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Israel - God's Chosen People

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Question:

Why are Israelis considered the "chosen people"? Why play favorites?

In Genesis 12:1-3and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee...and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee...” In Genesis 15:18; 13:15; 26:2-3 and 28:13, God speaks of giving His covenant with Israel and the land that He gives them.  Other verses that speak of the land being given to the Jews are found in Exodus 6:8, Leviticus 20:24, and Jeremiah 7:7.

 Scriptures that speak of the Jews as being God's chosen people are:

     Exodus 6:6-7
     Deuteronomy 14:2
     Leviticus 20:26
    
Psalm 105:6-7
     Psalm 135:4
     Isaiah 41:8; 44:1; 45:3-5

These are only a few of many others that could be cited.  The name Israel, referring either to the people or the land, is found more than 2500 times in the Bible, and reference to the Jews more than a thousand times. The Old Testament prophets declare that the Jews are a chosen people and that God has a special destiny for them and for the land which He has given them. The New Testament makes the same declaration.  Peter referred to the Jews as "the children of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our Father...Abraham" (Acts 3:25) Paul spoke of the "Israelites", his "kinsmen according to the flesh," as those "to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises" (Romans 9:3-4)

Jesus of Nazareth was born a Jew of the tribe of Judah and of the household of David, according to the genealogy of His mother (given through Joseph's father-in-law, Mary's father -- Luke 3:23-31.)  The genealogy back to David of Joseph, who, though not Christ's father was the head of the household, is given in Matthew 1:6-16.  Like Jesus Himself, the original 12 disciples were all genuinely Jewish, as was the early church.  The first Gentiles were not converted until some years after Pentecost.  Nor did significant numbers of Gentiles come into the church until even later, in the city of Antioch. It was these Gentile believers who were first called "Christians" (Acts 11:19-26). Even then, for many years the leadership of the church remained Jewish and was centered in Jerusalem.

Kaare Kristiansen, former leader of Norway's Christian People's Party, when asked about his long-standing love of and support for Israel, replied, "It came with my mother's milk." He was "born into a deeply religious Evangelical Lutheran family and grew up hearing his father read the Bible." Such love for Israel and Jews worldwide is taught not only in the Old Testament but in the new as well and characterizes all true Christians. Roman Catholicism is largely responsible for promoting the concept that the Jews ought to be killed for killing Christ. No such teaching can be found in the New Testament, nor did the early church ever practice it.  The Romans, not the Jews, were in power and could have released Jesus instead of executing Him.

Some Christians confuse Israel and the Church. The major promise to Israel for the last days is that she will be gathered from the nations where God scattered her to dwell once more in the Promised Land and that Christ will rule over her from Jerusalem -- a promise that would be meaningless for the Church. The Church was never cast out of any land, and it was never promised that she would return to the land from which she was cast out, as God promised Israel. Israel is distinguished from the Church for all time by the land which God gave to her.

Unfortunately, Israel's leaders, and the vast majority of Israelis, do not believe God's promises in the Bible, nor do they heed His warnings.  Who can read the words of our Lord Jesus as He wept over Jerusalem and not be moved by His love for His people?  He knew the awful consequences of their rejection of Him which all the prophets had foretold - consequences that came true in part in 70 A.D. when the city was destroyed, and consequences far worse which still lay ahead for Jerusalem and the people of Israel.  Luke 19:41-44 and Matthew 23:37-39.  If Jesus loves His people, should we not follow His example?

Until Christ appears and is recognized by His people, Israel will continue to displease God, to be abused by godless nations (which all finally attack her at Armageddon) and to suffer God's judgment.  The prophecy in Ezekiel 39:7,8,22,23,28,29 will be fulfilled at the end of the great tribulation when Christ returns to rescue Israel and to establish His millennial kingdom.  As stated in Zechariah 14:3-4 the Lord Himself will rescue Israel.

The Lord has a covenant with Israel that He will not break.  Why He chose these people is a mystery, but it is a fact that He did.  God is sovereign and His ways are not our ways and it is not our place to question.  There is much more that could be said on this subject, but hopefully this will give an adequate overview.

Question?  Aren't all people His children?

            No, and there is a difference between God’s chosen people and His children.

John 8:38-45 (Jesus speaking)
"I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father."
"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.

 

 

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