Strictly speaking, today’s Jews are those who follow Judaism and who are descendants of the kingdom of Judah. But today the word ‘Jew’ is used to refer to all of the physical and spiritual descendants of Jacob/Israel; talk of the Jews and you are talking about the nation Israel.
Isn’t it amazing that the nation Israel has survived for over 3,000 years despite world-wide persecution and some 2,500 years of exile from their God-given land? When King Louis XIV of France (1643-1715) asked Blaise Pascal, the great Christian philosopher to give him proof of God, Pascal answered, ‘Why the Jews, your Majesty, the Jews!’ The fact that the Jews have survived points to their unique role in the world.
Winston Churchill once said:
Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.
The moral and religious teacher Leo Tolstoy acknowledged that there is something very special about the Jew:
What is the Jew? … What kind of unique creature is this whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world have disgraced and crushed and expelled and destroyed; persecuted, burned and drowned, and who, despite their anger and their fury, continues to live and to flourish
Even the atheistic German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who famously asserted that “God is dead”, said of the Jews:
The Jews are beyond all doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest race at present living in Europe; they know how to succeed even under the worst conditions
The Jews: their Purpose in the World
Men might wonder and marvel at the phenomenon of the Jew, but the Bible explains Israel’s purpose – the reason for her existence – quite succinctly:
What one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land (2 Sam 7.23)
You are My witnesses … and My servant whom I have chosen (Isa 43.10)
The Future is Jewish
Only some 0.2% of the world’s inhabitants are Jews. Yet, despite this, the Bible says that the future of the world depends principally upon the tiny nation of Israel and that one day all Gentile nations will honour the Jews. The outworking of Bible prophecy is clear, even to those who hate Israel. In just 130 years God has gathered many of His people from out of the nations and established them in their homeland. But as of 2015, the world Jewish population was 14.2 million, of which only 6.2 million (44%) resided in Israel. What about those still dispersed amongst the nations? Prophecy implies that virtually all those dispersed among the nations will return to the Promised Land; God leaves “none of them there any longer” (Ezek 39.28). So it seems that aliyah is not yet complete. But when it is – what then?
Jews will be Respected
This current age is rapidly drawing to a close and prophecy says a ‘Millennial age’ will follow. It is a time when man sees the fulfillment of God’s plan for the world, a time when the nation Israel has been fully restored to her intended place, namely, to be His servant and witness amongst the nations, and a time when the world at last recognizes that the nation Israel is a very special people – God’s chosen people. At last, the Gentile nations will acknowledge and value the unique role of the Jew:
In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’ (Zech 8.23)