Sunday, February 5, 2012
“And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:8 KJV).
Today’s Scripture is part of the Abrahamic Covenant, the basis for God creating the nation Israel. The LORD promised Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 that he would have a son Isaac, who would give birth to the Jewish race. God would also give a geographic area to Abraham and his “seed:” this is the “Promised Land” or Palestine (“all the land of Canaan”).
God formed Israel in order to use her as the vessel to restore His authority in the earth. Israel was to be a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:5,6), but before Israel could bring God to the Gentiles, God first had to be her God. The LORD repeatedly says in the Old Testament: “Israel will be my people, and I will be their God” (Exodus 29:45; Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 11:20; Ezekiel 34:24; Ezekiel 37:23, 27; Zechariah 8:8).
But, Israel rejected and crucified her King Jesus, and refused to bring salvation to the Gentiles. Thus, Israel’s kingdom is currently and temporarily postponed. Salvation is coming to us Gentiles through Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of Grace of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, without Israel’s kingdom (Romans 11:11-13). Israel is not God’s people today (Hosea 1:9; Romans 10:1-3); who is? WE ARE, the Church the Body of Christ!
Paul quotes the Old Testament when God spoke to Israel, and writes about us members of the Body of Christ: “…For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16).
Today, Israel is spiritually blinded and lost (Romans 11:7,25), but at Christ’s Second Coming, Israel will finally be saved and forgiven (verses 26-29). In that day, God will establish the New Covenant, and our God will be Israel’s God too (note Hebrews 8:10 cf. Hosea 1:10).
Saints, never forget—God has not forgotten Israel.