It was on this day in 1965 that Spanish officials met with Jewish representatives to discuss the legal status of the Jewish community in Spain. It was the first such meeting between Jews and the head of the Spanish government since the expulsion of Jews in the year 1492. That expulsion occurred simultaneously with Columbus’s first expedition to the Indies which resulted in the discovery and subsequent colonization of the New World.
In 1492, Spain was at the pinnacle of its power. However, within a century, Spain had declined rapidly and lost its superpower status in a dramatic naval battle with the British – the world’s next superpower. Of course, the British would later relinquish that role to the United States. The point of all this history is summed up in something God promised Abraham:
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)
For many decades, Jews served in the courts of Spain and other European countries until monarchs like Ferdinand and Isabella began to turn on the Jewish people. They forced the Jews to convert to Catholicism, and if they did not, sent them into exile or sentenced them to death. When nations took this course, God’s promise to Abraham came true for those countries. For instance, Spain has never seen the former glory of its heyday. In fact, every country that has turned against the Jewish people, or against God’s people of any ethnicity, has eventually met its demise. In this vein, it’s important to remember what Paul said to those who are in Messiah:
If you are Messiah’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
The point is that the promise made to Abraham was not just referring to Jewish people, but God’s people at large – the people of covenant. This is important because, today, there are developments in America and around the world that are disconcerting where God’s people are concerned. Not only are the nations antagonistic toward the nation of Israel, but they are also castigating the people of God as troublemakers, bigots and impediments to progress. God’s people are ridiculed, mocked, and blamed for many of the world’s ills and, so, the promise to Abraham and his seed – those in Messiah, according to Paul – resonates today.
That promise says, He will make us a great nation, whether the nations we reside in recognize it or not. Furthermore, those who would curse us will bring a curse upon themselves. That truth is not intended to make one “think of himself more highly than he ought to think,” but to emphasize that our Father in heaven is true to His word.
Pray for your nation, wherever that may be. Pray for the leaders of your nation in the hope they will do what is just and right. Paul encouraged us to do this that we may, “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence,”adding that this was pleasing to the LORD (1 Tim. 2:1-3). Yet, let us also pray, “Not our will, but Your will be done” on earth, just as it’s done in heaven. Let us commit ourselves, as Abraham did, to be faithful even if we find ourselves to be sojourners among strangers. We have a promise that He will bless us and multiply us in the earth that we may be a source of blessing to all nations.