John R. Houk
© December 14, 2010
Ari Bussel has written an awesome essay with the intended reading audience being Jews. The purpose of the essay is to bring to the forefront practice of Aliyah which was and is the call for Jews to return to the Land of Promise given by God. From the days that Jews faced expulsion from Israel/Judah by Assyria then by Babylonia and again by the Romans; Jews became a people without a national homeland and became known as Diaspora Jews.
From the dispersion of Jews by Romans the Jewish Diaspora grew outside their former homeland renamed Philistia by the Romans. It is from the word Philistia that the word Palestine developed. The Diaspora initially grew in cities outside of Palestine that already had Jewish established populations. Alexandria in Egypt became one of the Jewish religious and economic centers of the Diaspora early on. I am not investigating this now but eventually Jewish populations grew in Europe from Spain to Russia. The persecution of Jews by the increasingly Christian nature of the Roman Empire and Europe undoubtedly led to a strong Jewish desire to return to the city of David; i.e. Jerusalem, the Capitol City of Israel’s greatest King David. Return to Jerusalem the location of God’s Presence on the Temple Mount for Jews.
Jews that observe the traditions of their people regard the Temple Mount as the center of the World because God’s Presence was housed there after Solomon built the First Temple following David’s death. Thus Jews always prayed to return to Jerusalem. Liberal or non-observant Jews perhaps are not so much into the awe of God’s Presence in Jerusalem which may explain there are a significant amount of Jews willing to toss the Old City half of Jerusalem back into Muslim control under the delusion peace will follow from Middle Eastern Muslims and the ones that call themselves Palestinians in particular.
At any rate apart from the Jewish connection to Jerusalem which in my opinion is preeminent. There is a vital Christian connection to Jerusalem. Jesus the son of Mary and the Son of God was descended from the kingly line of the House of Judah which hearkens back to King David. In the Christian perspective the promises to Abraham that followed through the hereditary line of Promise, became available to non-Jewish (i.e. Gentile) people through the Redemptive Sacrificial Blood of Jesus the Christ. Christians do not have the same affinity as Jews about the Presence of God on the Temple Mount because Jesus provides the opportunity of all people to be engrafted to the Natural Seed of Promise. Those that believe in the Risen Savior thus become the adopted sons and daughters of God as part of His Kingdom Family. The concept of adoption should give more meaning as to the reason the Apostle Paul frequently used the phrase about Salvation, “To Jew first and then the Gentile (or to the Greek).” Salvation is of the Jews. As a Christian I consider myself as a friend of Jews even though most Observant Jews may not consider the Christian faith as a group that are friends to Jews. Most Observant Jews frown on Christian evangelism because of the belief that it would be heresy that God would incarnate a human to form the simultaneous human-Divine nature of the Son of God. (Incidentally, the Jewish view of denying Christ’s Sonship is taken up on a militant sentiment by Muslims.)
Here is a paragraph from Ari Bussel’s article, “And They Will be a Nation to Me” (Posted at the end of these thoughts at SlantRight.com):
And it is the word of God, the Almighty: Here I take the Israelites from among the gentiles to where they have departed. And I will collect them from all around and bring them to their land. And I will make them one … and they will be a nation to me and I will be their God. And my servant David will be a king unto them, and one shepherd will be for all. … And they will settle the land that I gave my servant, to Jacob, where your forefathers sat before you, and you will be there, they and their sons and their sons’ sons to the end of day, and my servant David a president to them for eternity.
Bussel’s intent is that one day all of the nation of Israel will be one day collected from its dispersion and returned by the power of God to Eretz Israel. As a Christian I see the return of Diaspora Jews as the plan of God for the Messiah – Jesus Christ – returning for the second time to bring Salvation to all peoples and nations. Salvation is of the Jews.