Is God Real?

For some who still doubt God is real, the following quote is food for thought regarding the Jews as God’s Chosen people. The text is taken from a commentary on The Book of the Chronicles in the Bible by Walter Brueggmann.

Is it any wonder that this particular people has driven philosophers of history like Arnold Toynbee mad? For the Jews, themselves living in accordance with the law, have always shattered the laws of systematic philosophers of history, none of whose theories satisfactorily explain the Jews continued existence. An unfathomable mystery!

Whereas the Greeks invented the art form of tragedy, the Jews have lived it—and endured. Whereas the ancient mystery religions worshipped deities who died only to be resurrected, the people Israel, to whom such a concept is anathema, have live that, too. They should have died out countless times, vanished; all other ancient civilizations did. The Jews alone persisted in returning again and again to life. And not only to life: to creativity as well, serving as a kind of yeast within other nations and contributing a disproportionate share to whatever progress mankind has made throughout the ages. (Imagine how much more they’d have contributed if allowed to live in peace!)

No wonder the Jews spook people.  Irritatingly, brazenly, provocatively, spitefully, bafflingly, they have refused to stay dead, or even permanently embittered. Does that account in large part for the anti-Semitism? A people whom you’ve subjugated, pillaged, slandered, raped, maimed, tortured, exiled, crucified, cremated—what else can you do except try to annihilate them once and for all? So perhaps, what’s even harder, acknowledge at last this people’s peculiar link to the divine?

So, perhaps the Jewish Bible is correct, after all, and it is God, who has kept the people Israel alive and productive all these millennia, fulfilling His part of the covenant, as promised.

Brueggmann concludes his work. Both Christians and Jewry are God’s people! Both await with heightened anticipation what God has next in store for them …for us!

“Because both Malachi (promising a Messiah: Malachi 4:5-6) and Second Chronicles (promising a Judean restoration: 2 Chronicles 36:22-23) end in anticipation, it is clear that God may yet do for the peoples of the book what we cannot yet imagine. It remains for us to keep reading, aware of distinctions, respectful of differences, grateful for what is held in common, a future with many shapes given by the God of all futures.”

(“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” NKJV, 1 John 3:2)


*Herbert Tarr, “Chronicles.” In Congregation: Contemporary Writers Read the Jewish Bible,  edited by David Rosenberg. (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,  1987) p. 510-511. see Walter Brueggmann, An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination. (Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA. 2nd edition. 2012. ) p. 415-416.
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