The Jewish people are the world's oldest monotheistic culture, dating back nearly 4,000 years. They have held on to their faith which results in leaving a legacy during trials.
The followers of Judaism believe in one God, who revealed Himself through ancient prophets. History is essential to understanding the Jewish faith, which is embedded in tradition, law, and culture.
How does the resiliency of the Jewish faith leave a legacy that results in the dynamic growth and culture that stands as Israel today?
History of Israel’s Jewish Foundation
The Jewish people recognize that there is only one God who has established an everlasting covenant with them. That covenant—a promise from God—has allowed the Jewish settlers of the reclaimed state of Israel to keep their faith, even throughout decades of persecution.
“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”—Genesis 12:2-3
This is only the first of several covenants that God made with Abraham and his seed. Make no mistake—they are the chosen people of promise and inheritance.
“God is not a man, that He should lie…”—Numbers 23:19
These covenant promises combined with the faith of the Jewish people is that which allows them to continue to carry on a legacy that will endure into the future, just as it has done throughout history.
The Hope of Israel That Led to Leaving a Legacy
The hope and faith of the Israelites rest fully in God. They recognize Him as the one sovereign power by which all other things operate. This is an important realization when we are wanting to pass on our heritage and leave a legacy to our children.
In order to leave a legacy, you must be serving someone or something bigger than yourself.
The legacy that Israel is forging is remarkable, to say the least. They are the only people to be exiled out of their land and persecuted relentlessly for thousands of years only to be reestablished back into the exact area that was originally taken from them.
“‘I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.”—Amos 9:14-15
This promise of God restoring His people to the land of their ancient roots is miraculous. Within it we see the determination of a strong people working together in community for a greater good. Most importantly, it shows the grit of a community in alignment with God’s Word and God’s will.
What can those who are born outside of the Jewish faith and covenant do to establish their strong sense of legacy in their own family and faith?
Learn from Israel’s Jewish Communities
Though the precise structure of Jewish community has changed according to the place, time, and current interests, membership in a Jewish community has always demanded a sense of shared destiny.
They have been faced with trials throughout their history, yet they still understand what it means to work and leave a legacy for the next generation. Leaving a legacy during trials and tragedy requires faith in God, devotion to one another, and an understanding of one’s inheritance.
This destiny manifests itself in the obligation to care for other members of the community, as well as in the joy of partaking in others’ celebrations. A sense of peoplehood has long been the defining characteristic of the Jews, thus leaving a legacy of community and compassion.
Wherever Jews have lived, they have built synagogues, established communal organizations, and created systems of ancient, biblical-centered, communal governance.
Virtually every Jewish community has established charitable organizations that help poor members of the community. These organizations are aimed at assisting newer immigrants to gain a foothold in their new country.
In short, the promised people of Israel are for, not against, one another. And this is often witnessed in other parts of the world. Why? Because that is how God commanded them to live, and as a community, they strive to put Him first.
“Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”—Isaiah 1:17
Is the legacy that you are passing on sending God’s message of peace and biblical tolerance?
Leaving a Legacy During Trials Makes a Lasting Impact
For Christians, leaving a legacy during trials makes a lasting impact on the next generation. It is easy to complain or be concerned only with our own needs when we are going through tragedy.
But perhaps we should look at the Jewish people as a way to understand how to overcome and leave a legacy in a better way. After all, that is the heritage that we are grafted into as followers of Jesus.
“For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”—Romans 11:16-18 (emphasis added)
Let Israel serve as a reminder of the work God is calling you to. He is building a kingdom and wants to allow all Believers to partake in the work and the blessings that will be generated from movement.
Today, at My Olive Tree, we are working to spread that legacy of love by bringing the inheritance of Israel to life. By the restoration of land that was seemingly desolate only a short time ago, the inheritance is not only being brought to life but also leaving a legacy during trials that will make a lasting impact on generations to come.