Schneider Aviel

We Don’t Own God

We should all be careful not to use God for our purposes

Why did the prophet Isaiah invoke God in human politics? I debated this with friends a few days before the election. Why was Isaiah pro-Assyria and anti-Egypt in regards to his foreign policy? Isaiah understood that God was using Assyria and exhorted the Kingdom of Judah to remain faithful to His will. At the same time Isaiah warned those in power against a counterproductive political alliance with Egypt.

Isaiah unashamedly involved God in human politics and thereby influenced his listeners, who were all God-fearing Jews. We see many different people doing much the same today in service to their own political agendas. Everyone thinks they have God in their pocket. In Israel, before the election, the ultra-Orthodox parties proclaimed that heaven was promised to whoever voted for them. In the local Messianic congregations, God seems to be taking many different sides. I know two Messianic Jews, one praying for Bibi’s election victory, the other for Yair Lapid. Both brought God into play. In America, too, Evangelical Christians invoked the Almighty by declaring that He had chosen Donald Trump for reelection. Many Christians right now seem to think that God is against vaccination. But I also know Christians who tell me that God has nothing against Israel’s vaccination policy.

Personally, I think we all need to be a lot more careful not to use God for our own purposes. The fact that the prophet railed so fiercely against a possible alliance with Egypt indicates that a large portion of the people wanted such an alliance. And like so many today, they surely thought that God shared their opinion. I have no problem with the biblical prophets. The contemporary ones, on the other hand, are more prone to exploiting God for their own personal views, politics and madness. We are all human and each of us has our own political and social ideas, and that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean that God is automatically on our side in that regard. God is holy. We don’t own Him. In fact, we are His property. I hope the new government, whoever will form it, will be able to finally unite the people of Zion.

And with this in mind, I wish all of our readers, friends and even those who do not want to be our friends a Shabbat Shalom and a blessed Resurrection Sunday!


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