The Eternal Election

“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves’” Gen 12:13.

Abram the Hebrew

“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves’” Gen 12:13.

In His command, “Go from your country,” Gen 12:1 the original Hebrew for “go” is lekh lekha, move yourself. Our Father could have commanded lekh, go or move. Adding lekha, at the natural level indicates “yours,” that is, with all your people, your herds, all that you own. At the supernatural level it means “yourself,” move yourself, on an interior journey to holiness. They called him ha’ivri, “The Hebrew” Gen 14:13, the one who crossed, from la-avor, to cross, as on a journey. The common Hebrew root is avr. The Septuagint translates ha’ivri as ho perátes, the one from beyond. This is what it means to be a Hebrew, one who has crossed over from doing his own will to doing God’s will. “Not my will, but thine, be done” Lk 22:42. God called the Hebrew people on a journey to interior holiness.

Modern Hebrew grammar has a present tense, but Biblical Hebrew did not. It used both past and future tenses to indicate a present event. Abraham crossing a river would be vaya avor, literally, “And he did will cross.” Many of God’s sayings are expressed in all tenses. Reading the Old Testament in Hebrew gives a sense of eternity, in which past, present and future are united in one unbounded now.

The journey to interior holiness is a journey to God. In the eternal election God bound Abram and his descendants, the people Israel, to himself. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.… For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.… You are my witnesses … and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he” Is 43:110.

“Abram went, as the Lord had told him” Gen 12:4. At that time he was a married man living in Haran, seventy-five years old, “very rich in cattle, in sliver, and in gold” Gen 13:2, and also “flocks and herds and tents” Gen 13:5, “like the garden of the Lord” Gen 13:10. In his absolute faith and obedience Abram had broken his family ties and become a wanderer in a strange land. He was not an Israelite, a descendant of Jacob-Israel. He was not a Jew, a descendant of Jacob-Israel’s son Judah. He was a Hebrew, a convert to God’s will. He pre-figured a far distant voice: “Not my will, but thine, be done” Lk 22:42. Perhaps Abram sensed in some way, “He who loses his life for my sake will find it” Mt 10:39. In this Abram foreshadowed Shimeon and Andrew casting a net into the sea when they heard the Son say, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” Mt 4:19. Neither Abram nor the fishermen knew where the journey would lead, but both followed in faith on an interior journey to holiness. When Abram arrived in Canaan God told him, “To your descendants I will give this land” Gen 12:7.

God told Abram to “be a blessing.” It follows from lekh lekha. We are born God’s image and likeness and we die God’s image and likenessGen 1:27 § 1701-1709. But on the journey to interior holiness we come closer to our true nature, to who and what we are. This is why we so often experience intense joy when we are closest to God and why sin so often leaves us with a sense of interior discord.

God added, “By you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves” Gen 12:3All the families of the earth! In these words our Father elected, chose, Abram and all his descendants to witness to Him, and to His work in the world. God’s covenant with Abram seeks a world in which all men live as God’s image and likeness. Abram and his descendants were to be “a light to the nations. God’s revelation through Moses was only for His people Israel. Deut 7:15, to protect their souls from the pagan tribes Deut 20:18. But Abram’s mission was for all the families of the earth. Our Father had already planned the arrival of His MashiakhRabbi Yeshua.

Shall bless themselves! This Hebrew word v’nivrekhu, from the root brk, is better translated as a passive, “Shall be blessed because of you.” That is also more consistent with the Talmud teaching that the interior journey to holiness is for our benefit. Rashi, in his commentary on Genesis 12, also observed that Abram’s journey to interior holiness was for his benefit, as ours is for us. We set aside the shallow and discordant impulses of our fallen nature to let God fulfill our deepest needs.

When God originally gave Abram the eternal election he had promised many descendants Gen 12:2. But several years had passed. Abram cried out to God, “I shall go without children” Gen 15:2. The Hebrew word for “go” here is holekh, a poetic use of the root hlkh, walk. Abram used it to mean that he would die, go forth from the earth, without children. It is the same root from which we get halakh, he walked, which refers to Moses leading God’s people Israel to the promised land of Canaan. Even more important, this root hlkh gives us halakha, the way, the 613 mitzvot that led Israel on its pilgrim journey toward everlasting life. Jesus declared, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” Jn 14:6. “I am the Halakha.”

We recall that God’s people Israel had to cross a body of water, the Red Sea Ex 14:22, before they could receive God’s law and promised land. It could only have been the descendants of Abram the Hebrewha’ivri, “the Hebrew” Gen 14:13, the one who crossed, from la-avor, to cross, as on a journey. The common Hebrew root is avr. The Septuagint translates ha’ivri as ho perátes, the one from beyond. This is what it means to be a Hebrew, one who has crossed over from doing his own will to doing God’s will.

Biblical Hebrew has about 20 different words to denote sin. The usual rabbinic term is avera, from the same root meaning to cross over. One who sins crosses in the opposite direction, becoming less ivri, less Hebrew

Melchizedek the Priest

In Canaan, four thousand years ago, Abram had met a mysterious priest named Melchizedek. His name in Hebrew is malki-tzedekMalki, king of, tzedek, righteous. A righteous king. The Book of Hebrews tells us, “He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace” Heb 7:2 The Hebrew root shlm gives us shalem, completion, and shalom, peace. In the Hebrew mind, completion brings peace. Malki-tzedek, “king of peace,” foreshadowed Isaiah’s “prince of peace” Is 9:6.

Melchizedek’s sacrifice was extraordinary in that it did not offer animals. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’” Gen 14:1820. In this Melchizedek foreshadowed the Messiah and his Catholic Church, which would give us God Most High under the appearance of bread and wine.

Rabbi Yeshua also confirmed that He was a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek when He rose from death. “This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, ‘Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek’” Heb 7:1517.

How do we know that Rabbi Yeshua was Isaiah’s “king of peace?” The prophet Zechariah had foretold, “Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass” Zech 9:9. Why would Rabbi Yeshua ride into Jerusalem on an ass? Most people walked; riding suggested that He came as a king.

A rider on a horse was prepared for war. “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord” Prov 21:31. “… all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army …” Ex 14:9. “When you go forth to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, …” Deut 20:1. “Solomon also had forty-thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” 1 Kings 4:26.

Arrival on a donkey was humble, a message of peace. Pope Benedict XVI adds:

This passage announces a poor king—a king whose rule does not depend on political and military might. His inmost being is humility and meekness before God and men. And a vivid illustration is that he rides on an ass—the mount of the poor, the counter-image of the chariot that he rejects. He is the king of peace—and by God’s power, not his own.

 The crowd knew. “Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’” Mt 21:89. They called him the Son of David because Solomon, the son of David, had ridden into Jerusalem on an ass to be anointed king of Israel 1 Kings 1:3335, and also because of the prophecies 1 Kings 11:3615:42 Kings 8:19Jn 8:12.

Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe, a “tenth of everything” Gen 14:20, giving us the ancient Jewish custom of a tenth to God Lev 27:30Num 18:24Deut 14:22Tob 1:7. The Levites were even required to give a tithe from the tithes they received Num 18:26. Rabbi Yeshua has led his Catholic Church to understand the Seventh Commandment at minimum as calling for a tithe § 2449 but also, for all who can, much more Lk 18:22Lk 21:14.

Today every Catholic priest is ordained: “You are a priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek” Ps 110:4Heb 5:67:1721. “[Melchizedek] is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever” Heb 7:3. A Catholic priest, marked with the sacramental character of Holy Orders, like Melchizedek, remains a priest forever.

The Covenant Between the Pieces

God, having called Abram’s descendants on a journey to interior holiness, entered into a covenant with them, called in Hebrew ha-b’rit bein ha-betarim, the covenant between the pieces.

God told Abram, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess” Gen 15:7. But Abram still asked, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” Gen 15:8.

Our patient Father told Abram, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon” Gen 15:9. Then Abram offered a sacrifice. “And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two” Gen 15:10.

“As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him. Then the LORD said to Abram, ‘Know of a surety that your descendants will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for four hundred years; but I will bring judgment on the nation which they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions” Gen 15:1214.

“When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between the pieces” Gen 15:17. The The JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis explains, “The principal party, here God, passes between the pieces. He is represented by the smoke and the fire, which are frequent symbols of the Divine Presence.” In a spiritual sense, our Father and Abram, represented by the flaming torch and the smoking firepot, walked side by side between the larger animals, symbolizing Abram’s willingness, and the willingness of his descendants, to suffer the fate of the animals, being torn in two, if they broke the covenant.

“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites’” Gen 15:1821.

The Covenant in the Flesh

God said to Abraham:

As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He that is eight days old among you shall be circumcised; every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house, or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he that is born in your house and he that is bought with your money, shall be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant Gen 17:914.

God had told King Solomon. “Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you” 1 Kings 3:12. But His law had always been, “Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required” Lk 12:48. Our Father had given Moses the law of kings. Deut 17:1620. Of these seven mitzvot, Solomon violated three. “He must not multiply horses for himself,” Deut 17:16 “Nor shall he greatly multiply for himself silver and gold,” Deut 17:17 and “He shall not multiply wives for himself” Deut 17:17. But Solomon did multiply horses, 1 Kings 10:26, silver and gold, 1 Kings 10:14, and wives 1 Kings 11:3.

God commanded Abraham, “He that is eight days old among you shall be circumcised” Gen 17:12. He told Moses, “And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised” Lev 12:3 Each Hebrew man entered our Father’s everlasting covenant on the eighth day of his earthly life. The eighth day was extremely important in the halakha. A circumcision had to occur on schedule even if the eighth day fell on a shabat. It was so with John the Baptizer, “And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child” Lk 1:59. And six months later with the Son of God, “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus” Lk 2:21.

The Land Torn in Two

God’s people were never able to keep the Mosaic covenant. § 578. And so Israel suffered the fate of the animals in the covenant between the pieces. It was cut in two, a northern kingdom of Israel that held ten of the twelve tribes (Reuben, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim, Manasseh, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher), and a southern kingdom of Judah that held only the tribe of Judah, the small tribe of Benjamin, the faithful Levites, and a scattering from each of the other tribes. The northern kingdom continued its relentless sins.

Finally God allowed it to be taken away. “Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it and at the end of three years he took it.… The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria … because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God but transgressed his covenant” 2 Kings 18:912. The ten lost tribes resettled in what is now northern Iraq and Syria, and northwestern Iran. There they married the local people, dispersed into the local populations, and became known as the lost tribes of Israel.

God’s constant theme for us in this life is death and resurrection. In that way he prepares us for the death of our bodies and the resurrection of our souls in heaven. We see it in the beautiful leaves each autumn that fall to earth and die, and thereby provide fresh nourishment for the forest. And we see it here. The “lost tribes” died, in the sense that they were no longer visible in this life, but God promised to raise them up again. “Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live’” Ezek 37:9.

Then God promised to restore the lost tribes. “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel” Ezek 37:11. This house of Israel was raised up to die again. But then see what God promised: “Therefore prophesy, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel'” Ezek 37:12. Now look what happened the moment Jesus completed His Final Sacrifice on the Cross: “And behold, the curtain of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many” Mt 27:5153.

The People Torn in Two

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tables of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God” Ex 34:29.

The original Hebrew for “the skin of his face shone” was karan or panavKaran (was giving off rays of light) or (skin) panav (his face). This or is a Hebrew word meaning “skin,” not an English word implying two alternatives.

StJerome’s Latin Vulgate Bible, translated karan as cornuta, horns. StJerome knew that the Septuagint translated karan as rays of splendor. He saw Moses reading the Word of God before the whole people of Israel as the personification of Old Testament authority and power, one sent by God to teach the people Israel. St. Jerome knew that Moses’ radiance pre-figured Rabbi Yeshua’s transfiguration. And so he translated karan as cornuta. Authority and power came from Moses’ head. The Church understands that Moses’ cornuta are rays of splendor.

The word karan literally means something that rises above a surface. Its plural, karnaim, is used mostly for sunrays or horns, but also in the ancient Temple for the kohen’s fingers as he gives the congregation Moses’ blessing: “The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” Num 6:2426.

During this blessing the kohen’s fingers are split as a double-v, giving an appearance of rays or horns. Excluding the thumb, the first two fingers are together, then there is a v-split, and then the last two fingers are together. Leonard Nimoy, who grew up an observant Jew and saw the blessing in his synagogue, used it in the original Star Trek series for his famous Vulcan Salute, “live long and prosper.”

Horns have been a Hebrew sign of authority and power since the Old Testament days. We see horns on the Tabernacle altar. “And you shall make horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it” Ex 27:2. “Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year; with the blood of the sin offering of atonement he shall make atonement for it once in the year throughout your generations; it is most holy to the Lord” Ex 30:10. Horns have been a Hebrew sign of authority and power since the Old Testament days. We see horns on the Tabernacle altar. “And you shall make horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it” Ex 27:2. “Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year; with the blood of the sin offering of atonement he shall make atonement for it once in the year throughout your generations; it is most holy to the Lord” Ex 30:10.

At the same time, God fulfilled his promise given through Ezekiel, that the twelve tribes would be restored. We see the visible sign of the restoration of the twelve tribes in the twelve Apostles. § 551. An apostle is not the same as a disciple. The word apostle comes from the koine Greek apóstolos, in Hebrew shaliakhone sent forth as a messenger. A disciple, in Hebrew a talmid or in koine Greek mathetes, is a student.

God restored the lost tribes to the land of Israel in Rabbi Yeshua. Rabbi Yeshua instituted the Church in His words, “Do this in remembrance of me” Lk 22:19. We were to be baptized Mt 28:19 into his death on the Cross Rom 6:4 so we may walk in newness of life, become the new Israel.

Look again at what occurred at the moment of Rabbi Yeshua’s redemptive sacrifice on the Cross. The Temple curtain was torn in two, reminding us of the covenant between the pieces. But, much more, it was a sign of the second fulfillment. This time, God’s people Israel would be torn in two pieces. Original Israel refused to live its eternal election by following God’s Messiah. Instead it followed the Jewish authorities away from the Church. New Israel did live its eternal election by witnessing to Rabbi Yeshua Acts 1:8.

Rabbi Yeshua was an awesome presence. His absolute love and authority reminded His audiences of God Himself. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” Mt 22:3740Behold the multitudes!

Should the Sanhedrin have recognized Rabbi Yeshua as the promised Mashiakh When John the Baptizer sent men to ask Rabbi Yeshua, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Mt 11:3. Rabbi Yeshua told them to go and tell John what they had heard and seen, “The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up” Mt 11:5. The Sanhedrin saw the same evidence as everyone else; they knew no ordinary man could heal ailments by command or resuscitate a man from death. “Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him; but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, ‘What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation’” Jn 11:4548. The chief priests said it: “If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him” Jn 11:48.

There was more. “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tables of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God” Ex 34:29. The original Hebrew for “the skin of his face shone” was karan or panavKaran (was giving off rays of light) or (skin) panav (his face). Moses’ radiance pre-figured a much greater radiance to come. “He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.” Mt 17:2. Rabbi Yeshua’s transfiguration itself pre-figured his glorified body which he would serve the shlikhim at the Last Supper and all Catholics at Holy Communion. Moses’ radiance, Rabbi Yeshua‘s transfiguration, and Holy Communion all share the Sistine image: God reaching out to man.
And still more. The Jews standing witness knew this from memory:

Then came Amalek and fought with Israel at Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose for us men, and go out, fight with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.’ So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword Ex 17:813.

They must have observed that Moses’ hands were in the position of Rabbi Yeshua’s hands nailed to the Cross. They knew too that Moses had promised: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed” Deut 18:15. Moses’ Hebrew word that RSV2CE translates as “heed” is tishmaun, you shall hear, from the root shma. It sets up a connection between the Shma, the summary of all the Torah, and the Messiah to come who would fulfill the Shma Mt 5:17. And the promise was fulfilled. Philip told Nathanael: “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” Jn 1:45. Rabbi Yeshua confirmed it. “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me” Jn 5:46.

It would have been enough, but God did even more. The Jews standing below the Cross during Rabbi Yeshua‘s Final Sacrifice knew God’s promise, “Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people” Ezek 37:1213. Rabbi Yeshua fulfilled it, “The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many” Mt 27:5253.

Even the Israelites that God restored came into the Church to join the new Israel. “Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him” Mk 3:78. They participated in the beginning of the Church as the new Israel.

The Sanhedrin knew that the Jews in the street followed Rabbi Yeshua. “When [the chief priests and the Pharisees] tried to arrest him, they feared the multitudes, because they held him to be a prophet” Mt 21:46. “They tried to arrest him, but feared the multitude” Mk 12:12. “The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death; for they feared the people” Lk 22:2.

Rabbi Yeshua willed to be crucified. “I lay down my life, that I may take it again” Jn 10:17“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” Jn 10:18. Jesus used the corrupt Sanhedrin of that time Mt 27:22, but He told Pilate, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin” Jn 19:11. He had taught, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” Jn 12:24-25. And He did rise Mt 28:6, the evidence par excellence that He was God’s promised King Mashiakh 1 Cor 15:1420.

Abraham’s Long Shadow

§ 2070 “From the beginning, God had implanted in the heart of man the precepts of the natural law. Then he was content to remind him of them. This was the Decalogue.” God had called Abram to make the journey while his father Terah was still alive. God must have deeply inspired his Ten Commandments in young Abram’s heart, especially the First Commandment § 2083, because he persuaded Terah to lead his family on the journey. But when the family reached Haran, Terah decided to stop there and not complete the journey. Abram also sensed God’s Fourth Commandment, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you” Ex 20:12. So Abram stayed with his father in Haran.

In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Roman Canon calls Abraham “our father in faith.” Abraham’s descendants through Isaac, Jacob-Israel and his twelve sons, today’s Jews, have been called God’s chosen people. They were chosen, elected, to witness to the God of Israel, the true God amid the hundreds or thousands of idols and false gods worshiped by the pagans of that time. It was an eternal election. It runs in the blood of every descendant of Abraham to this day.

The Eternal Election Survives Even Atheism

God lives in eternity. “I the Lord do not change” Mal 3:6. The passage of time and habit deadens man’s sense of sin but God’s law visibly remains in full force. Alice von Hildebrand writes, “It is worth remarking that there are Jews who, having totally abandoned their faith, and viewing the Old Testament as a purely mythical work, are still so deeply marked by the Jewish craving for some sort of redemption that they often spearhead radical leftist causes (communism, abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage). They are ardent idealists who have talked themselves into believing that to wage war on old taboos will open the door to an earthly paradise for which they long. It is a tragic but meaningful derailment. As chosen people, their longing for an ‘absolute’ cannot be extinguished in their souls by shallow satisfactions.”