Darrow Miller and Friends

The Jews: God’s Means of Blessing the Nations

  1. The Jews: God’s Means of Blessing the Nations
  2. The Jews: God’s Blessing to the World, part 2

The world has the Jews because of Gods great promise to bless all the nations of the earth through Abraham.

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12:2-3

Note that the blessing given to Abraham was not just for the Jews; it was for all the peoples of the earth. They were not merely to be the receptors of God’s blessing but a channel of that blessing.

God was about to create a people through Abraham. Later, He would rescue them from slavery and make them into a free nation that would bless all the nations of the world. They would become His holy people. (Deut. 7:6-10)

Psalm 67 is a beautiful hymn the Jews sang as a prayer to call upon the Lord to bless them so that all the nations of the earth might be blessed.

How has God blessed the nations through the Jews? The ways are numerous.

Through the Jews God gave us ChristmasJews gave us Christmas

Jesus, a Jew in the line of David, long foretold by the Hebrew scriptures and long anticipated by the Hebrew faithful, was born in Bethlehem, a village of Judea. The Jews gave us Christmas, Good Friday and Easter, and the salvation offered to all who believe, both Jew and Gentile.

The Word of God – the Bible

The universe is not silent. God not only spoke the universe into existence, He also spoke through Moses, Jews gave us the scripturesAbraham, David, Paul and especially Jesus Christ, the living Word, to name a few. He gave us the written word, His divine revelation, so that we might know who He is,  who and whose  we are, why we are here, and His plan our salvation.

Monotheism – the Great Whole

In a world that worshipped small, capricious deities of polytheism and animism, the Jews heard and responded to the Voice of the One True God, the Creator of the universe. Historian Thomas Cahill writes:

Thomas Cahill book The Gifts of the JewsThe Jews gave us a whole new vocabulary, a whole new Temple of the Spirit, an inner landscape of ideas and feelings that had never been known before. Because of their unique belief – monotheism – the Jews were able to give us the Great Whole, a unified universe that makes sense and that, because of its evident superiority as a worldview, completely overwhelms the warring and contradictory phenomena of polytheism. They gave us the Conscience of the West. [emphasis added]

Our vocabulary

The Jews not only gave us the Word of God, they gave us many of our words. The Jews gave us the language for building free, just and compassionate nations. Again, Cahill explains:

The Jews gave us the Outside and the Inside – our outlook and our inner life. We can hardly get up in the morning or cross the street without being Jewish. We dream Jewish dreams and hope Jewish hopes. Most of our best words, in fact – new, adventure, surprise; unique, individual, person, vocation; time, history, future; freedom, progress, spirit; faith, hope, justiceare the gifts of the Jews[emphasis added]

Take a moment and reflect on each of the words above. What does each word mean? What is their significance? What would life be like, for instance, if you or your culture had no word for future, no word for hope?

The Biblical worldview

In contrast to the soulless worldview of Modernism/Atheism and the illusionary world of Postmodernism (maya), the Jews have given us an integrative, comprehensive worldview where heaven and earth, the transcendent and the natural, meet and interact.

Avodah – work and worship

Jews gave us the concept of work as worshipThe Jews have given us the concept of Avodah, to work sacredly. This contrasts with two unbiblical views of work: on one hand, work that has no meaning, and on the other hand, considering only spiritual work important. Our work and worship are integrated. My vocation is connected to my calling, my occupation is connected with the coming of the kingdom of God.

Our significance – The Image of God

We are not mere animals or machines as the atheists proclaim, nor are we disembodied spirits as postmoderns and Hindus would claim. Human beings are made in the very image and likeness of God. We have intrinsic value and worth. As the US Declaration of Independence affirms, “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Our purpose

Our purpose may be attested to in the past, the present and the future.

Let’s begin with the past. Why did God create us in the first place? To fulfill the cultural mandate. (Gen 1:26-28) Mankind is to take what God has given and do something with it.

In the present, our lives are meant to enjoy and glorify the Lord. The Westminster Shorter Catechism captures this: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

Still in the future, is the end of history, the return of Christ in all His glory, the coming of the kingdom of God, and the completion of the cultural mandate. (Rev 21:23-26)

The Jews have given us a comprehensive and compelling narrative of the world, history and reality, something worth living for, worth dying for, something that binds all human beings together in one family. It’s a narrative that calls us to share this good news with all humanity.

  • Darrow Miller

… to be continued

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).

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