A Word to Clarify . . .
When David Brickner spoke at Wasilla Bible Church, the title of his message was, The Jerusalem Dilemma.” Sarah Palin had not yet been tapped as the Republican vice presidential candidate. Following that announcement, David’s message became a matter of public interest, and portions of his message were removed from context to give the impression that he believes God is judging and punishing Israel via terrorist attacks. That is not David’s belief. Had his entire message been published, people would have seen the following, (also excerpted from his message).
“And so all of the controversy that we see swirling in Jerusalem is really a mirror that the world looks into to see the controversy within. The Jerusalem Dilemma is the Wasilla Dilemma; it’s the dilemma of the human heart. And so it’s important for us to notice, then, Jesus’ response to this unbelief, this rejection.
‘How often I’ve longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.’
In other words, in the face of unbelief, God’s unrelenting response to human unbelief is to say, ‘Hey, I long to gather you. Despite your long history of rejecting My messengers, My passion as I look down the corridor of time over this vast history,’ the Son of God, in His most divinely aware statement, says, ‘I long to gather you.’ And here, I believe He’s reflecting the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 91,
‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (verse 4…) …under His wings …
“Whose wings? The Almighty’s wings…
‘…you will find refuge.’
“And Jesus says ‘Come under My wings, O Jerusalem. There’s a place of grace that I want to establish for you in spite of your unbelief.’ And so committed was Jesus to that place of grace that not many days after He said this, He stretched out His arms on a cruel cross and shed His blood to pay the penalty for your sin and for mine. But because of who He is—because He is the Messiah, the Anointed One of God—death could not hold Him, and the grave could not keep Him, and He rose again from the grave. And now that same resurrection power of God is available to be applied to the lives of all those who trust Him, in Jerusalem and around the world. That is the answer to the Jerusalem Dilemma, the dilemma of unbelief—the mercy and grace of God, this place of grace that whosoever will may come under and find God’s forgiveness.”
Below are excerpts from two articles David Brickner has written in the Jews for Jesus Newsletter. These clearly express his views on God’s love for Israel, and God’s judgment, both of which have been recently muddied in the press.
The first excerpt from “No Coincidence,” in the March 1998 Jews for Jesus Newsletter, shows David’s belief in God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people:
“Throughout the generations, individuals like Haman, Herod, Hitler and Hussein have harbored satanically inspired hopes of annihilating the Jewish people. But our sovereign God has proven His faithfulness time and time again, and will not allow His people to be destroyed or His purpose to be thwarted.”
And following are a group of excerpts from David’s article, “Haman and Hitler,” from our March, 2000 newsletter. These address the issue of God’s judgment:
“‘A 94-year-old Orthodox sage has poured more fuel on the flames of religious controversy in Israel by contending in a sermon that the Holocaust was God’s punishment (on the Jewish people)…’ So reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in the January 4th edition of the Forward in 1991. They were talking about Rabbi Eliezer Schach, spiritual leader of Shas, the most influential religious party in the land of Israel.
“This gross misunderstanding of God’s judgment does not distinguish between God’s temporal judgments upon His chosen people and His retribution upon the lost. Even worse, it attributes Satan’s unholy, malicious and vengeful actions to a holy and righteous God. When God judges His own people, His ultimate purpose is not retribution but restoration. His intention is not to destroy but to heal, not merely to punish but ultimately to purify from sin. Satan, on the other hand, is the destroyer. He enjoys inflicting horror and suffering on God’s people with the ultimate intention of annihilation. God has staked His reputation on the preservation and the ultimate restoration of the Jewish people. Satan therefore aspires to destroy the Jews, in order to nullify God’s promises and make Him out to be a liar.
“This month my Jewish people are celebrating the festival of Purim. Purim commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people from the wicked villain Haman, as recorded in the book of Esther. This biblical story provides an excellent historical and theological framework for understanding how God judges His people. The very context of the book of Esther depicts judgment.
“God purposed to judge the Jewish people as part of His plan to restore them to proper worship and eventually bring them back to the land. The Book of Esther points out that God did not wholly abandon His people in judgment. While God was seeking to chasten His people, Satan wanted to destroy them. Diaspora was God’s correction; destruction was Satan’s intention.
“God’s purpose in judging His people is ultimately to restore them to Himself. I believe that we are seeing the firstfruits of that acceptance, that life from the dead, as more Jewish hearts turn to Jesus. God’s purposes will no more be thwarted by human unbelief than they were by Haman or Hitler.”