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First Covenant

Covenant Connection

Volume 2, Issue 7

March 2007.......Nisan 5767

Vile Nation


• Vile Nation

• Seven Candles, by Andrea M. Chester: "Uncharted Territory "

The Bible's "Statutes": Food Laws



Moses tells Israel, "Those that you let remain shall be pins in your eyes and thorns in your side" (Book of Numbers, 33:56), speaking of other peoples who might claim ownership of the Land of Israel.

If that isn't clear enough, Moses says it another way. Should Israel fail to keep the Torah of the Lord, especially including the laws commanding the Jews to remove unholy foreign influences from their midst, God shall bring against them a non-nation, "a vile nation that is no nation" (Deuteronomy 32:21).

Obviously, many people, studying these passages, think of the so-called Palestinians. Many readers relate these teachings to the psalm which predicts a great conspiracy by the "Ishmaelites" or Arabs, together with other nations, not just to "cut them [the Jews] off from being a nation," but to erase the name and even the memory of Israel (Psalm 83:5).  Beyond that, the Torah tells the Jewish people again and again, do not try to divide the Land of Israel between yourselves and any other people - "thou shalt make no covenant with them" (See, for example, The Book of Exodus 32:23, Numbers 33, Deuteronomy 7:2).

We live in strange times. Much of the news we see is almost unbelievable. "Three Islamic militants were found guilty yesterday of decapitating three Christian schoolgirls in 2005 and dumping their bloodied heads in nearby villages," reads a report this week from the Associated Press. In Darfur, in the Land of Israel, in Iraq as it disintegrates, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Muslims keep committing unbelievably cruel crimes against each other.

Muslim Iran threatens the world, and particularly Israel, with nuclear destruction. In Europe, with its fast-growing Muslim population, many Muslim neighborhoods are so lawless that the police themselves don't dare enter. The whole world has placed itself on alert against jihad - Muslim "holy war," "Islamic" terror.

Islam hasn't always been like this - it hasn't always been a plague of hate. But it's on the warpath now. From the petro-sheiks of Saudi Arabia to prosperous Pakistani doctors and business people in London, the money keeps coming in on behalf of jihad. And then we come to a real oddity: most of the world isn't mad at the Muslims about this. To the contrary, Israel is, by far, the world's most-hated country. "Israel needs to do something about the Palestinians. Really," they say, from London to Australia, and on college campuses almost everywhere, "the Jews are worse than Nazis."

To everyone looking for a truly meaningful role for Noahides in connection to the Torah and Israel, please open your eyes. Israel needs you. The world needs you. Without you, the human race will stand before God damned, and Israel will suffer another Holocaust.

You need to tell Israel the truth. You need to tell the world the truth.

Part of the truth here is that the Jewish people really are partly responsible for the current mess. When Israel rejects, forgets, or shows a lack of respect for God, the enemies of Israel grow stronger.

When Israel disregards the Torah - not to mention the obvious needs of its own people, not to mention their posterity - in order to show the world how kind and charitable and generous Jews can be to those who want to smash the skulls of Jewish children, the world is not impressed. Quite the contrary. What we get instead is the mess that we're in now - which now afflicts the whole world.

It's ironic - no people in human history ever needed a refuge more than the Children of Israel. To quote Walid Shoebat, a former professional Palestinian terrorist who turned against his awful people,  the world's biggest refugee problem isn't that of the "Palestinians" but the Jews. 

Whether or not the so-called Palestinians deserve a state of their own - the Kurds, who by any measure are more worthy, aren't generally regarded as being so entitled - this much is certain: they don't deserve a state within the Holy Land. They don't deserve anything in the Land of Israel - and the truth is that it would do them no good. They won't make the land a "happening place." The land is holy because the people who actually belong there make it so. Giving the Arabs what they demand won't solve anything.

What about a "two-state solution"? One problem is that Jordan, occupying four-fifths of Palestine, when the Turks and the British ran it, already is the second state. No Jews are allowed there, except as temporary visitors. It's already the Arab Palestinian homeland - and, by the way, how many homelands do these people need? Aren't they part of the great "Arab Nation"? 

On top of those problems there is this problem, which is fatal. Unless the Arabs triumph - God forbid - and reduce the Jews to abject subjects, the Arab "Palestinian" areas will always be squalid and horrible compared to the Jews'. They will always provoke the Arabs' jealousy, the world's sympathy, and condemnation of the Jews. The so-called Palestinians don't keep the Noahide Laws. Speaking generally, compared to any civilized nation, they are, among other things, a murderous, thieving, cruel, immoral, and lawless nation. They don't make deserts bloom. Cultures like theirs turn good land into deserts. How could it be otherwise?

Currently, American taxpayers provide about a third of the budget of UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Work Agency. This agency was formed for the sole purpose of resettling the Arabs who fled or were squeezed out of Israel's Jewish areas - in the Arab world's several attempts to liquidate Jewish Israel. What UNRWA actually does is prevent their resettlement.  It has been dominated from the start by the worst of the Arabs' leaders. It is given over entirely to building up the "Palestinian Nation" as a weapon to destroy Israel, as a literal human sacrifice. It keeps its charges in refugee camps - thousands of families have been living on the UN dole for more than 60 years, since 1948, as refugees. (Nothing like this has ever happened before in all of human history.) Meanwhile, UNRWA's mere existence tells the Arabs that the world is actually with them in this cause.

We will hear the presidential candidates offer one awful idea after another for solving the "Israeli- Palestinian" conflict, in the run-up to the next elections. If nobody else will say this out loud, Noahides need to do it. They know what the Bible teaches. They know what's right and wrong here.

If it weren't so terrible it would be funny. It isn't just the Torah, history or common sense that teaches that the Land of Israel needs the People of Israel and vice versa. Look at the nations' Scripture. 

In the Christian Scriptures, Paul defends the wisdom of God concerning Israel's restoration in the future. Even in the Koran/Qur'an, Muhammed speaks of Allah's promise of the land to the People of Israel, Allah's command to the Jews to dwell in the land, and the certainty that, in the "end days," the Jewish people will resettle the land that Allah Himself has given them (The Children of Israel, Sura 17:104).

Noahides need to tell the truth about this mess to the Jews, they need to tell it to their fellow Noahides and to Christians, to YouTube and radio and television and newspapers, to senators and congressmen, and especially to Muslims. The only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is for the Arabs themselves to stop treating their own people so cruelly. The only solution is to abolish or clean up UNRWA, or at least stop funding it.

If we keep going the way that we've been going, with "land for peace," contrary to Torah, we will, indeed, find another "solution" - through cataclysmic war and apocalyptic suffering. Otherwise, the only solution is to work with the Arabs to help their brethren, the so-called Palestinians, make lives for themselves on some other real estate - the world still has plenty of empty real estate - somewhere other than where they can shell Israel with high explosives.

We who love the Bible and try to live the Torah need to remember that, whatever so-called "progressive" people think, we are the party of liberty. In the upcoming freedom festival, the great holiday of Passover/Pesach, we will honor the God Who sets men free - Who liberates men from slavery. The Noahide Laws, and God's incredible institution of a full day off from workaday cares at the end of every week: that is the heart of the Hebrew Revolution. Belief in Him, in the Golden Rule, in the truth that every human life has inestimable value - those are our values, and no doctrine or system of belief has ever been more progressive or up to date.

Let us keep these things in mind in the coming days and months. As to those who soldier for the "Palestinian cause," homosexual marriage, late-term abortion, "mercy killing," pornography, anarchy, state-sponsored torture, murder, or the like, let us remember that we, not they, are the true liberals. We are the progressive party - we are the party of the Hebrew Revolution, the Torah Revolution.



Seven Candles, by Andrea M. Chester

Uncharted Territory

As I’ve matured (okay, gotten OLDER), I have gained an appreciation of maps, charts, and yes, rules. I remember one time when I yearned for guidelines. . . 


I was teaching evening classes at the junior college, about twenty miles from my home.  One moonless January night, I dismissed class early, because severe weather was predicted to hit our area.  One student lived fairly close to me, so I gave her a ride.  That way, her elderly dad wouldn’t have to venture out. 


In the mountains of western North Carolina, weather patterns can change in an eyeblink.  Before I could get out of the parking lot, the storm was already closing in.  There were just a few drivers on the main highway, and they all seemed to be flying, scurrying for shelter. 


Highway markings were already obliterated by the drifting whiteness.  The median was covered, and blowing snow made made it hard to see.  Still, other drivers were whizzing by. I clenched the wheel tightly, trying not to look nervous to my passenger.


Reba lived on the far side of town, out PAST the boondocks.  I turned from the lights of the highway into the glowering darkness of tiny country back roads.  I hadn’t been in that neck of the woods very often, so I worried about finding my way out after I dropped her off.  I was so tense. . . My single prayer was, “Lord, please just get me home, safely.”


In unfamiliar territory, with the way concealed by snow, I couldn’t tell where I was.  I didn’t know for certain whether I was on the road or about to drive off an embankment.  I sweated it out, inching along, praying every millimeter of the way.  I would have given almost anything for a big yellow sign that said “Caution, your turn is only five feet away,” or a railing to reassure me. 


Well, obviously I made it home okay.  But guardrails and road signs would have made the trip much more comfortable.


Some folks seem to hate guidelines and laws.  Like some of the drivers hurtling past me that night, driving too fast for safety, they think that rules only cramp their style.  They don’t take orders from anyone… not even God.     


The Creator isn’t interested in turning us into robots or puppets, but He knows how He made us.  He wants us to enjoy life and to use the minds He gave us.  He knows what will cause us needless grief and what will help us flourish.  His Principles are like the guardrails on life's highway. They prevent us from going off the road into a ditch or worse.


He wants us to be so familiar with His Principles that we can drive through the life's snowstorms.  He wants to keep us going in the right direction, even when everything familiar is blotted out.  And He wants us to know, even in the darkest night, that He and His Word alone are enough to guide us safely Home.


The Lord exists forever; Your word stands firm in heaven.  Your faithfulness is for all generations; You have established the earth, and it stands.  Psalm 119: 89-90    



The Bible's "Statutes": Food Laws

In the last issue of Covenant Connection we promised to begin a series on the Torah's "statutes," the more mysterious part of the Torah. These are the laws of God which, unlike Noah's Laws, aren't necessarily logical. Nevertheless, a time will come, the Bible promises, when the nations of the earth somehow come to recognize these statutes' holiness (Deuteronomy 4:6).


We mentioned the kosher food laws and circumcision - that is, the circumcision of newborn male children - as representative of the family of Torah law known as statutes.


Last month, The New York Times reported that "three studies in Africa in the last year have shown that circumcision cuts a man's chances of catching the [AIDS] virus by 50 percent or more. If an AIDS vaccine that worked that well had just been invented, 'the world would be jumping for joy,' Dr. Wawer said." [Quoting Dr. Maria Wawer of Johns Hopkins University, the leader of one of the studies, New York Times, March 13, 2007.]


Concerning the kosher food laws, many people, few more than the French, love to eat snails. Cooked with butter and usually some garlic, snails - escargots - are delicious. But God commands Israel not to eat them. This is not, of course, a Noahide prohibition. Nothing in Noah's Laws forbids Noahides from eating snails. But Noahides aren't required to eat them, either.


Noahides may not particularly want to eat them after hearing how to prepare them. If you are squeamish, you may not want to read any further.


One of the favored methods of cooking escargots is to plop them straight on the barbecue, alive. The other method, set out in the bestselling American cookbook, The Joy of Cooking, is to boil them - alive.


Before being cooked, the person preparing them pulls them out of their shells. Then he or she covers them up with salt. Some preparers put them in an acid bath of salt and vinegar instead. In response to the acid effects of the salt, they exude slime and feces. Once this process ends, the snails are much closer to being edible. Then one drops them - they are still alive, still not food yet, but they will be - into boiling water, or tosses them onto the grill.


Bon appetite.


Anybody for the kosher food laws?

We call on God for help. As the prayer that Israel says every morning just before reciting the Hebrew statement of faith known as the shema asks (please understand that this is much richer in Hebrew than in English): Our Father, the merciful Father, Who acts mercifully, have mercy on us, instill in our hearts to understand and elucidate, to listen, learn, teach, safeguard, perform and fulfill all the words of Your Torah's teachings with love. Enlighten our eyes in Your Torah, attach our hearts to Your commandments, and unify our hearts to love and fear Your Name.

Amen.Questions? Comments?

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