- The Jews: God’s Means of Blessing the Nations
- The Jews: God’s Blessing to the World, part 2
The Jews are God’s blessing to the world, per His promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3. In part 1 we saw how this truth is demonstrated in the gifts of Christmas, the Scripture, much of our vocabulary, monotheism, the Biblical worldview, the concept of work as worship, and our significance and purpose as imago Dei humans.
Now we turn to see further ways God blessed the world through the Jews.
Unity and Diversity
The Jews gave us the solution to an age-old dilemma, that is, does reality consist of the one (as Plato believed) or the many (per Aristotle)?
The answer? Both! God has revealed himself as the One and Many God, a Trinity of three persons in one God. The Shema, a Hebrew prayer recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4, announces “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” This is not the English “one” as in “single” but the Hebrew אֶחָד (ʾě·ḥāḏ) meaning a “united one” or “combined one,” a reference to God’s Trinitarian nature.
The Jews have given us the concept of the universe as a created unity of immense diversity; the concept of complementary human sexuality, male and female; the gift of community including the basic community of the natural family. They have provided us with the concept of one King and one kingdom out of many nations. From this comes the traditional motto of the United States, E pluribus unum, Latin for “Out of many, one.”
The Reality of Space and Time
In contrast to the maya of the Hindus or the illusion of postmoderns, the Jews gave us an understanding of the realities of space and time. Without this understanding, humans would never have created maps to govern space or calendars to govern time. They gave us a rational, intelligible, personal, moral and objectively real universe.
Covenant of Marriage
The Jews have given us the covenant of marriage, the means to harness male sexual appetites for the formation of families, the foundation for building strong and stable nations. Without the covenant of marriage, male sexual urges run rampant, objectifying women, having sex with anyone and anything imaginable, and abandoning the children.
Some of the world’s greatest thinkers, scholars, scientists and physicians in both the ancient and modern worlds have been Jews.
- Abraham (2000-1825 BC), father of the monotheistic faiths, giving the world the foundations for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
- Moses (1393–1273 BC). Through him, God gave the world its moral code. He transcribed the Pentateuch, giving the world the knowledge to move from nations of poverty and slavery to nations of freedom and human flourishing.
- The Apostle Paul (5-65), writer of most of the New Testament (aside from the four gospels) and the missionary founder of Christendom.
- Moses Maimonides (1135–1204), preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher who impacted global scholarship among Christians and Muslims during his day.
- Baruch de Spinoza (1632–1677), Dutch philosopher who laid the groundwork for the Enlightenment.
- Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), Austrian psychiatrist known for developing the theories and techniques of psychoanalysis.
- Niels Bohr (1885–1962), Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics.
- Albert Einstein (1879–1955), German-born theoretical physicist known for discovering the theory of relativity.
- David Ben-Gurion (1886–1973), founder and first prime minister of the modern Jewish homeland.
Nobel Prize winners
The Jews continue to bless the nations in our modern times. As an example, 22.5% of the individual Nobel Laureates are held by Jewish people, who represent less than 0.2% of the world’s population! This includes prizes in Chemistry, Economic, Physics, Peace, Literature and Medicine.
ScienceHeroes.com “attempts to estimate the number of human lives saved by the most important lifesaving advances in the history of science, medicine, and technology, and to identify the individuals most responsible for those advances.” This site establishes that Jewish people have been a blessing to the modern world in terms of saved lives. The Jewish role is impressive.
If we enumerate the total number of lives saved by the twenty-six Jewish individuals listed below using a pro rata scheme according to which each of the individuals associated with a given development is credited with an equal share of the total lives saved by that development (see computations below), then the resulting number comes to about 2.8 billion lives, which is 50% of the estimated total of about 5.6 billion lives saved by all 105 individuals listed. If, on the other hand, we simply enumerate the total number of lives saved by advances for which at least 50% of the principal developers were Jewish, the number comes to about 4.3 billion lives, or roughly 77% of the total number of lives saved.
We end where we began, with God blessing Abraham to be a blessing to the nations. Let’s be thankful for the blessing of the Jews in our own lives and in the building of Western Civilization. We have just celebrated the gift of the birth of Jesus Christ and the salvation he offers all who believe.
As you celebrate the New Year, this too is the gift of the Jews. It was the Jews who broke the endless cycles of birth-life-death, where history is going nowhere, to bring us the concept of God directing history in a linear fashion to His appointed end!
Happy NEW YEAR!
– Darrow Miller