While skimming a friend’s Google+ page, a post caught my eye and I had an electric thought!!
This is what I saw:
Shared publicly – Feb 7, 2014“One hope to heal our land”
2Ch 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Before I even saw the video (which I liked, but is not really relevant) I had an awesome thought!! ‘Melting pot!!’
So often in the one-law v. two-law arguments of Messianic ecclesiology, the assumption of the two-law crowd is that ‘if we have one-law,’ Jewish distinctives will be lost and we end up with a homogenous group that does not resemble the promised ‘every tribe, tongue and nation, worshiping before the Throne.’
But, there is an awesome example of one-law with many distinctives!
We have one Constitution, and one people, but many, many distinctives within the ‘body.’ There are many diverse ‘food groups,’ diversity of last names and ethnicity, appearance, etc. How many times I have asked if someone is of Italian heritage, or German, etc. How I love different restaurants with different foods, from Thai to Jamaican. People dress differently, have different skin tones, different characteristics, yet we are all ‘American.’
See? The great melting pot, yet there is much diversity!
Now, I love my country, but it is riddled with problems that stem from the sinfulness of man… the little man and the powerful big man… and all the men/women in between. Still, it is a reasonable shadow of what a true ‘One Law Bride’ would look like… Dontchathink?
Pondering further, even Israel of old had differences between the tribes, yet all were part of one nation/body. We do not know today what the many different ‘distinctives’ were, but we do know they had differences of dialect… Sibboleth/Shibboleth…. (Interesting, too, that this story involves Ephraim. Need to think deeper on that!)
Here you have hit upon one of my pet peeves. It works in more than one direction. The criticism of “One Law” can be taken to mean:
1. Every Gentile becomes Jewish.
2. Every Jew ceases to be Jewish upon acknowledgement of Yeshua as Messiah.
3. The nations all disappear, being assimilated into Israel.
4. Israel becomes the nations.
There are probably other permutations out there under the guise of “One New Man” and other doctrines not fully understood by any of us, but preached by many.
Your illustration of the United States of America is excellent. We are a nation of nations, and that is what YHVH has created Israel to be. It was such from the very beginning. Why else would the Fathers take wives from Syria, Egypt, Canaan, Ethiopia, Moab, Midian, and other nations? Why else would foreigners such as Uriah the Hittite and Ittai the Gittite serve King David? In fact, it seems to me that David’s identity as a Yehudi was threatened far more by the rebellion of his son Absalom, who sought to usurp David’s rightful place as king, rather than by the service of these loyal foreigners who sought to take protect his royal status.
That gets to my main point about Jewish distinctiveness: IT IS NOT IN DANGER IN GOD’S ETERNAL PLAN. There is good reason that YHVH constructed the House of Judah with the two royal tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and the priestly tribe (Levi). They are the core around which He will rebuild the nation. That’s why they have the Oracles of God, and why Salvation came from the Jews. No man or group of men can ever take away those holy honors. Isn’t that what Rev Shaul meant when he said the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable? Our brethren of Judah have constructed the haven where we of Ephraim will land when we finally come home with the remnant we have gathered from all the nations. And is that not what Zechariah meant when he said ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you”?
Finally, there is this reverse discrimination element of opposition to One Law that must one day soon be addressed. It’s the perception in some Messianic Jewish circles that non-Jews can never be full members of the Commonwealth of Israel. We can be fellow laborers and companions, but not full Israelites unless we become Jews. But doesn’t that remove the distinction of us who have sojourned among the nations for millennia? Doesn’t that relegate us to a second-class status? Is that truly what Abba desires in His eternal kingdom? This is what I understand to be Judah’s vexation or harassment of Ephraim, and it is just as grievous to our King as Ephraim’s envy of Judah, evidenced by our efforts over the centuries to usurp Judah’s rightful place as the wilder of the King’s Scepter and bearer of the Lawgiver’s Staff.
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Preach it, brother!!
WAY back in Desert Shield/Desert Storm I remember reading an article by some journalist waxing eloquent about the ‘crucible of combat.’ The article mentioned the binding together of units and groups of servicemen in an indescribable/unbreakable bond that transcended race/creed/socio-economic, etc…
I see that part of what the Great Tribulation is about is to weed out those not truly of Israel/Judah, and to bind together those who are through the fellowship of suffering. That, IMHO, is how the final jealousies between the brothers will be erased and replaced by mutual respect, servant-hood and love.
I totally agree with you and was thinking of a post titled ‘No Redheaded Step-Children!’
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How annoying when I wax eloquent and miss a typo. That last sentence should say:
“This is what I understand to be Judah’s vexation or harassment of Ephraim, and it is just as grievous to our King as Ephraim’s envy of Judah, evidenced by our efforts over the centuries to usurp Judah’s rightful place as the wielder of the King’s Scepter and bearer of the Lawgiver’s Staff.”
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