As some of my readers may know, there are public websites out there which allow subscribers to ask questions on various subject to which other subscribers can then post answers to. I joined on a lark, but found there are a lot of people seeking answers to deep spiritual questions out there. I’ve decided that some of these bear repeating to my readers, so this series will show you a question that a real person has asked on the Internet and my response. Enjoy.
Question. Why were the idolatrous, polytheistic, uncircumcised, pork eating pagan Romans able to crush the circumcised Jews who worshiped the one true God, and desecrate the Holy of Holies?
My Answer. The Bible explains it.
God’s deal with the Jews as His special people was conditional upon their obedience to Him. As long as the Jews obeyed God, God would keep them in their land and protect them. If they fell into disobedience, the deal was off.
Israel fell into disobedience almost immediately after the Law was given and the contract dried (see Judges). But God did not immediately destroy them for two reasons.
1) He is a gracious God. He wanted to send messengers (see the Prophets) to warn them and perhaps turn them back to Him.
2) He made a promise to Abraham (see Genesis) that was unconditional that through his people He would bring the Messiah (see Hebrews) who would save people from their sins.
Eventually, however, after many centuries of off-again, on-again obedience, the Jews turned away from Him completely (except for a remnant) and God sent the Assyrians to conquer the northern kingdom and the Babylonians later to conquer the southern kingdom. (See 1&2 Chronicles). The Israelites were taken bound into slavery or forced assimilation in these foreign countries.
God, however, told them this would only be a temporary punishment for Judah, the tribe from which He’d promised the Messiah. (See the Prophets) This tribe, captured in Babylon, would return to possess the land once again so that the Messiah could come. God also told them that if they obeyed this Messiah they could remain in the land. Otherwise they’d be dispersed again, this time for good (until the end of days). (see the Prophets)
Well they did return and rebuilt Jerusalem and the Temple. (see Ezra, Nehemiah) In due time (around 400 years later) Jesus the Messiah did come to his people, but by and large (except for a few) they did not receive him nor believe in him. (see the Gospels)
Before Jesus died for the sins of the world, he told his disciples that since the Jewish nation by and large rejected him, God would turn against Israel very soon and destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. This is when he warns them to “head fer the hills!” when the Romans come, because God won’t deliver his disobedient people again. (See Matthew 24)
Indeed, in 70 A.D. the Romans did invade and did sack Jerusalem and destroyed its Temple, forcing the Jews to flee into the nations, dispersing them to this day (for even though many Jews are in Jerusalem, any Zionist will tell you the work is not done). (see Josephus)
For those Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, they are no longer Jews (as we are no longer barbarians) but all are one in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are one people and one nation in the Lord Christ, and await a heavenly Jerusalem that will come down to us after Jesus has judged the living and the dead. (see Paul’s letters, especially Romans).