| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 52 - Page 200 of 207 Index | Zoom | |
Paul now proceeds to deal with the failure of Israel and he brings in the truth of
election, not to decide who would be saved or who would be lost, but to show what
individuals and nations God has chosen to work out His purpose for a kingdom on this
earth. And who is there that can criticize or judge Him for so doing? The marvel is that
He uses sinful and failing human beings at all. Only a God of infinite grace would do
First of all the word "Israel" must be correctly understood. Who constitute Israel?
Some may answer "The physical descendants of Abraham", but they would be wrong.
"It is not as though God's Word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel
are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the
contrary `It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned'. In other words, it is
not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who
are regarded as Abraham's offspring" (verses 6-8, N.I.V.).
Abraham had eight sons by Hagar, Keturah and Sarah. If physical descent constituted
a claim then seven other nations might have disputed Israel's rights, but the deciding
factor was decided by the Sovereignty of God. Even sons born to Isaac do not share
equal privileges. Esau and Jacob were both children of the same mother yet Esau is
rejected and Jacob chosen.
"For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the
purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him that calleth;
it was said unto her, `The elder shall serve the younger'." (Rom. 9: 11, 12).
Not only this but from time to time outsiders have joined the Jews and accepted
Judaism. In 800A.D. the ruler and many of the ruling classes of the Khazars, a people
living near the Caspian Sea, joined Judaism. Even in Romans itself we have the
distinction between the natural and spiritual seed brought forward:
"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is
outward in the flesh; But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of
the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God"
(Rom. 2: 28, 29).
The condition of the Jewish nation today is like the parable of the tares and true wheat.
They are so similar that only an inerrant God can separate them without making any
mistake. He surely will do this before His earthly kingdom becomes a reality. This
means that while it is true that the false seed is among Israel, the true seed are there too,
all known to the Lord and this makes anti-semitism a dangerous thing, remembering what
God said to Abraham. "I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee"
(Gen. 12: 3), for it is through the true seed coming through Isaac that constitutes the real
Israel in God's sight and it is through this channel, finally redeemed and saved, that His
elective purpose works to bring in His earthly kingdom; election and the power of God
guarantee that this finally will not fail.