Monday Musings for November 12, 2018

God, the Jews, Jesus and Newton

Good morning, Musers,

The Jews have maintained their identity throughout the millennia — in spite of the diaspora and in spite of pogroms — but this has been both good and bad for them. It’s been good because God commanded them to be separate back in the day — and they’ve done that in spades! They have a genius for maintaining their identity within their host cultures. But it’s been bad because — as a people — they rejected the New Testament’s revelation of Jesus Christ.

However, being known as “God’s people” isn’t all glory. In fact, it has made the Jews targets on many occasions — most notably in World War 2. Their persecution under Hitler was so severe that it was given its own name — the Holocaust… and this name merely hints at its horrors.

I find it interesting, though… and in a distressing way… that anti-Semitism still exists. On the extreme end, we have people who deny that the Holocaust even occurred… which is sort of like denying the moon landing (except without the foil hats).

On the other hand, there is more regular hatred of the Jews which runs from tasteless jokes to white supremacism. But all such sentiments prove how successful the Jews were in separating themselves and in maintaining a unique identity. People do not persecute a people group that they don’t care about, and the fact that so many give the Jews negative attention means that they see them as a people of consequence.

But are these persecutions God’s way of smacking them around for rejecting Jesus? Now, that’s an interesting question!

Cause-and-effect is easy to see in physical systems… although it took a Newton to give us the math. But how about social systems? Is cause-and-effect that predictable? No… and it becomes harder as the effects distance themselves from their causes.

Today’s questioner wants to know if the Jewish holocaust under Hitler was punishment for their rejection of Christ — and that’s a valid question — but the two-thousand years between the cause and the effect can pose quite a challenge to the analysis.

This evokes overarching questions like where do people like Hitler come from, anyway? Does God hold a grudge? If so, why did he wait so long to punish them? But I dodged all those questions because the Bible has some pretty good data on rejection. In fact, I believe it has a very plain answer to today’s question.

The key is that Jesus knew that his people were rejecting him as Messiah. So he addressed this in several parables that show how God deals with people who commit similar infractions. The question we should ask ourselves is, is the Holocaust a logical way for God to redress the sin of rejection? I don’t think so. So, join me today and see if you agree… and as always… enjoy the musings.

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