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Blue Helmets to Jerusalem - page 26 / 95

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Jerusalem...and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord." (2 Chronicles 21:5-6 The Holy Scriptures, Jewish Publication Society of America)

"Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem...And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord." (2 Chronicles 22:2-4 The Holy Scriptures, Jewish Publication Society of America)

And so on for most of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem, and for most of the Jewish kings who ruled in Samaria over the breakaway northern kingdom of Israel. They followed policies that were displeasing to God, for the most part, and they were condemned for it in the Bible.

So, the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu or Ariel Sharon might be ruling as prime minister over God's chosen people does not mean that their governmental policies are God's chosen policies.

In what way, then, are the Jews God's chosen people?

The answer is found in the Bible, and, although the story begins thousands of years ago, it is essential to understanding what is happening today in the Middle East and its significance for the whole world.

Although the first human pair, Adam and Eve, were expelled from the Garden of Eden, they still went on to fulfill God's mandate to them to 'be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.' (Genesis 1:28) Their offspring spread abroad and populated and planet, but, for the most part, they too followed the sinful course of their parents, and the earth was full of violence and immorality. The Creator returned to his creation to correct the mess they were making of the earth and to correct the course that these creatures endowed with free will had chosen for themselves. He announced that he would wipe the earth clean and start over again. He commissioned a righteous man named Noah to make this announcement and to provide the means for a new start for the world's repopulation via his offspring.

Noah spent perhaps a hundred and twenty years building, with the aid of his three sons, a floating box or ark that would preserve the lives of his family, his wife and sons and their wives. Then God sent the global deluge that wiped out the rest of mankind and

cleansed the earth. After many months of floating over the flooded planet, Noah and his family finally disembarked when the flood waters had drained off the land. God caused geological processes to lower the ocean floors and raise the mountains and redistribute the water, and "the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat" in eastern Turkey. (Genesis 8:4 Jerusalem Bible)

As generations passed, the offspring of Noah increased in numbers and grew to a sizeable population. But, instead of spreading out to fill the earth as God intended, they remained concentrated in "the land of Shinar" not far westward from where the ark had settled after the flood. They set about building a city there. "Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'" (Genesis 11:2, 4 Revised Standard Version)

They were able to do this, in part, because all mankind, descended from Noah and his sons, naturally spoke the same language. So, God intervened creatively by giving the people different languages, thus preventing them from continuing their cooperative venture, and forcing them to spread out and fill the earth.

As they moved apart and settled in widely scattered areas, the families of mankind all had opportunity to carry with them the knowledge passed on by their ancestors concerning God's dealings with mankind. But most of them chose not to preserve this knowledge. Instead, they began making up fables and even making up gods for themselves, and crafting idols to worship instead of worshiping the Creator. As the Apostle Paul explained it to Roman Christians thousands of years later:

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they

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