Do you believe in God? Does a religious Jew believe in the same God?
Maimonides' 13 Principles of Jewish Faith bring us to number 11 - God knows all things.
I can remember learning the attributes of God in elementary school and Sunday school. One of those was what we wrote down as "omniscience." So, I can very simply say, regarding this principle, "I am Jewish" in belief.
"When God is our Holy Father, sovereignty, holiness, omniscience, and immutability do not terrify us; they leave us full of awe and gratitude." - Ravi Zacharias
"Men would strip Deity of His omniscience if they could – what a proof that “the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Rom. 8:7)! The wicked do as naturally hate this Divine perfection as much as they are naturally compelled to acknowledge it. They wish there might be no Witness of their sins, no Searcher of their hearts, no Judge of their deeds. They seek to banish such a God from their thoughts." - A W Pink
Simply put - The one true God knows everything.
Do you believe that? Do you LIVE that?
Here is a more complete quote from Maimonides.
"I believe... the Creator... knows all the deeds of human beings, and all their thoughts."
The Psalmist beat the Maimster and us with this:
1 Lord, you have examined me
and know all about me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts before I think them.
3 You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.
4 Lord, even before I say a word,
you already know it.
5 You are all around me—in front and in back—
and have put your hand on me.
6 Your knowledge is amazing to me;
it is more than I can understand.
So, again, we have a clear win for the fellowship, the brotherhood, if you will, of Christians and Jews.
The sad thing is that many Christians would protest this statement, as would many Jews. Why is this?
Well, the reason differs from each perspective.
Frankly, for many Jews it is a case of mistrust. And for many Christians, it is a case of prejudice/anti-semitism. Yes, I went there. The world has seen anything from shunning, to horrid slaughtering of Jews by people who call themselves Christians for almost 2,000 years. How can we expect a hand-holding kumbaya?
In fact, if you study the parting of ways between Jew and Gentiles who came into faith in the one true Creator, you will see that many of the "Christian" practices are unique only because they were developed out of a disdain for Jews. When you read the church "fathers" you will see repeated comments such as, "we do not worship like the Jews do."
Why not? I ask this again.
What is so wrong with doing things that Abraham, Moses, and Jeremiah did?
I have been told by Christians that I am acting too Jewish. I have been told by a sincere Jewish man that I will never be Jewish.
I wonder if there's a place to come to for people like me? I know the answer, but since you have never been me, what do you think? Do I have to "pick a side" and go with it? Am I the only one who senses a shift back to something that looks Bible, but doesn't have a popular radio theologian's stamp of approval?
Next post in this series will address the 11th principle of Judaism and check it with Christian doctrine and beliefs. Register for email updates to get the next article delivered to your inbox.