Posted by: dhkrause | July 7, 2014

God’s People Israel

It is important for all believers in the God of the Bible to understand God’s calling and purpose for the Jewish people. In Romans 1:16, Paul (Shaul) declares that the gospel of the Messiah is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first…”:

Romans 1 (NKJV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

What is the role of Jewish people in God’s purpose? Paul writes extensively about this in Romans, chapters 9-11. He begins by enumerating the gifts and callings of God to Israel, and by expressing his heart’s longing that his relatives according to the flesh, the nation from whom the Messiah came, would receive their Messiah who is “over all, the eternally blessed God.”

Romans 9
1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

Israel was the first to be adopted as a son. In Exodus 4, God calls the young nation of Israel “His Son”:

Exodus 4
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me.

In Hosea 11:1, God again declares His continuing love for Israel saying,
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.”

Israel was the first to see and receive God’s glory in their midst:

Deuteronomy 5
24 And you said: ‘Surely the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives.

2 Chronicles 7
7 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. 3 When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying:
“For He is good, for His mercy endures forever.”

In Isaiah 46, God promises to place salvation in Zion, and refers to the nation as “Israel My glory”:

Isaiah 46
12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted,
Who are far from righteousness:
13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off;
My salvation shall not linger.
And I will place salvation in Zion,
For Israel My glory.

In Isaiah 55:5, the prophet speaks about Israel being glorified by God and drawing the nations to Him:

Isaiah 55
5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the Lord your God,
And the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.”

In Isaiah 60 the prophet again declares that God’s glory will shine on the nation, drawing the Gentiles to their light:

Isaiah 60
1 Arise, shine; for your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
3 The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.

As Paul notes in Romans 9:4, the gifts and callings of Israel include “the adoption, the glory, covenants, the giving of the law (Torah), the service of God, and the promises”, the foremost being the promise of the Messiah who would bring salvation and healing to the nation and the world.

Jesus (Yeshua), whose name in Hebrew means “salvation”, said in John 4:22, “… salvation is of the Jews.” Jesus is the living Torah, Word of God. Many prophecies point to the day when Israel will come to know him as their Savior, the risen Son of God who gives eternal life. John 19 refers to some of these prophecies relating to the Crucifixion:

John 19
36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” [Psalm 34:20] 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” [Zechariah 12:10]

John 3:16 declares, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

In Romans 11, Paul explains that Israel’s unbelief in their Messiah is temporary. Gentiles should show the love of Jesus (Yeshua) to the Jewish people in every way, to hasten the day when their acceptance of Him will be “life from the dead” for all the world.

Romans 11
11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Credits and recommended videos on this subject:

David Krause,,, 7/6/14

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