Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsBe the Righteous Among The Nations (Part 2)

Be the Righteous Among The Nations (Part 2)

      As I close out a long series on Israel (which happened to be timely), I began last week looking at the teachings of Matt. 25:31-46 likely quoting or alluding to Joel 3. In Joel 3, we find the Gentiles being gathered in the Valley of Decision or the Vally of Jehosophat to be judged on how they treated Israel. In Matthew 25, though Jesus doesn’t mention Israel, He does tell of the same judgment. He uses the phrases “brethren of mine” and “least of these.” Obviously, we’re to show the love and compassion expressed in Matthew 25 to everyone, but Joel adds that we will be judged on how we dealt with Israel at the end of the age.

      This reality is why I have such a burden to make sure we understand God’s continued plan for Israel. I do what I do as a pastor because I want to make sure that at the final judgment others enter eternal life. I also want to make sure those I have the privilege of pastoring hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:23). Therefore, this judgment on how we deal with Israel is also important to me.

      I’ve written a lot on God’s warning and preparing of His people through foreshadow and typology throughout the Bible. For example, the final scene at the end of the age has repeatedly been foreshadowed throughout history. Even the current conflict between Hamas and Israel is a foreshadow of what is to come. In God’s infinite wisdom, He has also foreshadowed what the righteous toward Israel would look like; and in case we miss it, God has allowed the very language of the passage to be put on display.

      At the Israeli Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem, the museum is surrounded by a garden. This garden is a memorial to the “righteous among the nations.” Notice that is language likely taken from Joel 3. It is also the same language found in Matthew 25.

      It’s as if the Lord allowed a banner to be placed so that we would be without excuse to understand what it means to be righteous Gentiles toward Israel considering the Joel 3 judgment and likely Matthew 25.

      In this garden there is a tree planted for each individual or family that helped Jews during the Holocaust. Can you see the foreshadowing?

      As horrific as it is to say, but the Time of Jacob’s troubles ahead will be worse than the Holocaust. During the Holocaust, very few stood with Israel, especially the nations where it took place. There were only individuals who defied their nations, risked their lives and helped Jews. The ones who did are now enshrined in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations. Some of the names we would recognize are:

      • Oskar Schindler — One of the most famous Righteous Gentiles from the Holocaust, Schindler helped to save thousands of Polish Jews by shielding them as workers in his factories. His story is told in a “Schindler’s List.”

         • Corrie Ten Boom — She was a young girl during the Holocaust, but her family in the Netherlands hid Jews. Her story is told in “The Hiding Place.”

         • Jan and Antonina Zabinski — They were owners of the Warsaw Zoo and hid Jews in the Zoo. Their story is told in “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”

      These are just a few of the over 28,000 who have been recognized. One name that is interesting is Deitrick Bonhoeffer. He is recognized as a Christian who spoke out against the Holocaust in Germany. It has been debated as to whether he would be inducted into the list, but he is one that is recognized as helping.

      I encourage you to read through lists online of the righteous among the nations because these people should serve as models of how, as individuals, we should deal with Israel in a world that is afire with Antisemitism.

      My hope is that, as followers of Christ, we would “get Israel right” and would be found as “righteous among the nations.” It’s interesting that throughout the list of those memorialized at Yad Vashem, Christian faith doesn’t play a big role in the endeavors.

         — Jake is a state missionary and would love to share about the work in Northwest Arkansas and encourage your church to stand firm. (