A Remnant, Chosen by Grace
February 20, 2024, 5:00 AM

What a book the Bible is!  Simple enough for a small child to grasp its meaning, yet so deep that the greatest of minds are left in wonder!  Who could write such a collection of books, utilizing 40 authors to weave together one cohesive history over the course of many centuries?  Only God could do this.

One of those wondrous marvels that we find within the pages of Scripture is the story arc of the Jewish people.  Early in Scripture (Genesis 12), we see God call out to a man by the name of Abraham.  God initiated a covenant with this man and promised his lineage greatness and longevity.  Abraham had a miracle baby, named Isaac.  And Isaac had a son he called, Jacob.  Jacob then fathered 12 sons, who became the tribes of Israel.

God made a nation from Abraham, but that nation has undergone intense struggle almost constantly since its inception.  So, why would God create a nation, a special people, chosen by him for a unique purpose, only to see them become the primary objects of scorn throughout human history?  Wondrously, it was all part of God's plan.  You see, through Israel, Messiah (Jesus), came into the world.  And through Israel, all the nations on earth are blessed.  God chose Israel to fulfill a very difficult and particular role and He did it in a unique way.

At Jesus' coming into the world to bring salvation to men, His own people, Abraham's people, rejected Him as Messiah.  Marvelously, this was a part of God's plan.  But it was for good, not for evil.  You see, Romans 11 teaches very clearly that Israel rejected Jesus so that the Gentiles (non-Jews) could be brought to faith in Messiah Jesus.  And we were!  God used the Jews to bring in Messiah and to bring in Gentiles.  What a plan!

But God has not forgotten His people, nor has He rejected them.  They have undergone a partial hardening (Romans 11:25), not a full hardening.  This means that there will be a time in which God's chosen people will turn to Him in repentance and faith in Jesus.  And Scripture reveals to us just when that will be.  In that same verse, 25, we see that the hardening of the Jews will persist until the fullness of the Gentiles has been brought in.  Do you see?  The Jews will remain at a distance from God, rejecting Jesus as Messiah, but not forever!  The Jews will accept Jesus as Messiah once the full number of Gentiles are brought to Jesus!

And make no mistake about it, though the Jews have rejected Jesus and it seems as if they always will, God has ensured that there is always a remnant, chosen by grace (Romans 11:1-5).  He has not abandoned or forsaken His promises to Abraham.  Every one of them (yes, including the land) will have its fulfillment.  Those which have yet to be fulfilled, will be fulfilled.  God's promise cannot fail..."If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay." (Habakkuk 2:3).

Knowing this, we must pray diligently for the Jewish people.  We must pray for their salvation!  It will come.  We must also value them highly, knowing that God has blessed them with a difficult task in order to bring us in.  This does not mean that we must blindly follow Israel into every war or assume that everything they do is right.  Everything they do is not right, clearly.  Like us, they are sinful people.  But it does mean that we are grateful for them in a unique way, and that we respect them above all other nations because we know God's special call on them...they are His chosen people.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!  'May they be secure who love you!
Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!'
For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, 'Peace be within you!'
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good."

Psalm 122:6-9

Pastor Jeremy