Friday, September 23, 2011

Gen 12, Israel & the Land

And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. Gen 12:3

Christian Zionists often quote this verse and apply it to the nation Israel. Note that this shouldn’t suppose that Israel is free to do whatever it wills and that Christians must indiscriminately support it. Among other things, we should acknowledge that Israel’s major failing as a secular nation is its lack of recognition of Christ as its Messiah.

But anti-Zionists (for want of a better word) will invariably take the above verse and re-route it to ONLY point to Christ and ultimately the church. Steve Wohlberg’s article is one example of how replacement theologians might strategize a response to Zionists:

Notice, the direct "bless-curse" line concerned Abraham alone, not Israel, and "all the families of the earth" were to be blessed in Abraham, which meant through "his seed," which was Jesus Christ (see Galatians 3:16). In order to receive that very blessing, individuals must be willing to be "turned away" from their sins by God's grace (see Acts 3:25,26).

Wohlberg, and others, invariably ignore Gen 27:29 where Isaac blesses Jacob-Israel. Note the blessing and curse.

May peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, And may your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you.

Acts actually confirms Israel’s election and that the covenant is still valid. Peter is addressing the Jews (Acts 3:13-15):

It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.' "For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways. Act 3:25-26

And Romans:

For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery-- so that you will not be wise in your own estimation-- that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." "THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS. Rom 11:24-27

Those verses counter the idea that, because God is “no respecter of persons” (Rom 2:8-11), it somehow negates Israel’s future land promises. The Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional, as distinct to the Mosaic Covenant.

Referring to Deut 28 yet leaving out Deut 30 (keeping in mind Romans 11:24-27) simply doesn’t do the matter justice. Lev 26 is often appealed to by those who argue that Israel hast lost rights to the land but verses 44-46 are almost always ignored. Other verses routinely ignored are Deut 4:25-31; Eze 36:22-38; Zec 2:8 and Zec 14:1-21. There are a host of others.

Often those who deny Israel’s right to the land also deny they hold to replacement theology. They prefer to describe their views in other terms – such as “Fulfilled” - and appeal to a redefinition of the promises. Paul Henebury (Dr Reluctant) is sorting that matter out on his blog and I strongly recommend that people find out what he has to say about it.


More later.


What Does Christ as “True Israel” Mean for the Nation Israel?

Read Barry Horner's "Future Israel - Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must be Challenged" HERE

2 comments:

drreluctant said...

Alf,

Appreciate you linking to my efforts.

God bless brother

Paul

mac said...

Paul, your blog has helped improve my understanding and maturity. And your attitude has been a great example to me. Thanks for making your site available.

Alf