God made this powerful pronouncement over Abraham and his descendants as He entered into covenant with this unique people group, the Jews.
Although the word Semitic can refer to a number of different people groups, the phrase anti-Semitism most often relates to hostile prejudice against Jewish people.
The Bible tells us that God chose the Hebrew nation to have a special covenant relationship with Him, declaring that He would be their God (Genesis 17:7), and He later gave them laws and commands by which to enjoy the blessings of His covenant (Deuteronomy 4:13). He also promised land for His people to possess for all time (Genesis 17:8), a land from which they would actually be dispersed through disobedience, during the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles, and again after the time of Jesus, but a land to which they have returned in an extraordinary way, as we have seen in the restoration of the state of Israel in 1948 (Ezekiel 36 & 37).
For many centuries, though dispersed, the Jewish people retained a strong and unique identity, and this has many times, and in many nations, attracted extreme hostility and prejudice towards their culture, their success in business, their religious observance, their close-knit communities and, for some, their attitude towards Christianity.
Still today, anti-Semitism can be a very strong prejudice, conscious or unconscious, in individuals, families and nations. Jews are, in fact, no more and no less sinful than many other people groups but they are frequently held in a place of deep enmity, empowered by unseen spiritual contention, for Satan knows that God will bring about His end-time purposes, in part, through this people to whom He has made unbreakable covenant promises (Zechariah 8:22-23).
As with anyone’s wrongdoing, it`s right to confront, with grace, the sin of individual Jews or even the nation of Israel, but to hold a place of judgment or hatred against the Jews, as a people group, is to contend with the heart of God, and today’s verse tells us that it can bring defilement, and even cursing, upon those whose hearts are bound by anti-Semitism. So it is important to remember that confession of such attitudes can bring powerful freedom and cleansing.
Prayer: Father, show me if there is a wrongful judgement in my heart towards Jews. I want to see this extraordinary people as You see them, and to be an instrument, and indeed recipient, of blessing and not cursing. Amen.
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