Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
How Do I Know? – Part 2 of 3
Yesterday’s devotional discussed how Christians can know they are following the One True God by examining God’s Holy Word, the Bible. Today’s devotional will examine the evidence of God’s sovereignty through His chosen people, Israel.
Just as the Bible has endured over the centuries despite great hardship and unlikely odds, so have the chosen people of God. This is no small feat. Cultures have been trying to suppress or annihilate the Jewish people since at least the Pharaoh in Egypt, who ordered midwives to kill all male babies (Exodus 1:16). Numerous tribes and kingdoms came against Israel as they tried to enter and as they occupied the Promised Land.
There have been many focused and planned attempts to wipe out the Jewish people over the ages. Haman almost succeeded in his elaborate plan (Book of Esther), but God intervened and saved His people from annihilation by having Haman killed just before he carried out the heinous plot. The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition were also organized and sustained attempts to rid the world of God’s chosen people, both of which, sadly, were instigated by Christians.
In the 20th century, Russian pogroms tried to eliminate Jewish people from the country. Stalin, having already killed many Jews, had a plan for mass extermination that was within one week of being implemented. Stalin had a heart attack and died just before the plan could be put into effect. Hitler killed over six million Jews in his attempts to rid the world of God’s chosen people. Today, some enemies declare openly their intent to “wipe Israel off the map”.
God has allowed great hardship to come against His people, but He has always retained a remnant of the tribes of Israel. He has never allowed them to be wiped out. This should be no surprise to Christian believers. Once His chosen people, always His chosen people. They are called the “apple of His eye” (Deuteronomy 32:10, Psalm 17:8, Proverbs 7:2, Lamentations 2:18) and God will sustain them. In Zechariah, 2:8-9, it says “for whoever touches the apple of His eye – I will surely raise my hand against them.”
The “apple” of the eye is the pupil, one of the most sensitive and vulnerable parts of the body. Injury to the pupil causes great pain. If you come against God’s chosen people, you are essentially attacking one of His most sensitive areas, causing Him great pain. He warns us in Zechariah that He will fight back. For many reasons, some of which are described in the Bible, God has punished His people; but, He has never abandoned them and has always preserved them even to this day.
Not only has God preserved His people, He has allowed them to preserve their traditions and their culture. No other culture in history has been able to sustain their identity while being scattered throughout the Earth. Typically, when a culture is conquered or brought into residence with another society, intermarriage occurs and the cultures are blended, with the smaller culture losing its identity. The Jews have always been the smaller culture, but for centuries they have managed to preserve their religion and traditions, despite numerous attempts to assimilate them into other cultures. Jewish people are present in many different societies around the world today, yet they remain distinctly identifiable. This is a remarkable feat that no other society has achieved. Of course, no other culture has been designated to be the “apple of His eye”. It is not a coincidence that God preserves His people.
We must remember that His chosen people are not just an ordinary people, they are a people of promise. Abraham had his son Ishmael by his slave woman Hagar in the typical, natural way. However, God promised Abraham and Sarah they would have a son together when both of them were in their nineties, far beyond Sarah’s natural child-bearing years. Sarah’s womb was dead. Only the One True God could make such a promise and carry it out. God had to perform a type of “resurrection” of her womb in order to fulfill the promise. This event, of course, points to the birth and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. In the time between, the sons of Isaac became the “apple of His eye” and the people of promise have endured to this day.
In 1948, God gave Israel back to His people after He forced them to live a scattered existence for almost 2,000 years. Immediately, this new country was attacked by enemies. This resurrected Israel had no time to organize its government, no time to organize its military, no time to organize anything. Yet despite these impossible circumstances, Israel prevailed against the enemy and remains a country today. Surely God has been with them as He was so many times when Israel faced impossible odds in the Old Testament.
God will preserve what He chooses to preserve, for He is sovereign. God has been faithful to preserve His chosen people and their faith in Him for centuries. Even though most Jewish people have not accepted His Son, He has kept His promise to preserve the Sons of Israel (Genesis 32:28, 35:23-26). It is entirely normal for God to keep His promises.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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