Without doubt the Jewish people have been the most persecuted group of people throughout the centuries. Over the history of man, there have been major attempts to remove Jews from society or limit their activities and ability to do business.
The book of Esther describes an early holocaust plotted by Haman who became enraged at Mordecai, a Jew who refused to pay homage to Haman. Haman projected his anger not just at Mordecai but to all Jews living in the country.
Herod was so threatened by the news of a baby born in Bethlehem that he had all baby boys two years old and younger slaughtered. Rachel wept for her children.
Jews were thrown out of Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella. They were hounded from one country to another—generation after generation. They were blamed for the black plague in Europe because there were fewer deaths among Jews (who avoided the ravages of the bubonic plague simply by keeping Mosaic law of washing their hands and handling human sewage). The Russians and Polish people drove the Jews from their homes with pogroms.
There was the holocaust—calculated to be the “final solution” to the Jewish “problem”. And lest we think that is all over and done with, there is a resurgence of Nazi ideology today complete with burning of Synagogues, desecration of Jewish cemeteries and frequent violence against Jews, especially in Europe.
Sadly a significant portion of this persecution came from misguided Christians who blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus.
What is the explanation for this sad history of persecution, of which we have just barely scratched the surface?
The only explanation that makes any sense is that this persecution is spiritual in nature. Satan hates the Jewish people with a malevolence we cannot begin to understand. He has hated them from the moment he realized that the Savior of the world would come through the sons of Abraham. Over and over Satan has tried to eliminate the Jews as a people group to keep the Messiah from accomplishing His mission. When he was not able to keep that from happening, he has continued his assault on the Jews to express his hatred for the covenant people of God.
Now, in the 21st Century, Satan knows his days are numbered. As a result he has stepped up his persecution of the Jews. This includes the Messianic community who have a double reason for being an object of his hatred—Jews by ethnicity and believers by faith.
We Gentile believers need to step up our prayers and support for our Jewish cousins. Like Ruth, we need to embrace the people of God. (More on that another time.)