TUESDAY, JUNE 6
SCRIPTURE: Romans 11
This chapter deals with an age old question: what about Israel? This question has been asked by countless people through the years because every time that Israel seems to be wiped out, done away with, and gone, there is a miraculous rebirth.
So, to answer the question what about Israel, let’s start at the beginning. God chose Israel. And when God chooses, He does not unchoose. That simply means that once God declared Israel His chosen people, they have been and will always be God’s chosen people. So, why did God choose Israel?
Deuteronomy 7:7-9 speaks to this. What we learn there is God did not choose Israel because there were more of them than any other nation. God did not choose Israel because they were better than any other nation. God did not choose Israel because they would be more faithful than any other. He chose them because He chose to choose them. He chose to love them. In the same way we might ask why did God save us. He saved us because He chose to save us. Thank God that when He chooses, He does not unchoose.
When Romans 11 opens, Paul asks the question: “Has God rejected Israel?” His answer is a resounding “No”. And most of the remainder of the chapter is evidence that God has not rejected Israel. Paul uses himself as an example. (Remember. He was a Jewish man.) He uses an incident with Elijah as an example. He adds the Gentiles as a reminder. The Patriarchs of the Old Testament are an example. And finally, all of the work of God is an example.
But don’t miss this point. Although God had not and will not reject Israel, Israel has a long history of rejecting God. This rejection actually started in the wilderness not long after Moses led the people from the slavery of Egypt. Even with all the consistent proof of God’s continuing relationship with Israel, the Hebrew people continually turned their back on Him.
I want to be careful not to overstate this. Although I am most accurate when I speak of the Hebrew people turning their backs on God, I am speaking of this in terms of the nation. Throughout history and all of the events of the Hebrew nation rejecting God, there was always a remnant of Hebrew people who stayed faithful to God. And God would work through those faithful ones to bring the rest of the nation back to Him.
We see this happen during the days of Jesus. The nation of Israel rejected Him as the promised Messiah. But thousands of Jewish people did accept Him and were saved. There are Jewish people still accepting Jesus as the promised Messiah. God is still at work among His chosen people.
This is also prophesied during the last days. During the Great Tribulation, there will be 144,000 Jewish people set aside and protected by God. These 144,000 represent 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. One of the crazy things about that is we are not sure where members of some of the twelve tribes are today.
But God knows. He always knows. And He has made a choice that Israel is His chosen people. And that choice will not be changed. God has gone and will go to great lengths to protect at least a remnant of His chosen people so that the nation of Israel will continue as the recipient of His great blessings.