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|Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.||A Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship|
|March 2006 (5766)||Vol. 32 No. 3|
Endure Hardness, As A Good Soldier
Dr. and Mrs. Elias E. Hidalgo
In every age, since the beginning of time, there has always been individuals that have proven themselves outstanding 'as a good soldier', because, they have been willing to endure hardness. Sometimes, this 'hardness' has come in the area of deprivation of food, shelter, family, and on and on. All because they have placed their priorities in proper order, and in turn, have 'practiced what they preach'! In the Book of Romans, chapter 2:21-29, we have an apt description of an individual that says one thing and does the complete opposite. I am sure, that if we are honest within ourselves, everyone of us has fallen into the practice, of not doing what we say should be done, or expecting others to do, while we are not doing what we should. May The LORD help us in this most difficult task. THE NATION OF ISRAEL, has demonstrated a uniqueness as a 'good soldier'. What other Nation on the face of the earth, has endured hardness like Israel has? If you answered none,you are correct. I would like to tell you a little about the Jewish people's part in the 'JERUSALEM OF GOD', by their determination to do what The Almighty has required of them. First, let us look into the part that Israel has had in relationship to THE WORD OF GOD.
The Jewish people were presented by The Almighty with not only and simply The Bible, but they had to 'endure' hardness by living through the events they themselves describe for us on the pages of Holy Writ. You see, it's quite one thing to pick up The Holy Bible and read it, while on the other hand, it's quite another thing to experience day after day, generation after generation the incidences recorded for us by both Prophets and Apostles. Yes, I said both Prophets and Apostles; you see, EVERY writer of The Holy Bible was Jewish. It was written by Jewish people and, about Jewish people, and for The Holy Bible to be taken away from it's Jewish roots, is to do an injustice to everything that it represents and stands for!
The Jewishness of The Word of GOD is found on every page in relationship to it's background, it's culture, it's flavour, etc. No wonder, when The Bible is looked into from strictly-Gentile (non-Jewish) eyes only, there is a great possibility for misunderstandings and misrepresentations, and therefore, I believe this is one of the reasons for so many cults and false religions, as well as such great divisions within the very elect church of 'born again believers'. Each one is trying to set forth their 'own' set of 'dogmas', rather than, accept The Word of GOD for what it was, is and always shall be, "a love letter' from The GOD of Israel, through the Jewish people, prophets, and apostles, about the Jewish people and presented to us by The Spirit of GOD, through the "...foolishness of preaching", to all peoples "...to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile", (Romans 1:16), "...to save them that believe."
Another part that Israel has had in being a 'good soldier', and has 'endured hardness', is in 'THE PLACE OF GOD', namely THE LAND OF ISRAEL, and The Holy City of Jerusalem, indeed the JERUSALEM OF GOD!
No other people, and no other land has seen so much distress, than the Jewish people and the land of Israel. The Almighty 'gave' the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob a land grant, as well as, He chose unto Himself within the land, a SPECIAL place to put His name thereon, and that place is Jerusalem. And, because GOD chose this land for His own, and appointed the Jewish people as guardians, mankind in general over the many, many centuries have tried to take it away from GOD's people, time and time again. As a result many Jewish people have paid with their very own lives, in order to protect and safeguard The Place of GOD.
Today the government of Israel protects all of the holy sites, no matter if they are Jewish, Christian, or Moslem. This affords all visitors that come to Israel, the right to appreciate their own sites, buildings, etc., in complete safety, although, if it were left up to the enemies of Israel, then peace and safety, would not be found within THE PLACE OF GOD.
Please note Psalm 83:4 "...They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance". This is indeed the attitude of the enemies of Israel, not only today, but at least, for the past three-thousand years. Yes, the Jewish people know what it means to 'endure hardness' as 'a good soldier'.
Lastly, THE PEOPLE OF GOD, namely the Jewish believers in Jesus of Nazareth have to be 'a good soldier' and 'endure hardness', because of their faith in Jesus The MESSIAH! All believers in Jesus Christ, whether they be Jewish or Gentile, if they are truly living a life of godliness, will have to 'endure hardness' in one form or another, either SPIRITUALLY, EMOTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY, or even, MATERIALLY! But GOD, is faithful to all who will follow Him, for The Son of GOD said, "...My yoke is easy", and "My burden is light", that is, as He carries them for us! The People of GOD in Israel, have even a greater burden to carry; they have to go through what all Israelis do, that is, most of their earned money, has to go to various forms of governmental structures, in order to survive. There are also many other forms of 'hardships' that the Israelis have to deal with everyday. You can only begin to appreciate these hardships, if you live in the land of Israel. I know, because I have lived with them, and eaten with them and gone through a little of what most of them go through their whole life time. On top of it all, a Jewish believer has to contend with the "problems" that his new faith in Messiah Jesus produces. There are individual families, as well as business associates, and comrades in arms that have to be dealt with on a daily basis. What I am trying to say to you, dear reader, is that to be a believer in The United States is a piece of cake compared to what most believers outside of The United States have to go through, and especially in The Land of Israel.
Please do not get me wrong, in the land of Israel, there is not a group of vigilantes at the turn of every comer ready to attack, but what does exist, is a tremendous amount of pressure that first is found within each person, especially being brought up, in many cases, never hearing that Jesus is The True Messiah, as well as the fact, that the State religion is traditional Judaism, which reviles, only if it feels itself threatened by outsiders. One must understand that many times "Christians or - so called Christianity", has been presented in a less than kind and loving manner. In fact, most of the times, "Christianity" has been presented to Jews worldwide, as a 'Gentile' religion and even giving the concept of a religion that believes in THREE gods; this of course is NOT TRUE 'CHRISTIANITY'. True CHRISTIANITY, believes in kindness and love, and in only 'ONE GOD', that is, THE GOD of Heaven and Earth and revealed in the person of Jesus our LORD, through The Holy Spirit.
Christianity has also been presented to many in Israel in times past, with force and violence! Take for example, a country, whose State religion is Christianity, while at the same time are exterminating Jewish people, because, 'they are different'. I have always said, no matter where, and how, and when, a Jew is always a Jew and is always a reminder of The Almighty GOD of Israel! Therefore, the part of humanity that lives and thinks wickedly, believes very strongly, that if they get rid of the Jews, they will
even rid themselves of the very memory of GOD. How foolish they are; as well as being deluded and deceived! Are you a child of GOD through Jesus The Messiah? Then remember to 'endure hardness', as a good soldier, and treat in kindness and in love, The Word of GOD, The Place of GOD and The People of GOD, AMEN!!
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