Israel - God's Blessing to the EarthVolume 1, Number 20
Created Date: November 25, 2004
Posted Date: November 25, 2004
Vol 1 - No 20, November 25, 2004
Faith and The Children of Israel:
As has been observed, God promised Abraham the land of Canaan; that his offspring would be numbered as the sand of the sea and that they would be a blessing to the earth. His son Isaac was the immediate answer to the promise of progeny and blessing and he was a type of and pointed to God's own son Jesus Christ. God then chose Isaac's son Jacob as the vessel through which the blessings would flow. God changed Jacob's name to Israel and thus the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are known as the Children of Israel. They are also called Hebrews or Jews. Abraham was first called a Hebrew inand Hebrew designates the language of the Children of Israel. The word Jew originally denoted one belonging to the tribe of Judah or the two tribes of the southern Kingdom. The term was then extended to apply to anyone of the Hebrew race (Zondervan Dictionary).
Besides the promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob there are many other scriptures including, but not limited to, , , 135:4, , 44:1 & 2 naming Israel as God's chosen people. Moses told Israel why God chose them after receiving the law and commandments for them. He said "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt." - .
God has blessed the earth through the Children of Israel. The Word of God was revealed and written by them, from the first five books written by Moses through Revelation written by the Apostle John.- "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." The living Word of God who came as the man Jesus Christ, , who was Israel's Messiah/King and the savior to all who believe came as a man of Israel.
Up to the present time in history the Nation of Israel as a whole has not received God's blessings in full because the promises to them were conditional. "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." -. The nation, as a corporate body, struggled with keeping God's covenant. As a nation they still do not believe that it is God's intention to fulfill His blessing to them through the second person of the Trinity who came as God's son, the man Jesus. However there have always been many individual Hebrews, beginning with Abraham and down to many living today who have had faith in God's Word. Paul explains this in : "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed."
The fact that not all God's chosen people were "children of promise" is pointedly demonstrated during Jesus' earthly ministry. The Pharisees were the religious leaders of Israel and as such were supposed to speak for God and lead the Children of Israel in worship. But Jesus knew the hearts of many of them and said: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" -.
In spite of the fact the nation of Israel did not always respond by faith to God's Word, God's dealings with mankind were exclusively through them, from Abraham right up to the time recorded in the book of Acts when the nation was temporarily set aside -. The apostle Paul explains the temporary setting aside of Israel as a nation in Romans, the 9th through the 11th chapters as he explains how both Jews and Gentiles can now come into a personal relationship with God because of the finished work of Christ on the cross.
Paul tells of his great love for his people inand why the Children of Israel have not fulfilled their destiny up until now in : "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." He reveals in how Israel will someday fulfill it's destiny: "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all."
On that future day when the Nation of Israel finally turns to the Lord Jesus Christ in faith they will possess the Promised Land in peace during the Millennium Kingdom. Christ will reign as King and the entire earth will be blessed thereby. Until then, whether we are Jew or Gentile, we all are assured that it is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that we are blessed and have hope of eternal life. "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." -