Proving God, Part II
The King of the Univere sets out His program just before declaring the Ten Commandments:
The Jews shall serve Him by serving the other tribes of mankind as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6) or, as Isaiah puts it, as “a light to the nations,” that His – God’s – “salvation may be unto the end of the Earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
Notice that Jews aren’t the other nations’ boss, servant or father but their sibling, God’s “first born” (Exodus 4:22): Israel, in the family of man, is designated the big brother.
You don’t have to tease Revelation to get these readings out of it. They permeate Scripture. God bequeaths Divine Teachings to Israel, creating the Jews’ unique “wisdom and understanding in the sight of the goyim [“nations”], to the end that they can “witness” for Him – “you are My witnesses, saith HaShem, and My servant whom I have chosen” (Isaiah 43:10) - to raise up the world and all humankind.
Before we explore how condemning others’ cherished awful values, their time-worn idolatries and corrupt oppressive practices, to wean them off them, to elevate them, might irrate some people, or inflame them – we need to take a moment to reflect:
If you’re looking for proof of God in human history….
Rabbi Michael Katz just wrote, "This is the quote that belongs in your draft: "Over 300 years ago, King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher, to give him proof of God. Pascal answered, 'Why, the Jews, your Majesty, the Jews!"
The dimmest student of history – or economics, physics, medicine, movies, music, engineering, mathematics, computers, or, say, traffic planning, or poetry, not to mention religion – must take notice of the Jews.
No human being in our time who becomes anywhere close to truly literate can miss the phenomenon of the Jews.
A people made the central focus of the Bible, the people of Google and Facebook, Dylan and Spielberg, Einstein, Marx and Freud, Bill Maher, Joan Rivers, Jon Stewart, Judge Wapner, Paul Krugman, Janet Yellen, etc., all the science Nobel prizewinners; a people who sprang into history as a slave rabble, gave the world King David and prophets and Macabees; who were (or are) so execrated by Nazis, Communists, Inquisitors, and Arab terrorists, who were anciently exiled from their land and now, pursuant to prophecy and still against fierce pushback from their fellow men have commenced returning to it…
You must notice such stuff. This is how God has set up the universe! “I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you, and in you shall all the familes of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Whatever it is exactly that’s going on here with the Jews, you CAN’T honestly deny its existence or try to assume it away.
We sumbit that, through the Jews, the Holy One puts all mankind on notice: you, Mortal, see My prophets vindicated! See My reality assured: I am, I am holy and deeply faithful and real, and My Teachings are for you!
This should in fact be a welcome message: life is real, life has purpose, God is with us – He sustains every particle in the Universe - and He is
holy; He loves love, and hates unjustice; the future’s bright, etc. In fact, these truths are opposed by all the smelly tyrannies, oppressive orthodoxies, and false, God-defaming misconceptions and idolatries that unredeemed humanity’s invented. So… the truth struggles to get out.
Look at what they’ve done to Isaiah – the prophet whom our Jack Saunders describes as “Israel’s apostle to the Gentiles.” Isaiah speaks of Israel, the nation of “Israel, My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend” (41:8), and “Jacob, My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen” (44:1), assuring the Jews that no “bill of divorcement” exists. Since the mission of Israel among the nations must necessarily bring much suffering upon the Jews, he continues, in chapters 50 through 54, to guarantee:
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rises against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. That is the heritage of the servants of HaShem and their due reward from Me, saith HaShem.” (54:17)
Yet the Church has turned chapter 53, where Isaiah’s vivid poetry speaks of Israel collectively, as “he,” “the suffering servant of HaShem,” as prophecy on behalf of a mortal redeemer, Jebus, who will suffer but eventually be vindicated, while God tosses Israel in His trashcan, cancelling Israel’s mission and cutting off the blessings!
This is, obviously, a defamation – a blasphemy - against HaShem. God Who is holy doesn’t cheat on His covenants or terminate His servants like some conman!
The one thing we have found over more than ten years of this outreach is that people – Jews and Ivri and Noachides, or gentiles – tend to stumble over the holiness of God. They see that He makes a covenant and wonder how – if - He can fulfill it. They know He’s “omniscient” but still think they can fool Him. They hear He loves justice and fair-dealings and love but expect Him to sign off on cruelty; they hear He commands Israel a Torah, a law, but believe it’s unworthy. Etc.
“Holy, holy, holy, is HaShem of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3)
“Holy dentoes the awe-ful and august ethical majesty of God,” Rabbi J.H.Hertz writes, quoting Rudolf Otto, a German philosopher, “His moral perfectness and complete freedom from all that makes men imperfect and impure. It denotes ‘more than goodness, more than purity, more than righteousness: it embraces all these in their ideal completeness, but it expresses besides the recoil from everything which is their opposite’ (S.R.Driver). Holiness is the essential attribute of God." (Hertz Chumash, p. 302).
A brief note: if you haven’t got this book and read it, do so. We came out with it years ago but it’s still the one best book on our subject. Our subject:
How everyone of every nation should think about God’s Universal Covenant, His Universal Law, Israel, humanity, the universe, and God.
By Michael Dallen