February 26 – People of the Earth – Importance of Israel

Read Romans 11:1-36

God’s plan for humanity started with the nation of Israel. The Messiah would come through the royal line of David. In His ministry on earth, Jesus would deliberately minister to the people of Israel. As we know, the people of Israel did not appreciate the calling of Jesus. They didn’t listen to his commands and even hung Him on a cross. Then, we see in Acts and in Galatians, Paul explaining the great mystery to the Jews; that salvation had now been extended to the Gentiles.

Seemingly everything that happens in Israel, nowadays, is telecast across all major platforms. Israel holds a lot of weight…politically and spiritually. Ever since the beginning of the nation as described in Genesis 12, there has been a lot of pressure on Israel.  We find ourselves asking, “What importance do they really have? Why should we care about Israel? Why should what happens in Israel influence us?”

The historic hardening of Israel is well documented throughout the Bible. No matter how much they rebel against God, Romans 11 tells us how they have not drifted too far. We should look at this hardening as a blessing because it is due to their rebellion that we have salvation. Verse 25 explains that the partial hardening will occur until “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” There is the blessing, for all Gentiles, once again. Until EVERYONE has heard about Jesus, His chosen nation will have a blinding on their hearts. Yet, this, also, brings up the issue of predestination and the question, “Did God already have a set number of people that He knew would accept Him?” People question predestination by saying that, if God already knows who will accept Him, do they even have a choice?

Events in our lives are determined by God through our free choices. We have the choice to follow Him and we can choose to do so or let the opportunity pass us by. God, being an all-knowing God, knows what we will decide but still offers the gift of relational collaboration of choice to make for ourselves. Sooner or later, the door will be shut for us and all Israel will be saved.

I encourage you and challenge you to make the most of this mystery. Accept God’s free gift of salvation and continue in sharing and showing who He is to the lost world.

Jake Lawson

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