Jan1SunJanuary 1, 2017
I am having difficulty believing that in 2014 we are still debating the idea Israel is God’s Chosen People and that Israel is God’s elect. Just the other day, I had a discussion on this very topic and the spector of Replacement Theology raised its ugly head once more.
To draw towards an understanding of the issue, we need to have a grasp of first principles, namely, Adonai Elohim called Israel to be His early in the narrative. We go first to Genesis 12, where Almighty God informs Avram, I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. (Genesis 12:2) In Exodus 19, we find Adonai directing Moshe to tell the Israelites, I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Exodus 19:4)
We see this claim of ownership repeated in Deuteronomy 7: For you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. (Deuteronomy 7:6) Not only do we read of the fact Israel has been made kadosh, holy or set-apart, we are given the understanding of God’s high expectations of Israel. Israel is Adonai’s people irrespective of their obedience and disobedience. We find this in Deuteronomy 32,Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you. (Deuteronomy 32:6)
Let’s be very clear at this point; there is a distinction between being Adonai’s Chosen People and being saved. Being God’s Chosen People is not automatic salvation for the Jewish People. Unfortunately this misunderstanding has led many in the Body to conclude there is no need to share the Gospel to Jewish People, because they are saved, by being His Chosen People.
We travel in time several hundred years to the time of King David, who, in one of his immortal pieces of divinely-inspired poetry, asserts, For Yah chose Ya‘akov for himself, Isra’el as his own unique treasure. (Psalm 135: 4) Here, then, qualifies Adonai Tzivaot’s perception of Israel as a unique treasure, something quite precious, one of a kind and never duplicated. A few years later, Solomon, David’s son, in the wisdom given to him by HaShem, makes the declaration, For you made a distinction between them and all the peoples of the earth by making them your inheritance, as you said through Moshe your servant when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Adonai Elohim. (1 Kings 8:53)
The Apostle Paul draws an interesting assertion from his discussion of the Olive Tree metaphor. In Romans 11, Sha’ul warns Gentile believers, But if some of the branches were broken off, and you — a wild olive — were grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree, then don’t boast as if you were better than the branches. (Romans 11:17,18) Then, he continues, if you do boast, remember that you are not supporting the root, the root is supporting you. (Romans 11:18) With this teaching, Paul is warning Gentile believers, who are tempted to replace Jewish believers as the true people of the Lord God, both Jewish and Gentile believers are fed by the same root and, as such, are subject to the same scrutiny from the Holy Spirit.
As we deal with this issue of Gentile Believers replacing Israel as God’s Chosen People,let us ask for Adonai Yeshua’s mercies on those who cling to the myth, the arrogance of replacement theology.