Unique Among The Nations

by Joseph Hunting

"The Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, or choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath He had sworn unto your fathers... " (Deuteronomy 7:6-7).

Israel's unique status among the family of nations may be disputed or even hotly contested by some. Indeed, even some Jewish people have suggested that they'd be grateful if God chose some other nation to occupy the 'hot seat' and give them respite from the blame for this or that!

But whatever Israel's critics may say, there are some indisputable facts that give Israel its uniqueness. Well did Moses declare: "What nation is there so great, who has God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law which I set before you this day?"

Queen Victoria was right when she said that the Bible was Britain's greatest treasure. Indeed, the Bible is the Word of God and the lives of countless men and women have been transformed and enriched as they have drunk deeply from its truths. 

Israel is unique because its history, past, present and future, is recorded in the Bible. As an example of its accuracy we remember the prophecy given by Moses that the people would be carried captive into Egypt by ship where they would be sold as slaves. "And the Lord shall bring you into Egypt again in ships ... and there you shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen..." (Deuteronomy 28:68).

The mass return of Jews to Egypt was fulfilled in A.D. 70 after the Romans crushed the Jewish revolt. At that time thousands of Jewish captives were taken to Egypt in Roman galleys and sold on the slave markets of Alexandria.

Jeremiah too prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon would destroy and land and take Judah captive for 70 years. "Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, says the Lord, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land ... and this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon for seventy years." (25:9,11).

We read of the fulfilment of this prophecy, firstly when Daniel confirmed Jeremiah's word he had been reading: "In the first year of his (Darius') reign I Daniel understood by books the number of years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem" (9:2), and secondly by Ezra, for when the seventy year captivity ended we read that Cyrus, king of Persia, made a proclamation saying: "Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia, the Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is there among all His people... let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (He is the God) which is in Jerusalem." (1:2,3). This was "that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled" (1:1).

The New Testament records prophecies concerning Jerusalem that highlight the accuracy of Bible prophecy and the uniqueness of Israel in current world events.

Messiah foretold both the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans and its restoration to Israel which latter event took place during the Six Day War of 1967. "For the days shall come upon you, that our enemies shall cast a trench about you; and compass you round, and keep you in on every side, and shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation." (Luke 19:43,44).

"And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh . . . For these be the days of vengeance, that all things are written may be fulfilled... And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:20,22,24).

Jerusalem suffered precisely as prophesied forty years later. There was "great distress in the land". They did "fall by the edge of the sword" and were "led away captive into all nations". And Jerusalem was "trodden down by the Gentiles" for nineteen centuries.

Probably 1967 with the liberation of Jerusalem from Gentile control during those first eventful days in June is the prophetic mile peg signalling the collapse of Gentile world domination. One day the nation of Israel will fulfil its final role, when, following the "time of Jacob's trouble" a purged and refined nation will emerge as "the head and not the tail among all the nations of the earth." That will certainly make Israel unique!

One of the things that makes Israel unique among the nations today is the amazing rebirth of that nation upon the soil of its ancient homeland after a dispersion embracing nineteen centuries. This is all the more remarkable as this return was foretold more than two thousand five hundred years ago.

Also the restoration of Hebrew as the national tongue has no parallel.

Israel is also unique in that it is singled out for undue criticism in the forum of the nations. The U.N. has branded Israel racist. Hear some of the voices that joined in the chorus: Russia, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Jordan and Saudi Arabia were among the loudest in their condemnation!

A West German television station recently charged Israel as a racist country for choosing to rescue the Falasha Jews from starvation in Ethiopia whilst millions of other Ethiopians were left to starve! It is incredible that a tiny country of four million burdened with one of the highest inflation rates in the world and terrible economic pressures should be branded racist because it rescues and resettles thousands of its own people facing extinction. Have so-called Christian nations offered to resettle Christian Ethiopians? Have Moslem countries with their vast resources of petro-dollars offered to succour Moslem Ethiopians?

Israel's uniqueness also lies in the fact that this nation is locked into an everlasting covenant with God. Before branding Israel as racist it would be well to recall that this covenant which gives the land of Israel to the people of Israel for an everlasting possession also warns: "I will curse him that curseth thee".