Horrific but not surprising. When we heard the grim news of the killing and wounding of well over a dozen people in a Pittsburg synagogue, there erupted a multitude of proclamations of grief and outrage. And so it should be when such a despicable event occurs. But it is not surprising when we consider that this has been going on for centuries at the hands of Arabs, gentile nations without number and even the “church”.
The hatred of the Jewish people is not rational. The level of hatred and the widespread nature of it just doesn’t make sense. There is really no other people on the earth where this kind of fierce, vicious hatred is exhibited. Can you name any people group where this kind of antagonism has been going on for millennia? Probably not.
The taproot for the Pittsburg synagogue massacre goes back to the Garden of Eden. There our first parents made the terrible choice to disobey God. But God then graciously embarked on a program to restore and reconcile everything that was lost that day in Eden. When the Lord God met with the group in the garden that day, He made it clear to Adam and Eve and to the Devil (the serpent) that the “seed of the woman” (a very unusual phrase) would put an end to the Devil (“crush his head”). All the Devil (Satan) knew from this brief encounter in the Garden was that mankind would be the cause of his demise. Satan never did like humans, and as Jesus would later say of him, that he was a “murderer” of people (John 8). It was not until several thousand years after that meeting in Eden that Satan came to understand that it was to be Abraham’s line that the great deliverer/redeemer would come. When God chose Abraham in Genesis 12, it became clear to Satan that the descendants of Abraham, the Jewish people, would burst his “I will be like God” bubble, and anti-Semitism was born then.
The demise of Satan would be an ongoing matter. Jesus, the Jew, (son of Abraham, son of David) died for the sin of mankind on the cross and then rose victorious over death, sin and Satan. Satan has never been the same since resurrection Sunday, as Jesus “disarmed” the forces of Satan and “made a public display of them, having triumphed over them” (Colossians 1:15). But that is not all. Jesus, son of Abraham and son of David, will return in the future to this earth and will strip the Devil of his remaining power and authority on this earth, and will cast him into the Abyss (the prison for Satan and the demonic beings).
Now Satan knows all this. He knows he is defeated and he knows that he cannot reverse these events and he knows what his final fate is. But in the meantime, since he cannot touch the Lord Jesus, he goes after His people. He targets the church (true believers) in this world, but he also goes after the earthly family of Jesus Messiah, the Jewish people. Revelation 12:12 informs us that half way through the period of the Tribulation, Satan and his demons are forcibly removed from heaven. At that moment, Satan knows that his time is about over, and yet even with that knowledges he does his best to wreak havoc in the world of men, and especially the Jewish people. In the tribulation, Satan will go after the people of Israel, according to the prophet Zechariah. So, it becomes pretty clear that knowledge of the future will not alter his behavior nor his attitudes. He hates the people that brought Jesus into this world.
Satan reminds me a little of a proud football team that is being crushed by its opponent and humiliated in the process. The game is lost but players, in their rage and frustration, begin to play dirty and fight. They seemingly cannot contain their anger. Satan has lost but he isn’t going to change and he will always be a liar and a murderer (John 8:44). In his “great wrath” (Rev. 12:12) he will do his dirtiest to harm the Jewish people.
So while we are sickened by this act of violence against the Jewish people of the synagogue in Pittsburg, and we join in the grief for them, it is certainly not the last time this will take place. The spirit of anti-Semitism has its origin in God’s great enemy, Satan. Throughout history it has manifested itself through human beings such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Yasser Arafat. But we need to keep in mind that the poisonous source of it all is the Devil.
As those who claim a relationship with Jesus (the Jew), we must never engage in anti-Semitic behaviors. Rather we should lend aid and support to the Chosen People and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The Lord God still blesses those who bless Israel.