Saturday, July 14, 2012

What Israel Means to God ~ Feinberg

We often hear people speak of what God means to Israel, and this is eminently Scriptural. In his closing address to his people, Moses had been constrained of the Spirit of God to say: “ The eternal God is thy dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms ” ( Deut 33:27 ). In the prayer of Moses found in the ninetieth Psalm, we find these words: “ Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place In all generations ” ( Ps 90:1 ). So we could multiply Scriptures to show what God means to Israel.

But how many have ever heard what Israel means to God?...
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I especially like this:

But God has used Israel, furthermore, to manifest His faithfulness to His promises. Many delight to think of the promise in Rom 11:29 : “ For the gifts and the calling of God are not repented of. ” But they forget that this refers primarily to Israel, for the apostle declares in the preceding verse: “ As touching the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election they are beloved for the fathers ’ sake. ” In fact, the main design of the three chapters on Israel in the Epistle to the Romans-chapters 9 , 10 , and 11 -is to show that, in spite of the fact that God has placed both Jew and Gentile in the same need of salvation and has placed salvation on a basis where it is free to both, yet God has abrogated none of His precious promises to Israel. If one is in doubt as to the reality of these promises, he needs only to begin with Genesis and will find them all along the way through the Old Testament, particularly in the prophecies of the prophetic books. It seems, from our limited human standpoint, that God has ample ground for annulling every promise He has made to Israel because of their disobedience, but God is faithful to all His unconditional promises. With what confidence, then, is the child of God today to look to his heavenly Father in all that He has promised to His believing children. If God has kept and is keeping faith with Israel in all that has been promised them, then there need be no fear that God will fail to bring to blessed fruition all that He has ever spoken of regarding anyone. Israel, as it were, serves as a test case in the matter: since God has manifested His faithfulness with them, then He can be trusted by all.

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