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Israel – Are they the special people of God today?

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EDITOR: There is much misunderstanding and a rejection of useful Biblical knowledge about this subject, even among many who profess to be religious teachers of the Bible. It is my intention in this article to encourage readers to further investigate the matter and to come to an informed opinion.{{more}}

God had selected Abraham about 4, 000 years ago to be the founder of a new, great nation. Abraham was promised that through him a seed would come by whom all the peoples (nations) of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12: 1-3; 22: 17-18). Centuries after when the descendants of Abraham were released from bondage in Egypt, God entered into a covenant with them, giving them a special law and system of worship to separate them from all other nations. God’s plan was to bring the Messiah through that nation, Israel (Exodus 19: 5-6; Galatians 3: 24-25). As descendants of Jacob (Abraham’s grandson), they were also referred to as the Jews.

The covenant naturally had conditions. If Israel kept them they were promised great blessings, if they disobeyed they would bring a curse upon themselves. In the main, their history was one of disobedience; they violated the laws, went after strange gods and persecuted many of the prophets God sent to call them to repentance (Jeremiah 32:22-24). It is no secret that these people even rejected the Messiah Jesus Christ and caused him to be crucified. As a result, God rejected them and cast them off as they were forewarned (Matthew 22:1-7; 23:31-36; 24:1-34).

In A.D. 70, the Romans finally came against them and utterly destroyed them, so that the vessel cannot be put back together (Jeremiah 19:7-11). Josephus, a respected historian, said about 1.1 million Jews were killed, and thousands were taken into slavery. Important Jewish ancestral records were destroyed in that holocaust. Today there are more Jews living in other nations of the world than those who live in Israel.

God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled in that Jesus Christ came through the Jews, and it is through him that people of all nations can be blessed/ saved. For that we should all be grateful.

As a consequence of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, God made a new covenant with a new nation – spiritual Israel. So those who submit to the gospel plan of salvation from all nations, tribes, people, and languages, whether Jews or Gentiles, can become children of God and, therefore, Abraham’s seed Romans 1:16; 2:28-29; Galatians 3:26-29).

Peter said in 1 Peter 2: 9-10 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; which in times past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Isn’t this wonderful?

Frankly speaking, more can be said to confirm that God is no longer partial to any particular race or nation but to his spiritual children – Christians (Acts 10:34-35). It is so sad that many people prefer to accept a counterfeit version of Christianity instead of adhering to the real thing.

Joel H. Jack