It Matters to God
Yael Eckstein | January 3, 2022
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them.” – Exodus 10:1
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Bo, which means “come,” from Exodus 10:1–13:16.
When my father, of blessed memory, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein founded The Fellowship in 1983, he had to deal with a lot of criticism from within the Jewish community. Over the decades since then, many hearts and minds have changed. The work of The Fellowship has borne fruit, not only through the humanitarian assistance and great work that we do, but also in teaching the Jewish community that there are millions of Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people.
One consistent argument that my father would hear, especially from older Jews who had survived the Holocaust was, “Why does it matter what the Gentiles think of us?” And while it’s understandable for many Jews to feel this way, when we look at the Bible, we see that it matters to God — a lot.
From the beginning of God’s first words to Abraham that all the families of the earth would be blessed through him (Genesis 12:1-3), through the prophets who foretold a time in the future when millions of Gentiles would stream to Jerusalem to worship the God of Israel, the Bible makes it clear that the purpose of whatever happens to Israel is the ultimate transformation of all humanity into the Kingdom of God on earth.
It Matters to God
In this week’s Torah portion, we see this purpose stated explicitly by God. We often think that the purpose of the ten plagues in Egypt was to punish the Egyptians and force them to let the children of Israel go free. But if that was the goal, God didn’t need all ten.
As we read this week, the purpose of the plagues was to teach the Egyptians about God, and to destroy their faith in the false pagan gods of Egypt. Even though the plagues led to freedom of Israel, that wasn’t their main purpose. I imagine there were Jews in Egypt at the time wondering, “Why does it matter what the Egyptians think?” But it matters to God.
What was true then is true now. We see in our own days that millions of Bible-believing Christians worldwide have been greatly heartened by the ingathering of the Jewish people to the state of Israel, the reborn Jewish nation in our homeland. This incredible impact of the miracle of Israel on the faith of all humanity is the purpose of all that God does for His people.
Spend a few minutes in devotional prayer thanking God for living in a time when the biblical prophecies are coming to life.