July 07, 2010

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The Divine Preservation of the Jewish People In a conversation on religious questions, Fredric II, King of Prussia (1740-1786) asked Joachim von Zieten, General of the Husars, whom he esteemed highly as a Christian for his plain and uncompromised views, “Give me proof for the truth of the Bible in two words!” To which Zeiten replied, “Your majesty, the Jews!” The General’s statement reflected his understanding of not only the miraculous preservation of the Jewish people, but his belief that their preservation was for the purpose of bringing God’s unfulfilled promises to pass. To Zeiten, the present existence of the Jewish people was proof that God’s Word was true because Scripture had promised that they would remain until all that had been prophesied concerning them was fulfilled. Remarkably, this expression of faith was made in a day when the Land of Israel was desolate of a Jewish population and the majority of Jews were scattered among the nations. A century before Zieten, Martin Luther also struggled with the significance of Jewish existence, but came to a very different conclusion based on his observation of the miserable condition of the Jews in his day (sadly, one largely imposed upon them by the Christian Church). Deciding that such Jews could not be those to whom the Bible referred in its promises of future restoration, he said: “If the Jews are Abraham’s descendants, then we would expect to see them back in their own land. We would expect them to have a state of their own. But what do we see? We see them living scattered and despised.”1 As a result, he continued to accept the spiritual interpretation of his Augustinian order that the Church is the only heir of the promises to Abraham. I wonder what Luther would say if they lived in our day when almost six million Jews have returned to the biblical homeland to regain their independence in a developed Jewish state whose technology and military achievements are the envy of the world? How different might have been the religious and political history in Germany and Europe (and the world) had Luther rightly understood God’s purpose for preserving the Jews?
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U.S. marks 3rd-largest, single-day debt increase The nation’s debt leapt $166 billion in a single day last week, the third-largest increase in U.S. history, and it comes at a time when Congress is balking over higher spending and debt has become a key policy battleground. The one-day increase for June 30 totaled $165,931,038,264.30 - bigger than the entire annual deficit for fiscal year 2007 and larger than the $140 billion in savings the new health care bill will produce over its first 10 years. The figure works out to nearly $1,500 for every U.S. household, or more than 10 times the median daily household income. Daily debt calculations jump and fall, and big shifts are common. But all three of the biggest one-day debt increases have occurred under the tenure of President Obama, and all of the top six have been in the past two years - an indication of just how quickly the pace of deficit spending has risen under Mr. Obama and President George W. Bush. “What matters is the overall trend line, and the overall trend line is shooting up,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan deficit watchdog group, who said it is one more reason for a fiscal wake-up call. Fears over red ink have stalled key parts of Mr. Obama’s agenda in Congress in recent weeks, including his push for another round of stimulus spending. Just last week, House Democrats had to use a tricky parliamentary tactic to pass an emergency war-spending bill, aid for teachers and new spending caps.

Watchman

I'm a watchman for Christ, looking on the horizon in expectation for the fulfillment of God's Word.

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