Welcome back study friends! I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to dive into week 5 of our study together, Why Israel Matters. If you’re new here…WELCOME…and don’t worry. You may have jumped into the middle of the study, but I promise you won’t be left behind! You are certainly free to scroll back through the previous weeks of study to catch up, or just be content to join in from this point. Either way, I pray you are blessed!
The study is being taught live on Sunday mornings at CalvaryPHX in Phoenix AZ, and you are always welcome to join us live! (11:00 am, Room 209). We had a wonderful discussion this morning! I wish all of you could be here live!
We began looking at God’s love story. It is not solely about God’s love for Israel, though He does love her dearly, but about His love for all of us (Jews and Gentiles) who know Him as Lord. However, Israel lays out the picture, so we’ll focus there.
God has no favorites! Though various passages of Scripture do say “…Jew first and also the Greek…,” it doesn’t mean He loves Jews more than anyone else! In fact, let’s read one of those passages in full:
There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
Did you catch that? Tribulation and distress, as well as glory, honor and peace come to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentiles). It rains on us both…and the sun shines on both! For there is NO partiality with God! So, rest easy, friends! Whether Jew or Gentile, God loves you to the max!
However, though He loves us the same, He gave Israel a very unique role…a special assignment. No one else has that role or assignment. But, what is it?
Please look up Genesis 12:1-3 and key in on the very last phrase in verse 3. What did you find? Yes…that is part of the Abrahamic Covenant in which God promises to bless all the families of the earth through Abraham and his descendants! Thus, Israel’s unique role is to be the vehicle of world redemption! Salvation is the blessing…and it will come through fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant!
So, for those who hate and oppose Israel, we have this message:
“To hate Israel is to resist the purpose of God…eternal salvation. If Israel fails, God’s plan for world redemption fails!”
~Malcolm Hedding, former Executive Director of ICEJ
God Himself guarantees Israel’s survival, because His plan rests upon that!
But, why Israel? Why not America…or Europe…or Australia!?! (Hi to my Aussie friends! I see you!) Is it because Israel is the greatest? Most worthy? Sinless? Righteous?
No, no, no, no!
“The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers.”
There’s our answer: God chose them because a.) He loved them, and b.) He is keeping the oath He swore to their forefathers! He is remaining consistent with His character! He chose them because …..He chose them! We don’t like that answer because it doesn’t fit “human reason.” But God is not human! He can do what He wants and He chose them, then swore to their forefathers, thus cementing His election of them!
So, the love story began! Tomorrow we’ll talk about that love story, but let’s anticipate where to begin that discussion. When you see two people in love, what is the first question you ask? We’re asking it tomorrow, so check back in! Meanwhile, just know that the love story includes those of us who have “entered in” to the great and glorious relationship with Jesus Christ!
See you tomorrow!