World anti-Semitism is on the increase in numerous areas –
- Islamist jihadi terrorist attacks (Sunni and Shi’ite) against Jews and Israelis
- Riotous demonstrations in Western cities which attempt to catalyze public economic and political warfare against the Jewish state
- Coordinated international political moves to isolate, weaken and divide both the land of Israel and the Jewish people
Within this swirling matrix there are religiously sponsored anti-Semitic moves as well –
- Islamic leaders goad their constituencies into supporting and participating in jihad, boycott and military attack against the Jewish state. Islamic State, al Qa’eda, the Islamic Republic of Iran, leading clerics in Saudi Arabia etc., all call for holy war against any Jewish sovereign presence in the Middle East and even against Jewish national survival on this planet
- The World Council of Churches, the majority of the Middle East’s historic churches, and many non-Evangelical (as well as many Evangelical) Protestant denominations often re-interpret Yeshua’s message in terms of Marxist Liberation Theology, rationalizing support of jihadi terror attacks against Israel in the process. Replacement Theology assuages the infected conscience of these leaders, consigning Israel to an anti-Christ role while simultaneously stealing the biblical promises made to Israel and applying them exclusively to Gentile Christianity
- Post-Zionist and anti-Zionist movements on the fringes of the American Jewish community take an increasing role in subsidizing and disseminating anti-Israel propaganda while inadvertently strengthening the hand of Islamist forces intent on annihilating the Jewish state
A new hateful upsurge spearheaded by the anti-Semitic BDS movement (advocating Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) is sweeping university campuses under the guise of ‘justice’ and ‘progressive opposition to oppression.’ The BDS movement has no problem cooperating both with extreme rightist neo-Nazis as well as with Salafi Islamists (who despise both Western democratic values and secularized perspectives on gender issues). They are pickling a whole university generation with anti-Jewish attitudes and social activism directed against the Jewish state.
The pervasive spread of anti-Semitic attitudes and speech in public forums is another warning light of dark days to come. Whether it be an Islamist at Harvard accusing an Israeli politician of being a smelly Jew, a British-Pakistani Member of Parliament advocating forced transfer of Jews from Israel to the USA, the increase of swastikas spray-painted or carved on Jewish synagogues, cemeteries, community centers or even on college campuses – all these signs are flashing out a warning that the satanic scourge of anti-Semitism is spreading like a plague throughout the Western world.
How are followers of Yeshua who love God, His word and His chosen people Israel to respond to this tidal wave of spiritual filth directed against the sons and daughters of Jacob?
Hating the people God loves
What God chooses to love, Satan chooses to hate. The God of Israel has spoken on the record about His deep and unchanging love for the Jewish people (Deuteronomy 7:7-8), His passionate heart for them (Hosea 11:1, 3, 8-9), and His unchanging priority strategy for them (Deuteronomy 32:8-10; Romans 1:16; 2:5-11; 11:28-29). Satan’s response is opposition to God’s heart and opposition to His chosen people (Revelation 12:3, 9, 13). As one activist put it years ago, “Anti-Jew is anti-Christ!”.
- Believers need to peer through the clouds of anti-Semitism and grasp that hatred of the Jews is not simply another deplorable form of racism. Anti-Semitism is a weapon spawned in Hell and crafted by the hands of Satan as a priority End Times weapon in his demonic arsenal.
Dragon’s eggs hatching across the planet
In one of the recent Godzilla movies, thousands of malevolent dinosaur eggs began to crack open, each one hatching a monster of world-destroying ferocity. In a similar way the resurgence of worldwide anti-Semitic movements is a harbinger of evil days coming upon the earth and the Jewish people. Rabbinic teachings mention ‘the birth pangs of the Messiah’ (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 98b; Mark 13:3-8) and ‘the footprints of the Messiah’ (Mishnah Sotah 9:15, referencing Micah 7:6 ) – days of great wickedness immediately preceding the return of Messiah (see Daniel 12:1, 7; Jeremiah 30:4-11).
Yeshua the Messiah rebuked the men of His generation who (for the most part) were able to observe prophetic events but were not able to understand their meaning: “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2-3).
- The rise of anti-Semitism is a divine benchmark and a prophetic wake-up call. It is YHVH’s flashing red warning light that evil is on the move, that the going is getting tough, and that the tough need to get going!
Daniel’s prophetic army
The Hebrew prophet Daniel was given insight into the future, and gave a prophetic oracle concerning how the faithful remnant among the Jewish people would rise up in military combat to defeat the Gentile occupiers of the Promised Land. These Maccabean warriors are described in Daniel 11:32: “But the people who know their God will display strength and take action.”
Proverbs 8:13 says that “the fear of YHVH is to hate evil. I hate pride, arrogance, the evil way and the perverted mouth.” Passivity in the face of evil is not a viable option for believers. The display of strength and the taking of action call for individual courage, personal backbone and our pro-active response.
- Believers need to ask ourselves what are the pro-active responses that the God of Jacob wants us to carry out to counter the towering tidal wave of anti-Semitism sweeping the world today.
Spiritual passivity is not the same as prophetic courage
There is a spiritual myopia at play in some circles today regarding suitable responses to anti-Semitism. Some think that since anti-Semitism is a prophesied Last Days manifestation, no real response on our parts is required except duly noting evil’s occurrence and its radical cresting.
Yeshua decried this spiritual blindness, “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” (Matthew 18:7).
Some believers during World War II stood against the anti-Semitic Nazi machine. The ‘White Rose’ movement of Berlin German students was an outstanding example of such activism against crushing anti-Semitic evil:
Corrie ten Boom and her watchmaking family in the Netherlands had been humble hosts of a hundred-year-long prayer movement for Israel’s safety and salvation. Eventually they became actively actively involved in an underground railroad movement to smuggle Jewish people out of the clutches of the Nazi beast:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran theologian who opposed Hitler, helped to rescue Jewish people, and participated in a plot to assassinate the Nazi leader:
In each of these cases, believers did not follow Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of ahimsa (non-violent passive lifestyle). In a letter written on November 26, 1938, Gandhi summed up his philosophy: “Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth” (www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/JewsGandhi.html). Though there is a good case to be made that Gandhi’s statement reflected certain strains of Hindu philosophy (though not the philosophy of the original Hindu conquerors of the Indian sub-continent), his spiritual paradigm is markedly different from that of the Maccabees and King David himself (see Psalm 144:1).
Watchmen of the walls
1. One of the ways believers can pro-actively stand against anti-Semitism is to expose it when it rears its head
In the words of the Apostle Paul, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light” (Ephesians 5:11-13).
2. A second way to counter-act anti-Semitism is to find practical ways to stand with and protect the Jewish people in their hour of need (see Matthew 25:31-46)
The Matthew passage referring to “the brothers of Yeshua” is actually a New Covenant term for the Jewish people (see Hebrews 2:10-16).
3. A third way to neutralize the scourge of anti-Semitism is to intercede for the protection and salvation of the Jewish people, and to ask God to grant revelation and strategies regarding how to prepare for the coming challenges (see Isaiah 62:1, 6-8; Jeremiah 31:7, 10-11)
Takin’ care of business
Psalm 121:4 declares that the One who guards and protects Israel is always on guard duty, and never slumbers or sleeps. That spiritual fact gives us great confidence as we stand in the truth and pro-actively take our place on the barricades in defense of the Jewish people.
A well-known Hasidic song proclaims the ultimate triumph of the God of Jacob against the Jewish people’s enemies: “Utzu eitza v’tufar, dabru davar v’lo yakum ki immanu El” (Isaiah 8:10; “They take counsel together but it is overthrown; they strategize but it will never happen, because God is with us!”).
God’s protection of His chosen people will last forever, and His defensive shield will preserve them “until her righteousness goes forth like brightness and her salvation like a burning torch” (Isaiah 62:1).
Ultimately Messiah Yeshua will return to Planet Earth on a white horse (Revelation 19:11-16), shattering the power of anti-Semitism and the international consortium of nations gathered to destroy both the Land and the People of Israel (Psalm 2:1-12; Zechariah 14:3-5). Until that day we stand in the gap (Philippians 2:12-13) !
How should we then pray?
- Ask the God of Israel to watch over, protect, defend and deliver the Jewish people from all their enemies
- Ask the God of Jacob to grant courage to believers in Yeshua to stand up for the defense of Zion
- Ask the God of Abraham to grant revelation and strategies to those who stand in the gap in public and in private as intercessors, much like Queen Esther did in ancient Persia (modern Iran) in similarly trying times
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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