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Demonstrations big and Small

This is the year of demonstrations. Protestors come in all shapes and sizes, perhaps the strangest were the ones in our photo, in the Siberian city of Barnaul . After Activists were banned from demonstrating against Vladimir Putin’s re election dozens of small dolls were arranged in a mute protest, complete with signs reading: "I'm for clean elections" and "A thief should sit in jail, not in the Kremlin". Later a legal enquiry banned even this form of demonstration as toys are not citizens of Russia!

Demonstrations come in many sizes. The largest recently planned was the ‘Flytilla’ which, fortunately for Israel also ‘failed to launch’.

Nearly 2,000 Europeans planned to fly into Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport for a week long series of events hosted by the “Welcome to Palestine 2012” campaign. As it was feared that, just as the previous year, their intention was to cause as much civil disobedience as possible, the Israeli Government advised Carriers that they would not be allowed to enter the country. Thus most reservations were cancelled as the airlines were not prepared to pay for their return journey

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had prepared "thank you” letters for the activists, welcoming their interest to visit Israel to show their “humanitarian concerns” but suggesting they “could have chosen Syria, Iran and Hamas-controlled Gaza to express their enthusiasm for protecting people against abuses of freedom but rather chose Israel the Middle East's sole democracy.” Israel’s A7 News* commented ‘The campaign’s declared aim is to expose Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians, including its control of movement in and out of the Palestinian occupied territories, “while the settler paramilitaries and army commit brutal crimes against a virtually defenceless Palestinian civilian population.”’

And yet, as Netanyahu commented in his letter, why is it that so many people single out Israel? Why not choose other nations with undisputed blatant human rights violations? It seems that only Israel is on perpetual trial, routinely held to moral account for its response to the terrorist outrages committed against it. Only the Jews, as Eric Hoffer put it in 1968, are expected to be "the only real Christians in the world."

The Persecuted Jew

The answer lies in the Scriptures. When Israel was about to occupy the land God had promised them, they were told what would happen to them if they disobeyed God. Great blessings would follow obedience but disobedience would bring dreadful curses. Deuteronomy ch. 28 tells us of both and gives graphic details of what awaited them if they were disobedient.

Deut 28:37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.... 45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee: 46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever. 47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all

They were to be banished and scattered among the Nations...yet they would never find rest...danger would never be far away.

64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: 66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: 67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

Here we have a detailed, accurate description of the fate of the Jews. Throughout history they have wandered from Nation to Nation, often they have prospered yet, eventually, they have been hounded out to wander again.* *They have become a ‘Proverb’, not only a witness to the existence of God, but also that He keeps His promises. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.(Ro 11:29) Happily, God is a God of mercy Who remembers His promises, such as those made to Abraham (Gen 12:1-4;13:14-17). And He has promised to bring all Israel back to the land and make them safe there. There are several prophecies to this event, one can be found in Jeremiah Ch 33. In verses v 1-9 we find promises such as.....

7 I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.

Jerusalem will no longer be a ‘burdensome stone ‘(Zechariah 12:2) , it will no longer be fought over but the Jews and their City will be honoured by all nations at that time, the time when Christ returns.

15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. 17 For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel

The Lord Jesus is the Righteous Branch who will reign from David’s throne (Luke 1:32) and when he returns he will save Israel and make the newly established Temple a House of Prayer for all Nations (Isa 56:7. Mark 11:17). World opinion holds the Jew in disregard; to many he is an opportunist who has stolen another man’s land and yet, history shows that Israel is the land promised to Abraham and Bible prophecy shows that God will establish the Jew in the land again. Many Christian Religious bodies claim that the Jews have lost their inheritance because of their treatment of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, Paul insists that God has not cast off the Jews but rather put them on one side to make way for Gentiles to be included in those Abrahamic ‘covenants of promise’

Romans 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.

He goes on to explain that it was God’s purpose that they should have a period of ‘blindness’ while the Gentiles were brought to a knowledge of the Gospel.

11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them [be] the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

This ‘falling away’ is only temporary

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.

“Since, I, the LORD, do not go back on my promises, you, sons of Jacob, have not perished."(Mal 3:6)

Demonstrations against the security of Israel could be seen as fighting against God (Acts 5:39) for they are still His special people (Deut 26:18). God has not discarded the Jew, and there will soon come a day when there will no longer be Jew and Gentile but all will be one in Christ Jesus. This happened in part after our Lord’s resurrection when ethnic boundaries were demolished and many Jews accepted Christ as their Saviour... Galatians Ch 3

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Jeremiah has promised that God will ‘restore their fortunes and will have mercy upon them ‘ (Jer33:26) and that will be when Jesus returns and the Nation of Jews accept Christ as their Saviour and Messiah and then truly all the faithful will be ‘one in Christ Jesus’.


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**The Hep-Hep riots in Frankfurt, 1819. On the left, two peasant women are assaulting a Jewish man with pitchfork and broom. On the right, a man wearing spectacles, tails, and a six-button waistcoat, "perhaps a pharmacist or a schoolteacher," holds another Jewish man by the throat and is about to club him with a truncheon. The houses are being looted. A contemporary engraving by Johann Michael Voltz.




The Flytilla Photograph: Sergey Teplyakov/vkontakte; Source of The Hep-Hep riots engraving  Wikipedia;