Friday, June 23
Israel was despised by their surrounding nations in O.T. times. And they were also hated in succeeding generations under four different Empires. They are still hated in our world today. Why is that? It’s much more than leaving Egypt devastated when they left there c. 1400 B.C., and more than displacing Canaanite nations. There are several significant reasons why they were hated. Probably most important was their view of God. There are four unique things about God that would be very disturbing to other nations. 1) Israel’s God created the universe as well as the entire human race. That voids all other views and elevates Israel’s status in the world. 2) There is only one God, which makes God not just superior to other gods, but relegates them to false gods, or idols. 3) God is sovereign and all nations are subject to him. 4) God is holy, can’t tolerate sin and will judge it. All unregenerate men hate that. Besides being the recipients of revealed truth—or because of it—the Jews became proud. By magnifying themselves, they usurped God’s glory. Nor did they hesitate to let the rest of the world know of their special status with God. They missed the point that they were recipients of grace and were expected to share that good news with the rest of the world. The net result of all this should not be surprising. The world hated them. To add to that they were further persecuted for killing God (Christ).