(For Part 1 of “Who Are Israelites”, please click here)
“Who are Israelites; 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; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:4-5)
Last time, we looked at the first four of the eight defining privileges of the nation Israel enumerated in Romans 9:4-5. Now let us consider the rest:
5.) Service of God
“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:6)
Just as the Tribe of Levi was set apart from among all the tribes of Israel for the service of God in the Tabernacle and Temple (Num. 1:50-51), the nation of Israel itself was set apart from all the nations of the earth for the service of God. No other nation has ever been commissioned to be the vessel through whom the Word of God would be given to the world. Back in Romans 3:2, Paul mentioned that the “chiefest” advantage of the Hebrew was the stewardship of the Oracles of God, or the Old Testament Scriptures. Consider that nearly every human writer of both testaments of the Bible was Jewish. The very first Christian Church was the congregation at Jerusalem and every single original member was a Jew. The Hebrews have had a most unique role of service throughout the history of God’s dealings with mankind.
“In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” (Genesis 15:18)
“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
Time does not permit us to go into detail concerning the multitude of promises that God made specifically to Israel throughout the Bible, but suffice it to say that no other people have ever been given so many promises of physical blessings and benefits as the people of Israel. The Body of Christ has been promised “all spiritual blessings in the Heavenlies” (Eph. 1:3), but was never given promises of earthly prosperity for obeying God like Israel was given.
The Church was never promised a land for its possession nor was it promised earthly success like Israel was. Christ has overcome the world, but He made it clear that we would have trial and tribulation in this world (John 16:33). The Church has been promised that all things work together for our good (Rom. 8:28), but we were never promised that God would “bless everything we set our hand to” (Deut. 28:8). We as Christians have been given many promises and assurances, of which the majority will not be realized until we come into the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, but the Hebrews are the recipients of God’s promises for this world. Though they are a cursed and dispersed nation today because of their rebellion and rejection of their Savior, the day will come when every last promise that God made to that people will be fulfilled.
7.) The Fathers
“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” (Exodus 3:6)
The Israelites have a spiritual heritage which can be traced all the way back to Abraham. They are the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: the Patriarchs, or fathers, of old.
8.) Of Whom Christ Came
“So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.” (Matthew 1:17)
The greatest of Israel’s privileges is ultimately that they are the nation from whom Christ came. Israel is the woman in Revelation 12 who “brings forth” a Man Child, Jesus Christ. The Lord’s humanly origin is a Jewish origin, for He was born a Hebrew. He was a descendant of King David and was, according to the flesh, a Son of David. Jesus was that Great Prophet, like unto Moses, Who would arise from among the brethren of Israel (Deut. 18:15).
To God goes all glory. In service to Him,