Editorial - A Happy New Year Greeting

by Joseph Hunting

On behalf of many thousands of Gentile lovers of Zion who are readers of THE VINEYARD we wish our Jewish friends l'shana tova tiketevu -- a happy new year.

Both geographically and numerically Israel is so insignificant as to merit hardly a mention in the world's news media.

What makes Israel so different from other states comparable in size and population? Certainly no other people or race has survived such a lengthy and sustained effort to crush them out of existence.

It would be fair to ask: why is Israel so different from the family of nations that share this planet?

Why has Saudi Arabia called for a 'jihad', or holy war, against Israel? What has Israel done to Saudi Arabia to merit such a drastic step? One might also ask the same question of Iraq who has called for a holy (?) war of extermination against Israel.

Why have Israel's neighbours launched four savage attacks during the nation's thirty-seven years of statehood?

Why have the world's media, almost without exception, adopted a biased, and sometimes false, presentation of news relating to Israel?

Although there may be a variety of answers to these questions, I believe the answer is basically a spiritual one. Whilst all races, including Israel, can trace their origins back to a common ancestor, Adam, God selected an individual, Abraham, from among all the races of mankind and made a covenant with him and his seed. It is important to recognize that the covenant was repeated by God to Isaac and Jacob, NOT to Ishmael and Esau.

In due time God redeemed Abraham's descendants from slavery in Egypt, from which time a special relationship has existed between the God of Israel and the people of Israel.

Then God made a covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai: "If you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine ... and all the people answered together and said, All that the Lord has spoken we will do." (Exodus 19:5-8).

Whether it is generally recognized by the Gentile nations, it is this relationship between God and Israel that makes this nation different from all others. This may be a bitter pill for some to swallow but the end result is the same – Jew-hate.

Only God knows what the New Year holds in store. We commenced by wishing Israel a Happy New Year -- but more -- we wish them far more -- SHALOM, SHALOM!