Monday, February 17, 2020

What About Israel?

On one hand, they were chosen to reveal God, to channel the Messiah
So - Abraham -->12 tribes -->Nation established in Promised Land --> Christ

On the other hand, Israel (largely) rejected God's Messiah  (at the time Paul was writing Romans)

Now what?  is God done with Israel?
OR, is Israel still a major part of God's plan?

"Done" view - Matt. 21:43-43  - another reason why He was crucified
"Not Done" view - Gen. 12:1-3, 6-7
In between all kinds of ideas regarding this.

Today's Text:  Rom. 10:1-3
                      Rom. 11:1-5, 7-8, 11-12, 17-32
Christians find their roots in Judaism

For the pastor --- the text doesn't answer my questions!!!

So.... history of Israel that's not in the Bible.

AD 33 - Jesus crucified

AD 55 - Paul writes Romans, Israel still under Roman rule
(Paul executed in 64 AD)

AD 66 - the (great) Jewish Revolt
(ie:  Jewish uprising against Roman occupation)

AD 67 General Vespascian (an amazing Roman general) was dispatched to Judea with his son, Titus.

AD 69 After quelling the rebellion in North Judea and outlying areas, Vespascian was called to Rom to become emperor.  Titus (a general in his own right) went to Jerusalem.

AD 70 - Titus began siege of Jerusalem - 7 month siege

(July) AD 70 Jerusalem falls - city is destroyed - temple destroyed
According to Josephus:  "1 million died in the siege --- battle, starvation, disease.   97,000 sold into slavery."

Jews were dispersed, Judaism outlawed, name changed from "Judea" to "Syria Palaestina"

Jews were scattered throughout the world but without a homeland!!!.

(many Christians escaped this because the fled Jerusalem before the siege!!  Matt. 24:15-16

19th. Century = Rise of Zionism - an organized effort to re-establish Israel/Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish people - effort of Jews/Christians AND non-religious advocates

1917 - "Balfour Declaration" - Britain declared intent to establish a Jewish homeland n Palestine

WWI = fall of Ottoman Empire (Islamic Turks who ruled Palestine for 400 years)

Britain was given control of Palestine - charged by League of Nations (1922) to establish both Jewish & Palestinian states in Palestine.  (constant opposition kept this from happening)

WWII & holocaust - fuel notion of a Jewish homeland in Palestine!!

1947 - United Nations approve a plan to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state.

May 14, 1948 - Israel officially declared an independent state (after 1878 years) British forces leave!!

Next day = a joint attack by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq

Israel seized territory during war and expanded!! (U.N. brokered a cease fie, left Israel in control of the conquered territory)

Additional wars, expansion,
and so Israel today!!
On one hand this is not necessarily a miracle!!  (by definition requires God's direct intervention -- example=Lazarus)

On the other hand, it is Remarkable!!

Add this to God's word, covenant promises, Israel's history --- no wonder --- 80% evangelicals believe
  (1)  Israel's regathering = fulfillment of Bible Prophecy
  (2)  God's promises to Abraham = for all time.
And ... (3)  69% believe Jews have "historic right" to the land.

Hence --- common View among Evangelicals (Bible believing Christians) =
   (1)  God is NOT done with the Jewish nations.
   (2)  Israel will play a big part in end times.

Somehow (views vary) in last days ...
   (1)  Jews will turn to Christ as Messiah
   (2)  Christ will return to Mt. Zion
Example:  Zech. 12:10

So.... what about Israel?  Will God use them again?  (last days?)
On one hand - don't know.  wait and see!
On the other hand - keep eyes on Israel!

With this in mind --- Rom.11:33-36

What is the takeaway?  Application?

Could be  (1)  God is Sovereign - can do as He will -- even what (appears to be) impossible!!
Example:  Ezekiel's dry bones!

                (2)  God is Faithful - to His word, Promises
                                              - to His Plan
                                             - to His People!!

               (3)  God is (Transcendent) - Beyond us!! beyond our understanding = "mystery"

BUT ... whatever we see here ... it leads to ...
Rom. 12:1 - Paul writes to inform - Inspire - Instruct
Chapters 12 - 16 (mostly) Instruction!!!

So... Rom.12:1 -  (1)  therefore  (in light of all that's been said)
                            (2)  present 'self - Again - not just for salvation but for Lordship!!
                            (3) as a living Sacrifice - more that dies for, = lives for Him
                            (4) = Reasonable Service  (is logical, right, appropriate)

From now on, focus is on instruction.



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