As we proceed through our sermon series in Joel we are reminded of God’s ongoing plan
for his chosen nation, Israel. We know from scripture and from history, that because
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not,” the Lord has, as it were, set
aside His dealings with Israel, and established the church, through which He continues
to carry out His purposes as the gospel is preached and taken to the world.
This “shelving” of His dealings with Israel and the scattering of the Jews after the
destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 was later view by Catholicism as meaning God had
cast off His people forever. The Roman Catholic hierarchy were very straightforward in
their despising of Jews and Judaism. Anti-Semitism was the order of the day.
The rise of the Protestants in the Sixteenth century did not change that. In 1543 Martin
Luther wrote a treatise titled “On the Jews and Their Lies.” In it he urged secular rulers
to carry out a seven-part program on the treatment of Jews. He advocated the following:
*Burning all synagogues and Jewish schools, *Razing all Jewish homes and properties,
*Confiscating all Jewish writings, *Prohibiting any Rabbi from teaching Judaism,
*Withdrawing legal protections, *Not allowing any trade or money exchange between
Jews and others, *All younger Jews to serve in Labor camps. Luther later wrote, “We
are all at fault for not slaying them.”
It is not surprising that Luther’s poisonous errors concerning Jews were a major reason
for the rise of Hitler and Nazism. There is no place for hatred for the Jews or for Israel
in the heart of the child of God. Our Baptist forebearers could not identify with the
Catholic and Protestant views of Israel, because they knew the scriptures teach that God
would in the future regather His chosen people and again take up His dealings with them.
Ge 12:2, And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy
name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and
curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.