amos 3:2). The Bible only mentions other nations insomuch as they come in contact with Israel. The Bible is an ethnocentric book; it's all about a FOCUS ON THE FAMILY on Jacob-Israel!
God doesn't record the suffering of others at this time, because as far as the plan of salvation goes, genocides in Africa or Asia are inconsequential! And those innocent victims who suffered and died during Hitler's War against the Jews (first and foremost), were basically collateral damage! That's not how mankind would view it, but it is how God sees things (Isa. 55:8-9). I'm not attempting to minimize their loss, I'm just seeking to put things in a biblical perspective, however unpopular.
I'm not magnifying Israel's suffering at the expense of others, I'm just emphasizing it as the Bible would. Even the coming Great Tribulation is referred to as "the Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7). Isn't God aware that every nation on earth will suffer when the nuclear bombs begin to drop? Yes. However, presently, other nations are expendable on account of Israel, if necessary. "For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee (individuals), and people (nations) for thy life" (Isa. 43:3-4). And, again, "For I am with thee, says the LORD, to save thee: though I will make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee..." (Jer. 30:11).
Jesus, as an individual, and Israel nationally, and the Church spiritually, represent God's Son on earth. We are "the Suffering Servant" that the world isn't worthy of (Isa. 53; Heb. 11:35-38). We are the "Royal Priesthood" compared to other nations and people (Ex. 19:6; 1 Pet. 2:9).
Does that mean that we're without sin, and that the other nations are more righteous or justified in persecuting us? No! God warns against that dangerous delusion: "I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke" (Isa. 47:6), and "All that found them that devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD..." (Jer. 50:7), and "I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction" (Zech. 1:15). I discuss this in my book, Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall, within the chapter "Europe's Fate."
Sometimes God utilizes our enemies to help bring us back to our spiritual senses, and then He judges those haughty individuals and nations and reminds them that they're only mortal (Isa. 10:12; Jer. 51:35). At other times, Israel suffered unjustly in Egypt, Judah faced extermination for refusing to assimilate (Esther 3:8) and the early Christians Aquila and Priscilla were wrongly persecuted for simply being Jews and were required by law to leave Rome (Acts 18:2).
God exposes the twisted mindset of those anti-Semites who wrongly feel that Israel and Judah have too much power and influence and control over their lives and nations, and are threatening to revolt against their "oppressors," yet will find themselves fighting a loosing battle against God! (Ps. 2; Rev. 17:14).
Individuals and nations must come to know and recognize whom God has chosen (an Elect, not an elite) for His PURPOSE of ultimately saving every individual and nation (Isa. 49:22-23; Rev. 3:9).
So despite anti-Zionist, anti-Semites, the damnable heresies of replacement theology and genealogy, personal and national sins, "all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Rom. 11:26). Israel will prevail and become God's light to all nations, blessing others as they've been blessed!
About the Author
David Ben-Ariel, an American author who has travelled widely and who has lived throughout Israel, shares a special focus on the Middle East and great interest in Jerusalem, reflected in hard-hitting articles that help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out www.benariel.com