Thursday, February 20, 2014

God's people

Concerning Israel and the Jews.  On one hand they are supposed to be God's chosen people, yet of all people groups throughout history, they seem to be the ones singled out for suffering and hatred from all nations.

There are promises of God to Israel that are unconditional. For example God's covenant with Abraham was "one-sided" meaning that God contracted with Abraham such that God would maintain the covenant and there was nothing Abraham had to do to keep it and nothing Abraham could do to break it. (Genesis 15)

God has preserved Israel through the ages so that He can keep His covenants, regardless of the faithfulness of the people of Israel.

On the other hand, there are also promises of God to Israel that are conditional.  For example: 

Blessings and protection from the enemy for obedience:

If you follow My statutes and faithfully observe My commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit... Leviticus 26:3-13

Cursing and loss of God's protection for disobedience:

But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it... Leviticus 26:14-39

Restoration for repentance:

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land... Leviticus 26:40-46

In all cases, God does exactly what He says He will do.

Additionally, the 'father of lies' has sought throughout history to wipe out the children of Israel. 

Some reasons why include:

1) They are the bloodline of the Messiah  

2) If they are wiped out, then the as yet unfulfilled promises of God to Abraham, David and the nation of Israel would never be fulfilled making God a liar and give the enemy a 'win' over Him.

3) They were also the preservers of God's Word and the preservation of the Jews and existence of Israel is proof of the validity of Scripture.

4) God still has plans for Israel, both for the current 'secular' state of Israel that has gathered together in unbelief, as well as for the future nation of Israel that He will gather together and establish when He returns (Rev 19-20).  God has not forgotten them, in Revelation we see that He sends two witnesses who are able to perform miracles similar to Elijah and Moses (Rev 11:3-12), and also 144,000 sealed servants who share the Gospel (Rev 7:3–8 ), and an angel to proclaim the Gospel (Rev 14:6-7). 

Ever since the first promise of the Messiah to crush the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15) the enemy has sought to corrupt and/or destroy the bloodline of the Messiah.  Examples include:

The slaying of Abel (Genesis 4:5-10), the incursion of fallen angels corrupting all flesh (except Noah, his wife and his sons) before the flood (Genesis 6:9-12). 

Tempting Abraham and Sarah to continue the bloodline through their own fleshly solution of the Egyptian hand-maid and Ishmael instead of waiting on God's plan of Isaac.

Pharaoh slaying of all Hebrew male children and Herod slaying of all children in the vicinity of Bethlehem 2 or younger.  Not to mention all the times that various tribes and empires have attempted to stamp out or starve out the children of Israel.

Even in more recent history we have examples of the pogroms in Russia and the Holocaust during WWII.  Antisemitism continues to this day in every country.  Also, the Arabs and Islamists maintain their hatred for Israel, Jews, and Christians.

So we see that God has a covenant to PRESERVE Israel through the ages to fulfill His plan but at the same time they are subject to the consequences of having rejected Messiah until such time that they repent and receive Him.

No comments :