Lev. 26: 40-45 – Israel and Jewish people confessing personal and historic collective guilt for breaking the LORD’s covenants
There is a biblical principle whereby God holds the heads of a people accountable for the blessing or punishment of the people. We see this with Pharaoh and the Egyptians with respect to the children of Israel at the time of the Passover and Exodus from Egypt. We see it again with King David and his census of Israel, bringing the LORD’s judgment upon the people and the near destruction of Jerusalem (2Sam. 24).
The rulers of the people — whether kings or priests — represent the people before God, and by their example of faith and obedience — or the contrary — the nation is led. Today, does not a nation of people go to war or make peace based upon the determinations of their leader(s)? Are not nations judged in the eyes of others by their thoughts regarding the heads of government or of the religious authorities? Do not Jews today insist that Germans living today confess their nation’s and their parents’ guilt for the Holocaust — that Germans and Germany are primarily responsible and guilty because of their evil leader who governed and represented them?; or to put it another way, in Hitler, the Germans living today — whether or not they were personally and directly involved — are reckoned as guilty and defiled by the Jewish people, even more than are Austrians and Poles who also bear their own iniquity.
Other Biblical examples of this living principle of divine justice covering generations for nations, tribes, and peoples are:
1. in Adam, all have sinned and all human beings inherit condemnation and death;
2. in Abraham (Abram), Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek, signifying the preeminence of the Priest Melchizedek over Aaron and the Levitical priesthood;
3. in the Passover, Jews remember that we were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD brought us out;
4. in Messiah, many are justified and made alive, inheriting righteousness and life.
There are both power in, and accountability for, our words which we speak or write, all the more so if we are in positions of authority (Mt. 12:36-37).
John 11:45-53 – Caiaphas the High Priest unknowingly prophesied that the one man Yeshua would die for the whole nation, and even for all the scattered children of God.
Mt. 27:25 – “all the people [of Israel] answered and said, ‘Let His [Yeshua’s] blood be on us and on our children’!
Primary responsibility, with its guilt and historic consequences, is upon the leaders and people of Israel (John 19:11; Lev. 4:1-3, 13, 14, 22, 23; Acts 2; 4; 1Cor 2:7-8; Lk 23:34) — both before God and by our own words and agreement with our “fathers” — for the betrayal and death of Messiah. Praise God that upon the cross, Yeshua/Jesus prayed that God His Father forgive us! They did not know what they were doing; and neither did we until we repented and believed the truth of who Yeshua/Jesus is.
YEHOVAH is the God of covenant, to which He is always faithful to fulfill His part, which includes His promises to make the people of Israel a holy people for Himself. Therefore He is working to remove from His people transgressions, sin, iniquity, and uncleanness — guilt and shame – – and to bring in everlasting righteousness. The Holy Spirit is working to bring His people to an end of themselves, to stop trusting in themselves or in the arm of the flesh, so that they will call on the Name of Yeshua for salvation: Blessed is He who comes in the Name YEHOVAH! It is Yeshua whom God has given as a guilt offering (Is. 53:10), and His blood cleanses from all unrighteousness.
The Holocaust brings reproach to the Holy Name of the God of Israel and of the Lord Jesus Christ:
–“These are the people chosen by God?!”
–“Where was/is God?”
–“There is no God!”
–“How can a ‘good’ God allow such atrocities?”
–“Maybe God is not strong enough to stop evil?!”
–“God has forsaken and cast away the Jews!”
Remember Messianic brothers and sisters, Yeshua died a criminal’s death because of — and to take away — that evil unbelief and rebellion, the sin of the world!
Do we trust and love our God and Savior to honor His holy name in the face of such unbelief and mocking? Many Christians risked, and even sacrificed their lives to save Jews from the death trains and camps. In the unknowable ways of God, just as the crucifixion was necessary, so too was the Holocaust. God’s judgments are past finding out!
As many as are Jewish believers, we need to accept the truth of our primary responsibility for our history. Let Gentile believers each examine and judge himself for their own personal and historic sins of your nations and churches against the Sovereign LORD and against the Jews and Christians. Offenses there must necessarily be, but woe to those through whom they come!
The Lord Jesus says that the truth sets free and sanctifies. Confession of our own and of our fathers’ sins is an act of humility, and it brings cleansing, freedom, blessedness — because by it we receive and know the righteousness of God who forgives us and accepts us.
The Lord promises to save His people from their sins. The true gospel includes the cross of the Messiah and God’s righteous judgments against Israel, not to the exclusion of the other nations. As has been spoken before, there is no glory for the Jewish people (or for any nominal Christian) apart from the faith in the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the Hope of Israel. Let us who believe be sure of our own peace with God and acceptance of His ways and judgments so that we can speak the truth with love to the Jewish people, and to others.
2Cor. 5:11a, 18-21 – in the fear of God, be reconciled to Him and be ministers of reconciliation
Alex, I hadn’t even considered repeating the proverb. But, I think that the Lord says there that Israel had made their perception of their lives a proverb as the people of YHVH God. They were attributing all their suffering to the sins of their ancestors. God says that He will put a stop to the proverb: everyone will have to acknowledge his own state and responsibility for their lives, and not only deflect it on to others, whether of the ‘family’, or whether of other nations and peoples.
Why have we Jews been exiled for nearly 2000 years? Why is the Holy Spirit bringing us to bless Jesus/Yeshua — who alone comes in the name of the LORD (YHVH) — instead of cursing Him? Why is the Father working to bring His chosen people to look upon Him whom they (we) pierced, and then all Israel is saved?
If the proverb was true, as you seem to think, then why did not God punish or exile only those directly and personally involved in the crucifixion? Why is Jacob’s Trouble still to come? The righteous can suffer in this world with the unrighteous; the innocent with the guilty. We Jews who live in the Land of Israel today are descendants of the same people to whom the promises were given and intended for. We certainly did not ‘deserve’ this, but it is the grace of God for His holy name’s sake to bring us back. And He will deal with us here to get what He wants.
What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.