Anti-Semitism: This Present Darkness
Anti-Semitism: This Present Darkness
Written By Rev. Thorin Anderson   |   10.17.23
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Words cannot express the horror and disgust that have been aroused by the recent surprise attacks on Israel by Hamas.

The wanton torture, slaughter, and kidnapping of innocent children, youth, and elderly by Hamas terrorists cannot be justified, and witnesses declare that the unspeakable atrocities they committed are reminiscent of the Holocaust!

And to top it off, those despicable acts have been met with praise and applause by some!

Any attempt to discern a rationality for these attacks is doomed to failure. They are not the acts of reasonable people. While apologists will seek to  assign blame for the terrorist activities of Hamas to past and present deeds of Israel, such is not the case.

We cannot examine the history of the hatred toward Jews and Israel in detail here, but it is past time to address the real reasons for that animosity. They go deep, indeed!

I would suggest that due to Israel’s key role in world events every American should know something of its history and be prepared to defend its right to exist.

I believe that the attacks on America on 9/11 can be traced primarily back to America’s relationship to Israel. But the animosity of the radical Islamic world toward America and Israel goes back far beyond that event.

It can be traced thousands of years back to Genesis chapters 12 through 28. In those texts we read of Abraham, who is considered the father of Israel as well as many of the Arab peoples who hate Israel, and his blessings as he applied them to his sons and grandsons. The division and hate arise out of the circumstances surrounding God’s selection of Isaac over Ishmael and Jacob (Israel) over Esau, and thus their descendants’, the Israelites, favored relationship with God.

The idea that Isaac and Jacob usurped the favored position from its rightful recipients misses a critically important fact: God Himself declared that He had sovereignly selected Isaac and Jacob as His “Chosen Ones” for His own purposes.

It is unfortunate that Jacob clouded the issue by tricking his father into blessing him rather than Esau. He would have received the blessing without deceiving his father, and thus, any bitterness on his brother’s part could not have been laid at his feet.

Now, the reader might be asking, and rightly so, what kind of person continues a grudge that is thousands of years old? And how can billions of people from over twenty Islamic countries be caught up in the hatred? Such a peculiar hatred would seem to suggest that there is something even deeper at play.

And, of course, there is!

If we were asked to mediate a brotherly feud, such as those which appears in Genesis, where the younger brothers apparently “stole” their older brother’s inheritance and blessing, we might ask a simple question: Is there evidence that the “blessing” stole brought any particular benefit to the interlopers?

Biblical evidence would suggest that in the lifetimes of the brothers no such advantage materialized. They all appear to have been quite prosperous.  Interestingly, the descendants of both Isaac and Ishmael are beyond counting, and both Jacob and Esau were quite prosperous!

The blessings were in fact spiritual in nature, a fact that elicited distain from both Ishmael and Esau. Materially, at least in the short term, all of Abraham’s descendants prospered. Based upon these things one would have thought that the bitterness would have dissipated. It does appear that after the initial disputes the brothers had a cordial relationship for the remainder of their lives.

However, the feud was renewed by their children as Esau’s descendants, known as Edomites, mocked Jerusalem as it was destroyed, and its citizens slaughtered by Babylon’s army in 586 BC. The Edomites not only lent no aid to their brothers, the Jews, they sided with the Babylonian soldiers by delivering up Jews who were in hiding! (Obadiah 1:11-16;Ezekiel 35:5)

And the descendants of Ishmael, making up a significant part of the Arabic world, continue to hate Israel and the Jews to this day.

These things bring us to the fundamental issue. Is there a God who superintends world events or not? And did He choose Israel as His special people for His own purposes? If He did, their particular durability is explained.

Anything that endures for thousands of years would seem to have some substance to it. In other words, if there were no God, a supposed blessing made in His name four thousand years ago would mean nothing, would provide no benefit whatever, and one would expect it to be forgotten quickly.

On the other hand, the fact that Israel has continued as a people, unique in a host of ways while hounded, hated, and harassed by the world, would strongly suggest that the blessing was quite real after all! And the hatred of the Islamic world, as well as that of millions of others might just be related to that blessing and Israel’s special relationship with the God of the universe.

Being loved By God does, of course, attract the hatred of God’s primary enemy, Satan. He cannot be overlooked in these things.

I am compelled to reiterate an earlier point: God chose Israel for His own purposes and not because of anything particularly worthy in them. While Jacob may have attempted to steal his brother’s blessing, such a theft was impossible. No human can thwart the intentions of God, and it is clear that God’s eternal plan placed Jacob and his descendants in the center of His plans.

Any person who would blame Israel for “stealing” the blessing God intended for Arabs has a woefully inadequate understanding of the sovereignty of God. If God had intended that the Arab world inherit this blessing, they would have received it!

Joyfully, I can inform the reader that at this moment the full blessing of God’s salvation is available to anyone of any race or nation who repents of their sin and trusts in Jesus Christ as their Savior! There is no reason whatever to be jealous of Israel! The blessings bestowed upon the believers of this age, as members of the “Bride of Christ,” eclipse those of Israel! (Matthew 11:11).

If you read the Bible with any attention to its message, you will see that it is a “Jewish” book from cover to cover. And, because it is the greatest of follies to resist God, the best choice for all is to submit to Him and His plan and discover that in loving Israel there is great blessing. One need not agree to all they do to desire the best for them as a people.

Just as the Moon exerts an invisible pull on the earth, God’s favor on Israel impacts the world; and while antisemites may be unaware of the reasons for their hatred, the only explanation for it is the “favored” status God has bestowed upon Israel. Interestingly, God states in Romans 1 that there are things we all simply “know” regarding Him, His existence, and His sovereignty.

I believe that in our hearts we know that the Jewish people are especially near to God’s heart, and that is why so many hate them. He says that to touch them is to “touch the apple of His eye!”

Not a good idea!

One further point. The barbarism and inhumanity that has characterized the treatment of the Jews throughout the centuries would strongly suggest that it springs from an evil source. Whether it be the pogroms of ancient times, the gas chambers of Nazi Germany or the vile slaughter of innocent children and elderly in recent days, no one can claim that the animosity arises from good and compassionate people.

Rather, one can only conclude the enemies of the Jews are motivated by the basest of intentions.

If our eyes are at all open, we cannot avoid the clear implication of the facts surrounding Israel. They were made a promise by God in the Abrahamic Covenant four thousand years ago that He would give them an enduring and eternal legacy. They have been hounded and harassed throughout their history with more than one serious attempt to exterminate them, yet they survive.

No others have such a story!

These realities suggest the Scriptures to be true, and God to be faithful.

Finally, because of God’s promise to bless Abraham’s covenant descendants, it may be that the only thing keeping America from destruction, despite our massive debt, wicked and corrupt culture, abortion, and sexual perversions, is our national support for Israel.

Again, we need not agree with everything the Israeli government does, but we must always be there to defend their right to exist in the face of the antisemites of the world.

It may be that no other foreign policy issue matters more!

We must stand with Israel, especially as it faces such atrocities, and pray for her peace!

Rev. Thorin Anderson
Rev. Thorin Anderson is a member of the Advisory Council to Illinois Family Institute and the former pastor of Parkwood Baptist Church on the south side of Chicago. Pastor Anderson has faithfully pastored at Parkwood Baptist Church since September, 2000 until 2022. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Central Seminary. He and his wife Toni have seven children and 19 grandchildren. Pastor Anderson also serves on the board of directors for Men for Christ, an association that organizes annual weekend men’s rallies in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois on a rotating basis. For more information on these...
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