With the recent war in Israel, the clash between Arabs and Jews in the region is once again a hot button issue. While many onlookers on both sides continue to rail against one another, this time, the conflict has also spilled over into cities around the world, with anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence ticking up to even more dangerous levels than before. Given the abundance of misinformation, false accusations and questions surrounding this explosive topic, here are some facts about the tumultuous history of the holy land, and how this recent bout between Israel and the Palestinians got started.
What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 9)
While Moses, having fled Egypt, came to dwell in the land to the east, God still heard the cries of Israel, and did not forget His covenant people (Exodus 2:23-24). After forty more years, when Moses was eighty (Acts 7:30), he was out, as usual, shepherding his father-in-law’s flock on what turned out to be the mountain of God (Exodus 3:1). All at once, Adonai suddenly appeared to Moses in a burning fire, engulfing a nearby bramble in flames—though the bush was not consumed. And there for the first time, Adonai spoke to His servant Moses from out of the blazing bush, declaring,
“I am the God of your fathers, God of [Abraham], God of [Isaac], and God of [Jacob]…. I have seen, seeing the affliction of My people… and I have heard their cry… for I have known their pains. And I come down to deliver them out of the hand of the [Egyptians] and to cause them to go up out of the land… to a land flowing with milk and honey…. [S]ay to the sons of [Israel]: ‘I am’ has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:6-8,14 mjlt)
What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 8)
Having dispersed Noah’s descendants to form a world of nations, God continued His reconciling work through obscure, unremarkable Abraham. God covenanted with Abraham that He would make him into a great nation, give him a great name, and make him a blessing to all the families of the earth. God also promised Abraham a land as a possession for the generations that would miraculously be born through him. And even though he had no children, and was personally given no inheritance in the land—“not even a footstep” (Acts 7:5, mjlt)—Abraham believed God. The covenant made by the God of Promise was renewed with Abraham’s son Isaac, and again with Isaac’s son Jacob…
…the promise, however, would not come without pain. Read more
Springtime on the Christian liturgical calendar is punctuated by a series of holy days, culminating in Easter—the celebration of the resurrection of Yeshua. Though many of the lesser-known annual events are not universally kept by Christians, the observance of Easter is easily the climax of the calendar. Recognized on a given Sunday every late March or April, this anniversary of the Messiah’s conquering of death represents the pinnacle of worship in the Church… but it wasn’t always this way.
What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 7)
Before he died, Abraham found a wife for his son from among the people of his father. He was determined to maintain his line’s distinction while still sojourning in that promised, yet foreign, country. Isaac loved Rebekah, who, like Sarah, had been barren. But Isaac prayed to God, and his prayers were abundantly answered—Rebekah conceived, and had not one child, but twins. From the womb, the two boys contended with one another, for God, indeed, had already made His plans. Esau, ruddy and hairy, came out first; and clutching his heel was relentless Jacob, the supplanter. Read more
What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 6)
Sealed by the covenant of circumcision, the birth of Isaac marked the beginning of Abraham’s promised line, and the distinction of a set-apart people. Until this time, Abraham had proved himself most malleable—willing to appease the command of both God and wife alike. But now, with the coming of his son Isaac—the promised progenitor of his name—would Abraham continue to obey, even in the face of great personal loss? Read more
What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 5)
Because the descendants of Adam had become earth’s sinful citizens, God destroyed the world. Oath-bound and grief-stricken, the Creator washed away His creation, cleansing it in the waters of a purifying, violent Flood. Yet above that deluge, God lifted up Noah to save a remnant of life from off the earth. Through the narrow doorway to a lifeboat of grace, God had preserved humanity in one righteous soul. Adonai was initiating His redemption plan for the heart of sinful man, and with a covenant, He began to prepare the way by which anyone could be saved. Read more
What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 4)
Adam had brought sin into the world, soiling God’s pristine creation. The misstep of the one man caused death to reign for all—the result of disobedience and self-separation from the Creator. Forced to follow through on His covenantal obligation, God enacted His judgment and barred mankind from everlasting life by way of the garden tree. Through his own disobedience, the man was cast away from the presence and provision of God. Read more
What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 3)
The foundation of the Good News was laid when the God of creation made the heavens and the earth. He filled the world with life that sprawled across the land, sea and air—beautiful and pristine, it flourished. As His crowning achievement, God created a caretaker for His creation who would multiply, bless the earth and be blessed by it in return. God made man in His very own image and likeness to be the sentient recipient of His abundant goodness. For the moment, all things were in total harmony and peace. Read more
What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 2)
The opening words of Scripture, found in Genesis 1:1, speak precisely to the beginning of the message of the Good News. Before the very spreading out of the heavens and the foundation of the earth, there was God, and nothing but God. This fact cannot be glossed over or underestimated in its fundamental importance to sharing the Good News. It establishes the framework of God’s message, giving context and meaning to everything else that will follow. We cannot simply assume a communal awareness or agreement of how life on earth came to be, nor can we merely stipulate that life exists, and suffer all manner of theories and presumptions about its beginning. If we cannot openly attribute all life to God, then we have no basis for the Good News.