Well, back to our topic. So I have made a few statements in previous posts about how important and critical Israel is for us understanding the fate of our world. So why is that? More is explained in my book, but I will try and summarize here so we can understand better this issue. First, let's look at a few scriptures to see what God said about Israel:
Pretty nifty promise, huh? However, this promise did not progress to all of Abrahams descendants, but just to Isaac (Gn 26:3-6) and then to Jacob (Gn 28:13-15) whose name was later changed to Israel (Gn 32:28). There are many scriptures that re-emphasize this promise to the nation of Israel. Perhaps Jeremiah sums it up best: This is what the Lord says: "If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth, then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them" (Jr 33:25-26).
Even Paul, who was the apostle to the Gentiles and yet still a Jew, stated the following: "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: 'The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.' As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable" (Ro 11:25-29).
Therefore, God keeps his promises no matter if anyone else even remembers them. God doesn't forget, even if we do. Some say that because Israel as a nation rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah when he came the first time, that Israel is no longer in the picture. Jeremiah and Paul seem to disagree. They may be set aside for awhile, but will come back into the picture in a huge way. See my post about the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) for more details about this (02-Oct-2012 post).
Paul also defines the Israelites thusly: "Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen" (Ro 9:4-5). Therefore, all that we know about God has come through Israel. It would seem odd that would be the end of the story about them. We should also remember that in Exodus when God first established His covenant with Israel as a nation, he made the following statement, "you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Ex 19:6). Therefore, they were to be those who revealed God to the rest of the world. Although they did not fulfill this as God had laid out the plan for them, i.e., their obedience would heap all sorts of blessings upon the nation that would then draw other nations to want to know their God, we see that Paul is stating that God did accomplish a lot through Israel. In the end, Jesus Christ was revealed through Israel, even though, as a nation, Israel rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah. This then led to the allowance of Gentiles to become part of God's family. All of this was by God's design, as Paul pointed out.
So, back to the intent of this post. Why is Israel important? We see that Israel was the one to point the world to God and revealed God to the world through the life of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Israel has partially fulfilled God's command to them back in Exodus. However, the full fulfillment is yet to come. Remember the post about the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) (posted 06-Oct-2012)? Israel is going to lead the entire world in praise and worship of Jesus Christ, their Messiah - and ours! God is going to allow Israel to fulfill the command He gave to them so long ago. That is why He is not done with Israel. God has chosen Israel to be the leader of mankind's praise to God for all eternity. Wow! What a great blessing! A missed opportunity that God is still going to allow to happen. And, if you have accept Jesus Christ as your Messiah, your Savior, by accepting his payment for your sins on the cross, you, too, will be able to witness this prophetic fulfillment and be able to join in that praise as well. Hallelujah!
That is why Israel is so important. God promised it and He is not going to allow it not to happen. That is why Israel has been so persecuted for so many generations. Satan, the Adversary, does not want this to happen. If he can get rid of Israel, then all of God's promises will fail and he will be the victor. Do you think God is going to allow that to happen? I don't think so. Want to be a part of all of this? You can. Just be willing to humble yourself and admit that you cannot save yourself and that you need a Savior.
Now, what about you that are Jewish now. Well, you can have your cake and eat it too! You are the remnant to which Paul spoke (Ro 11:5). You have access to all of Israel's previous promises and to the promises for the Church, His Bride. You have the best of both worlds! Isn't God good? Think about that.
Until next time. God bless!
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