At least 3 times in Jeremiah 31-33, at least 4 times in the book of Ezekiel, and other times throughout the Old Testament, God (speaking of the Israelites) clearly states, “They will be My People and I will be their God.” (Examples: Jeremiah 31:33, Jeremiah 32:38, Ezekiel 14:11, Ezekiel 37:23-27)
But why the Jews? God could have chosen any people group, so why the people of Israel? The Jews were not perfect, yet God chose them as His covenant people, and it is an everlasting covenant! Check out what He says in Jeremiah 31:35-37:
Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for light by day
And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
The Lord of hosts is His name:
“If this fixed order departs
From before Me,” declares the Lord,
“Then the offspring of Israel also will cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”
Thus says the Lord,
“If the heavens above can be measured
And the foundations of the earth searched out below,
Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel
For all that they have done,” declares the Lord.
Indeed, God has granted a special gift and a special calling to His people…in spite of themselves! God chose Abram and revealed Himself to him. God created a nation of them. He called them to reveal Jesus Christ to the world. Yet, Satan waged war, and they missed their Messiah and the calling to reveal Him to the world. Since then, Satan has continued to wage war. In John 10:10, Jesus Himself describes that war:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Jesus came to bring life, Satan brings death. Jesus creates, Satan twists. Thus, when God chose to bless the Jews, Satan began his campaign to curse them. God gave them land, Satan tries to steal it. God gave them Jerusalem (city of peace), Satan brings bloodshed and destruction there. God gave them a temple in which to worship, Satan desecrated it and will do so again. Jesus came that they might have abundant life, yet the thief has worked throughout history to steal, kill and destroy. The showdown is increasing in intensity.
God chose the Israelites…they didn’t choose Him! Consider the hardship of being chosen! An argument could be made that they don’t even want to be chosen! They are targeted, hated, treated as the “bad boy” of the world, and punished for it! No one signs up for that! Nonetheless, they are chosen by God. Reminds me of an old “Far Side” cartoon depicting a conversation between two deer during deer hunting season. One has a target on his side, to which the other deer says, “Bummer of a birthmark, Hal!” I wonder if the Jewish people feel that way at times.
The reality is that God will ultimately protect and defend His people, but not without the enemy of this world doing everything he can to steal, kill and destroy them! God created life through the Jewish people, Satan brought death to the nation and attempted to bring death to the entire Jewish population.
Miraculously, God brought life back to the land (according to Ezekiel 36), then He breathed life back into the nation of Israel (according to Ezekiel 37), re-birthing the nation and re-establishing a homeland for the Jews in 1948. One day He will bring full spiritual life to the Jews when the veil is removed and they see Yeshua Mashiach…Jesus the Messiah! May that day come soon!