Reason number 2.
If my number one reason for believing the Bible is the uniqueness of the book itself, my second reason for believing the Bible is the uniqueness of the Jewish people and the history surrounding them. One would have to be willfully ignorant of the Jews and what the Bible says about the Jews to not be truly amazed at their course through history.
God took Abram out of Ur and brought him to a specific piece of real estate. God promised to give Abram all the land that he could see and to make his descendants very numerous. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham and he settled in the land; his grandson Jacob lived in the land as well. Jacob had twelve sons. There came a famine in the land and, through a series of events, the entire family wound up in Egypt.
The Jews stayed in Egypt for four hundred years. Our long-suffering God was waiting for the Amorite to finish doing bad things before He sent his people in to settle the land. A pharaoh who was fearful of the Jews large numbers enslaved them, but God sent Moses to deliver them from slavery and bring them into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was during this time that God gave Moses the Law. We need to read Deuteronomy 28 in order to truly understand why Jewish history has played out the way it has.
God promised the Jewish people two things: Good things would happen to them and they would stay in the land if they were obedient, and bad things would happen to them and they would be removed from the land if they were disobedient. History records their decision. The Assyrians conquered Israel and the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and carted off the Jews to Babylon. The Jews returned to Jerusalem after living in captivity for seventy years (Jeremiah 29:10 records how long the Jews would be captive in Babylon). The Roman Empire was the next foreign power to rule over Israel. The last remaining Jews were expelled from the land in 70 A.D. It wasn’t until 1948 that the Jewish people were brought back into the land.
It is important to note a couple of things here. First, obedience to God is always the indicator if the Jews will maintain possession of the land God promised them. It’s almost like a parent that gives a child a vehicle. The vehicle may belong to the child, but if the child does not follow certain guidelines, he or she may lose possession of the car for a while. A second item to note is that God always uses a foreign power to punish the Jewish people. War and conquest is God’s method for dealing with a disobedient people.
Let’s look at some very specific things that God promised would happen to the Jews if they disobeyed.
Deuteronomy 28:25 The Jews would be defeated before their enemies.
Deuteronomy 28:37 The Jews would be a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the Lord would drive them.
Ever hear of anti-Semitism? The Jewish people have been blamed for all the world’s ills throughout history.
Deuteronomy 28:64 God promises to scatter the Jews among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other.
Israel is the size of New Jersey. It is a very small country. Yet the Jewish people, in spite of being scattered throughout the world, have maintained their Jewishness. It is also interesting to note the extent of the hatred for the Jews the nations surrounding Israel would maintain forever.
The Jewish people are truly a remarkable group of people. Not so much because they are any different from anyone else, but because the God of the Bible has truly blessed them and has shown His hand on them in spite of the tragic history they have lived out.