A Call and a Task
by Yevgeni Stanukevich, Shavei Tzion Messianic Center, Tents of Mercy Network
From the beginning of the Bible we read of God choosing a people group to perform a specific task. This choice was not based at all on superiority relative to other nations but on His sovereign will (Deuteronomy 7:7, Ezekiel 36:22).
God identified Abraham, chose him and called him. He told Abraham to leave his father's house and go to a distant land that would one day be given to his descendants. Despite having little understanding at the time, Abraham faithfully followed God's leading.
Through Abraham God gave birth to the entire nation of Israel, and then He had a whole people covenantally belonging to Him, through whom He could work. These offspring, by God's grace, were entrusted with the task of revealing the holy God, the Creator of the Universe, to the rest of the world.
"You are to be holy to Me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be My own" (Leviticus 20:26).
God's Visible Presence
As the people of Israel made their way to the Promised Land, God's presence was strongly visible. The surrounding nations could hardly deny that God was in the midst of Israel - with powerful enemies repeatedly defeated and daily miracles manifested.
God was there, encouraging and supporting his people, making a way for them because He had given them a special task to carry out. Even in their times of rebellion, God's hand was visible to turn His people back to Him.
Trying to Be Like Other Nations
Israel, as God's people, have a responsibility that is clearly outlined in the Scriptures. However, the sad reality is that for a long time we have denied this identity and instead tried very hard to be like the other nations - asking God for a king and adopting foreign traditions.
Our attempts to blend in with the rest of the world have led to many troubles in our history. By rejecting our calling, we have trampled our right as the firstborn and neglected our accountability to the King of kings. Today, our government seems too eager to demonstrate to the international community that Israel is simply one of many democratic, humanistic countries. We try hard to satisfy our diplomatic partners and neighbours even at the price of harming ourselves.
For far too long Israel has been flirting with the world in order to convince them that we are no different from everyone else. We have allowed the standards of the world to creep in and determine how we are to live. Hence, it is not surprising that today Tel Aviv is regarded as the most gay friendly city on the planet. Our eternal capital, Jerusalem, is subject to international rulings. The UN has no trouble passing any anti-Israel resolution as soon as the opportunity presents itself. It is as if the world is trying to suppress Israel and its role.
Nevertheless, now is not the time to become discouraged. I believe God has brought us to this time in history in order to turn the tide and change the current status quo. We must pray and intercede for our people to turn to God. We must return to our roots, remembering who we are and what we are here for. Israel as a people is still called of God. Recognising this reality will begin a transformation, restoring us to be bearers of His light to the nations.
Together With Gentiles
Biblical prophecies say Gentiles will come and we will serve God together. We Jews must accept those who are coming, and learn and worship together with them. It is a great responsibility. We must get ready. We must prepare ourselves and serve them as we did during the temple period, when 70 sacrifices were offered up yearly on behalf of the 70 root nations. This role will be restored, and it is already beginning. Over the last few decades the Feast of Tabernacles has become a good example of this - as thousands of Gentiles come annually to Israel to pray, worship, learn and eat together. And many more will come.
This is what the Lord Almighty says: "In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you'" (Zechariah 8:23).
Please pray for us Messianic Jews that we may never be ashamed or afraid of what we are, that we become salt and light for our nation and other nations, and that we never walk alone because the pillar of fire and cloud will accompany us.
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (Exodus 19:6, 1 Peter 2:9-10).
We invite you who love Him from other nations to join us, and unite with us into one strong body of our Messiah.
In His name,
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