The Hebrew people are the most resilient, restless, remarkable, and renowned people in the world. They have produced more Nobel Prize laureates than any nation and produced many great inventions. They took a small, barren land, strewn with rocks, and produced a garden out of a desert. The Hebrew prophet Isaiah promised in Isaiah 35:1, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” Since my first trip to Israel in 1967, I have seen that become even truer with each trip. The Jews are a special people in a special place doing a special thing.
In Genesis 12:3 God promised Abraham, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” That verse has not been abrogated and, much to the chagrin of Jew-haters, it is working as I write. It is dangerous to mistreat the Jews. Zechariah 2:8 promised, “for he that toucheth you (Jews) toucheth the apple of his eye.” Jew-haters cringe when they hear those verses.
Some have asked why Jews are God’s chosen people and the reason is simple: God chose Abraham and promised to bless him and make of him “a great nation”! It was not because of any personal merits but because of His sovereign desire, design, and delight. Christians look at Israel with great appreciation, friendship, and love since Christ Himself was a Jew and came to the world through the Jewish people.
God gave the Jews the land from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia (Iraq), although most people, even Christians, think the Holy Land consists of land between the Mediterranean Sea east to the Jordan River.
Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for about 3,000 years since David moved there from Hebron. David’s son, Solomon, ruled over the entire kingdom and built the first Temple that was known all over the world for it beauty and magnificence.
Following the death of Solomon in 930 B.C., his son, Rehoboam became king and the nation split like a ripe watermelon into two kingdoms: Israel the Northern Kingdom, (including the northern cities of Shechem and Samaria) and Judah the Southern Kingdom, with Jerusalem as its capital. The kingdom split because Rehoboam, like most politicians, was a tax and spend liberal who refused to listen to older and wiser heads.
Solomon had spent lavishly on building the Temple, gated cities, stables, his palaces, and other building projects, and the people cried for tax relief, but young Rehoboam refused to listen. Splitsville! I know of another young “king” who is making that mistake as I write.
Israel, the Northern Kingdom, led by a competent but corrupt Jeroboam, constantly disobeyed God. Israel had 19 kings, all bad, in its 240 year history. In 722, the Assyrians (inhabiting the area of Iraq, Turkey, and Syria) invaded the Northern Kingdom and took Israel into captivity. They are known as “the ten lost tribes” and have been lost to history. Disobedience to God is costly!
Judah, the Southern Kingdom, was more faithful to God and their kings reigned about twice as long as those in Israel. Hezekiah was Judah’s greatest king and was married to Isaiah’s daughter. During his reign, the Assyrians captured the Northern Kingdom so Hezekiah expected the Assyrians to come after Judah. They did. However, Hezekiah was ready for them because he fortified the city and also constructed a 600 yard-long tunnel from outside the walls to a reservoir inside the city providing water for the people.
It is still an incredible engineering job with workers starting at the two ends and meeting in the middle. I have walked through that tunnel a few times.
Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem in 701 but God sent a plague that struck the Assyrian camp and their army was decimated overnight–185,000 men! Isaiah had prophesied in Isaiah 14:25: “That I will break the Assyrian in my land and upon my mountains tread him under foot.” And that He did.
A failed Sennacherib led his army back to Assyria where his bloodthirsty sons slaughtered him a few years later. Like all politicians Sennacherib boasted of his “success”: “Hezekiah, King of Judah, I locked in Jerusalem like a bird in a cage.” Like most politicians he did not tell the whole truth which was that he fled back to Nineveh without taking the city! Ancient politicians, like leaders today, didn’t often record their failures.
Sennacherib sadistically enjoyed torturing his enemies by skinning them alive and nailing their skins to walls as a gentle warning to others: “Don’t mess with me!” But he didn’t skin one Jew in that famous battle; rather, God “skinned” Sennacherib and he discovered, too late, that the Jews are special people.
Fact, Fraud or Faith?
by Don Boys, Ph.D.
Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.