Martin M. van Brauman



We are all witnesses for God, both Jews and Christians. Jews by their very existence prove the presence of God in the world and Christians are witnesses for God’s grace through Jesus. Christians bring the saving grace of the Word of God through Jesus to the entire world. But who can discern the mysterious workings of God to fathom why it is.

Grass withers and blossom fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever. Isaiah 40:8.

The Jews are God’s eternal witnesses and the keepers of His Word, for

if you hearken well to Me and observe My covenant, you shall be to Me the most beloved treasure of all peoples, for Mine is the entire world. You shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation. Exodus 19:5-6.

The covenant is that I will enter into with you over the keeping of the Torah.[1]A kingdom of ministers” means that the entire nation is to be dedicated to leading the world toward an understanding and acceptance of God.[2]

You are My witnesses – the word of the Lord – and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you will know and believe in Me, and understand that I am He; before Me nothing was created by a god nor will there be after Me! Isaiah 43:10.

Israel testifies of God by telling its own history as a history with God.[3] The Jewish people understand themselves linked to God and so are witnesses to the eternal covenant between themselves and God.[4] Every Shabbat observed, every kosher meal eaten, every mitzvah performed, every son circumcised, every act of solidarity among the people is another expression of that witness.[5]

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem and the Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael, wrote about the call of God.

In the depths of the human soul the voice of God calls ceaselessly. The tumult of life can confuse the person so that most of the time he will not hear this voice. But under no circumstances will it be able to uproot the source of this voice which, in truth, constitutes the essence of human life. We therefore see in all human history that, like the tides in the oceans, the ebb and flow of the currents of life are always related to this voice of God which calls without ceasing.[6]

Judaism insists on an ethical accountability and the Jewish people are witnesses to the nations, witnesses to an absolute, revealed truth that implicates every human in relationship with all of humans in Leviticus 19:18 of you shall love your fellow as yourself.[7] This relationship with others represents the soul and substance of who we are as God’s people.[8]

To the people who say show me proof that God exists, I say look to God’s witnesses on earth. Look at the history of the Jewish people after more than two thousand years of persecution, the Holocaust and now the ingathering back to Jerusalem and you will see proof that God exists in the world.

. . . for wisdom and might are His! He alters times and seasons; He deposes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know how to reason. Daniel 2:20-21.

Anti-Semitism may be explained as man’s natural hatred of God’s chosen people, as the witnesses to the God who exercises grace in judgment.[9] Anti-Semitism is the sign of man’s enmity to the grace of God.[10] The continuing existence of the Jews should be a beacon for strengthening Christian faith, since their eternal survival proves the presence and existence of God and His Eternal Promises to the Jews and through Jesus to the Christians.

O House of Jacob: Come, let us walk [both Christians and Jews] in the light of the Lord! Isaiah 2:5.

The Lord is the eternal God, the Creator of the ends of the earth; He does not weary, He does not tire; there is no calculating His understanding. He gives strength to the weary, and grants abundant might to the powerless. Youths may weary and tire and young men may constantly falter, but those whose hope is in the Lord will have renewed strength; they will grow a wing, like eagles; they will run and not grow tired, they will walk and not grow weary. Isaiah 40:28-31.




[1] Rashi, Exodus 19:5.

[2] Tanach, Exodus 19:6 note.

[3] Paul M. van Buren, A Theology of Jewish-Christian Reality, Part 2, A Christian Theology of the People Israel (1st ed. 1987), p. 122.

[4] Ibid., p. 123.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ben Zion Bokser, ed., The Essential Writings of Abraham Isaac Kook (1st ed. 1988), p. 39.

[7] David A. Patterson, A Genealogy of Evil: Anti-Semitism from Nazism to Islamic Jihad (1st ed. 2011), p. 256.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Arthur C. Cochrane, The Church’s Confession Under Hitler (1st ed. 1962), p. 22.

[10] Ibid.

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