Is God a racist? In today’s Little Lesson, we’re going to continue talking about the right biblical perspective of the modern day nation of Israel.
In the previous Little Lesson we asked the question, “is Israel the apple of God’s eye?” That’s a verse from Zachariah that you sometimes hear from Evangelical preachers who will quote it and say, “We ought to make sure we’re on the side of Israel because they’re God’s chosen people.”
And they’ll also quote oftentimes verses, for example, in Numbers 24:9, where God said, “Blessed is everyone who blesses you and cursed is everyone who curses you.” And so, we need to make sure we’re a blessing to modern day Israel.
The Very First Rule of Bible Interpretation
Now, the very first rule of Bible interpretation, of course, is to consider context. You can make the Bible say anything you want it to say by isolating individual verses.
You’ve got to harmonize your verse with all 30,000 other verses. And, as I mentioned on the previous broadcast, above all, God doesn’t change. God’s moral, God’s ethical, God is not a racist.
Jesus died for everyone, God loves the whole world. Now, when we start saying that God favors certain ethnicities or races or countries over other ones and don’t put any moral or ethical consideration into the equation, we are showing that we don’t know a whole lot about the unchanging God yet.
Yes, we want to be on God’s side, God’s side is always the right side, the righteous side, the moral side, the ethical side. And so, that’s so important for us to never, ever, ever forget.
“The Apple of My Eye” In Context
Well, of course in Zachariah 2:8, when God says, “You are the apple of my eye.” That’s not said in a vacuum. It’s said within the context of other verses. It’s said within the context of Zachariah chapter two.
Well, let’s start reading in 2:4. “… and said to him, “Run, speak to that young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it.'” So, this is speaking specifically of a time when people will be living in Jerusalem, and there will be no walls.
Okay. I don’t know if you ever looked at pictures of Jerusalem today, but there are walls. And there have been walls there for hundreds of years built by a guy by the name of Solomon the Magnificent. And ever since the state of Israel those walls have been up. That was 1948. Those walls go way back before that. So, Zachariah is talking about a time were Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls. It’s not now. Keep reading.
Verse number five: “‘For I,’ declares the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.'” Well, sounds to me like we’re reading about sometime in the future. When God says, “I’ll be a wall of fire.” Well, that depends on how literal you take that. And He says, “I’ll be the glory in her midst.”
Well, we know there’s a time coming in the future when Jesus will rule and reign from Jerusalem. Right? It’s often called the Millennium. The 1,000-year reign of Christ. And there’s debates on that of course, but there’s coming a time where there’s going to be a new Jerusalem. I bet there’s a wall around that one. And John in Revelations even gives us the details of that wall. So, keep reading.
A Prophecy Not Yet Fulfilled
Zechariah 6:2: “‘Ho there! Flee from the land of the north,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I have dispersed you as the four winds of the heavens,’ declares the LORD. Ho, Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon. For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘After glory he has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.’
Well, that’s not a general statement that’s all-encompassing for all of Israel’s history, is it? No. It’s talking about that time obviously yet to occur in the future when the Lord will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And He himself will be a wall of fire around her, because there won’t be any wall.
Zachariah 2:9: “‘For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me. Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,’ declares the LORD.”
What Zechariah Is Really Referring To
So, clearly if we read Zechariah chapter 2:8 within its context, there’s no debating the fact that when God says, “You’re the apple of My eye,” He’s not talking about any other time than that time when He’s dwelling in their midst and He’s the fire around them, and His glory is the fire around them, and there is no wall around Jerusalem, and many nations join themselves to the Lord in that day.
I submit to you that hasn’t happened yet.
The Danger of Reading Random Verses Out of Context
And if you’re going to just take a random verse and say, “Well this is how God always feels about the nation of Israel,” why don’t you pick another verse?
Why don’t you pick Psalm 78:59? “When God heard, He was filled with wrath and greatly abhorred Israel.”
Well, it’d be just as foolish to take that verse and say, “Well, that applies to Israel for all history and right up to this present moment,” as it does to take Zachariah 2:8 where God says, “You’re the apple of My eye,” And say, “That applies for all time.”
Will God Have to Curse Himself?
What about that verse when God says in Numbers, “Blessed is everyone who blesses you, and cursed is everyone who curses you”? Well, then I guess God is cursed because He cursed them. He cursed Israel himself, for a time.
Listen to Malachi 2:2, “If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name,” says the LORD of hosts, “then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart.”
So, what about that? How’s that fit into the theology that “Everyone who blesses you God will bless, and whoever curses you God will curse?” Well, that must mean that God’s cursing Himself, because in Malachi 2:2 he said, “I’ve already cursed you.”
The Blessings Are Found in Jesus Christ
See, so let’s not be so silly as to just take a few verses out of their context and try to come up with a theology. Yes, God loves Israel. Yes, God loves the Jewish people. Yes, but all the blessings that He has in store for anybody come through Jesus Christ. And you’ll only get Jesus by repenting of your sins and believing in Him.
All right. Out of time once again. Thank you so much for joining me today. God bless you.