Breaking the Cycle of History
Yael Eckstein | March 7, 2021
God looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one. — Psalm 53:2-3
In honor of my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and his lifework helping Christians understand the Jewish roots of their faith, I offer you one of his devotional teachings from the beloved Psalms.
In the 3,000 years of Jewish history, we have seen that history tends to repeat itself. Over and over again, the Jewish people have been oppressed — from Pharaoh in Egypt, to Hitler in Germany, to the rampant anti-Semitism that is prevalent today. Yet, God has saved His people from every threat and every attempt to utterly destroy the Jews.
Miraculously the Jewish people are still alive and thriving today. However, new threats lurk on the horizon. Iran is on the brink of becoming a nuclear power while almost all of Israel’s neighboring countries have missiles pointed her way. Is history bound to repeat itself again? Can the cycle ever come to an end?
Speaking to this idea, King David wrote Psalm 53 as an almost exact replica of Psalm 14. The nuances are slight. Without reading the two psalms side by side, we could mistake them for exactly the same psalm. Why did David feel the need to write virtually the same psalm twice?
The Jewish sages explain that David was emphasizing the repetition of history. According to Jewish tradition, Psalm 14 was written as prophecy for the time when the Holy Temple would be destroyed. Psalm 53 was written in anticipation of the destruction of the Second Temple. However, both psalms speak to the oppression of God’s people and can be applied to any time in history and any place in the world. The psalmist bemoaned, “They devour my people as though eating bread” (v.4).
Breaking the Cycle of History
Friends, history does not have to repeat itself any longer. The cycle of history can be broken, and I believe that the time to end it is now.
In verse 2 the psalmist wrote, “God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” God looks down on every generation to see if there are a few good people. God wants to know if there are people who believe in His Word and understand that the children of Israel are not meant to be prosecuted, but shielded, protected, and helped back to their homeland.
In the psalm, the author concluded, “Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good…” But what if in our generation God looks down and finds millions of God-fearing good people, who bless His people and protect them from harm?
We sit at the precipice of a new era. A time when we can see the prophecies in the Bible coming to complete fruition. Here at The Fellowship, Christians around the world are helping Jews attain freedom, security, and provisions for living, every single day. The cycle of persecution need not continue. And we can make all the difference.