Editorial - A Debt of Gratitude

by Joseph Hunting

Apart from the present long-range but abortive plan by her Arab neighbours to wipe out the State of Israel, Jewish people have had more than their share of persecution.

From time to time throughout history Hamans and Hitlers have heaped untold misery and suffering upon them, and it must also be admitted with shame that those who have called themselves Christians have added to the senseless slaughter of thousands of innocent men, women and children for no other reason than that they were born Jewish.

Indeed, thousands were massacred by the Crusaders as they marched across Europe on their way to liberate the tomb of the Redeemer from so-called infidels. Later, thousands more were burned at the stake or tortured to death in Spain. And in our own time, with few exceptions, the Christian Church raised little or no outcry against the infamous Nazi programme of genocide that began in 1943.

Is it too late to admit that Christians owe a debt of gratitude and love to Israel for all the spiritual benefits we have inherited from them?

Is it not through a Jewish history book we call the Bible and the Word of God that we have the knowledge of God and His loving kindness and tender mercy for all mankind?

And did not Jewish prophets foretell with amazing accuracy the first advent of the Messiah-Redeemer? Was it not with His Jewish blood that He purchased the redemption of Jew and Gentile alike?

Were not the foundation members of the Messianic movement, later known as Christianity, all Jewish?

And when the mad emperor Nero attempted to stamp out this new faith by feeding them to the lions or using them as human torches in the arena of Rome, he failed.

Surely, the world owes a debt of gratitude to Israel, for through this nation have come some of the greatest benefactors of the human race in medicine, music and science etc.

Christians in particular can never fully repay the debt of love and gratitude to Israel for the salvation they now enjoy. The New Testament was originally written by Jews who had a burning love to share their faith with all mankind. Is it not written, "Have they (the Jews) stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles." (Romans 11:11)