I’m so grateful whenever I can speak up for the Hebraic roots of my faith, without which no Christian could adequately comprehend the New Testament or the ministry of Jesus.
Throughout Church history there have been theologians such as Augustine who have tried to freeze out the Jewish people as still being elected by God. That’s called Replacement Theology or Supercessionism by the Church, as if the Church could take the place of God’s chosen people to whom were committed the very oracles of God!
Deuteronomy 7: 6 declares, “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”
The Jewish people have been chosen by God to be a light unto the nations.
While the concept of “chosenness” may be misunderstood as ethnic supremacy, the status as a “chosen people” within Judaism does not preclude a belief that God has a relationship with the nations. The New Testament also teaches in Ephesians 1: 4 that individual believers within the Body of Messiah are chosen by God.
It does carry a certain burden to be chosen!
To quote the main character Tevye from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” sometimes the Jewish people are exasperated by being chosen because of all the persecution they have endured. In the musical Tevye says, “ I know we are Your chosen people but once in a while, can’t You choose someone else?”
Well, not only did the Lord choose the Jewish people for his own eternal plans and purposes, he also chose every member of the Body of Messiah, according to Ephesians 1:4, “from before the foundations of the world.” How is that possible? God lives outside of time, and he sees the end from the beginning.
Although this is still the Church Age and although the Church Age is winding up, nevertheless, the Jewish people are in ascendency again, and they still maintain special status with God as his Elect.
The popular Jewish holiday of Purim when Jews dress up in costumes and eat special treats is a reminder to the Church not to “boast against” the root of the Lord’s Olive Tree, as the apostle Paul admonished in Romans 11:18.
In our woke, all-inclusive culture, the idea is scandalous to a lot of people that God personally chooses some people over others — for reasons that are entirely His alone. But regarding God’s divine prerogative, the apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 9:15 of God’s conversation with Moses: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”
One of the ongoing proofs of the divine election of the Jewish people is the Book of Esther and the holiday of Purim, which in my opinion all Christian believers are free to celebrate, because Purim extols the sovereignty of God in history and in preserving the chosen people.
Historically, anti-Jewish statements have been made against the Book of Esther because many Christian theologians have been woefully anti-semitic. The central point of the book reveals God’s providential care for ethnic Israel.
There is indeed a future and a hope for Israel that is being fulfilled in our generation before our very eyes! Although God seems hidden as in the Book of Esther, he is nevertheless always working behind the scenes. Each year when Purim rolls around, we shudder to think what will become of Israel’s enemies who have a Haman-like hatred of Israel. The Hidden Face of God in Purim will no longer be hidden, according to Ezekiel 38: 18.
Since the Book of Esther (and therefore the holiday of Purim) celebrates the perpetual existence of the Jewish people, replacement theologians should not be stumped by it. After all, the Book of Esther is included in the canon of Scripture, and the text clearly states in Esther 9:28 that “these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation…”
To disregard the message of Purim is to deny the Hebraic roots of our faith!
Christine Darg is founder of the Jerusalem Channel and can be contacted at JerusalemChannel.tv.