Do we understand Israel’s role in God’s eternal plan? As Christians, do we rightly relate to the Jewish people and to our Jewish roots? Those are two of the questions I’m trying to answer in a new Bible study entitled Why Israel Matters: Rightly Relating to Our Jewish Roots, now being tested with a pilot group. So, I want to invite you into the circle to consider those questions and more for yourself!
God’s Word is packed with promises that apply to us as believers. Many of them are found in Ephesians 1:3-14. Please take a moment to read that passage and jot down some of those blessings before moving on.
Wow! Your list should include things such as:
- Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
- He chose us (before the foundation of the world, no less!)
- He makes us holy and blameless before Him
- He predestined us to adoption to Himself
- Redemption through His blood
- Forgiveness of trespasses (sins)
- Grace, lavished upon us
- An inheritance
- We heard the word of truth
- We have the gospel of salvation
- We are sealed with the Holy Spirit
You may have come up with more. The number of items is not important, but the truth of them is! We are blessed beyond measure, by promises and blessings that win us eternal salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord! We are saved from eternal death in hell because of God’s faithfulness to His promises!
But upon what do these blessings and promises rest? What makes them true? I suggest to you that God’s promises to us as believers rest upon the great covenants God made with Israel. Indeed…no covenants, no assurance of God’s promises to us! However, because of His faithfulness to His covenants with Israel, we have assurance that He will be faithful to His promises to us!
Genesis 3 tells us that Satan (disguised as a serpent) convinced Adam and Eve to go against God’s specific command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17-18). Now remember, God created it all, and likely “hung out” (had fellowship) with Adam and Eve. He met them in the Garden of Eden and spoke to them there. Suddenly, though, the enemy tells them a lie: “Psssttt…Eve! God is holding out on you! Surely He did not say you can’t eat of that tree! He just doesn’t want you to be like Him…knowing good and evil. He wants to keep you suppressed!” (Paraphrase of Genesis 3:1-5)
Eve took the bait…and so did Adam. From that day forward, all mankind was in need of redemption, but had no way to obtain it. That is, until God prepared and provided a way of redemption.
Perhaps in future days, I’ll develop the thought more thoroughly, but for today, consider this idea: God initiated covenants in order to restore the world to Himself. Those covenants, we will find, are covenants with the Jewish people! God made His move by calling a Gentile (Abraham) and making him father of the Jews, so that He could lay a pathway for the coming of the Messiah…the One who would bring redemption to the entire world.
Therefore, Israel is the vehicle of world redemption, and is God’s love story expressed to the world.
For God so loved THE WORLD, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
~John 3:16 (Emphasis mine)
We’re going to dive into some really cool stuff, so I hope you’ll stick around. I’ll do my best to share that cool stuff with you and, hopefully, draw you closer to understanding how to recognize God’s eternal plan, and how to rightly relate to our Jewish roots. They ARE there, and I think God will bless us if we understand them more!
See you tomorrow!