An Israel Without God

“You shall therefore love the LORD your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments. Know this day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the discipline of the LORD your God–His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm, and His signs and His works which He did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land; and what He did to Egypt’s army, to its horses and its chariots, when He made the water of the Red Sea to engulf them while they were pursuing you, and the LORD completely destroyed them; and what He did to you in the wilderness until you came to this place; and what He did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, among all Israel– but your own eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD which He did.”
Deuteronomy 11:1-7

Even today these words would be a tremendous comfort for the Israel that to this moment continues to dwell in the Promised Land. But nowhere do I today hear or read statements from the state of Israel that live with or rely on the Lord, the God of their history; they seem to struggle in their existence solely by their own tenacious strength. The above quote is made by Moses as the new nation of Israel prepares to enter the land to conquer and possess. This pre-possession pep talk is replete with the promises of great things if they obey, and conversely the promises of dreadful curses if they fall away. And as we all know the new nation rose to tremendous heights in power and fame as their greatest kings, David and Solomon empowered them to realize their dreams as God’s people, but so quickly discarded their glory to wallow in the same filth that caused the original inhabitants of the land to be exterminated. God gave them everything they asked for, they tossed it all aside, they were wiped off the land as He promised, they were exiled for 70 years, they returned to the land as God promised, enjoyed another time of prosperity, and again threw it all away after rejecting another of God’s promises, the revelation of His Messiah, resulting again in the total annihilation of the nation and the Temple, this time by the Roman Empire.

Leap forward a couple thousand years, after the miracle of rebirth – so to speak – of the Jews returning to the land, a modern day conquest of Canaan after World War II, only this time without the Lord visibly and prominently at their head. Yes, most definitely, the Lord has not completely rejected His people. Yes, for certain, He still considers them a people of His choosing. To this very day, and into the future, the Lord will not abandon completely the people of Israel. But what do we make of this modern day Israel? They dwell in the land, but the Temple remains unbuilt, and indeed its property is possessed by their pagan cousins and enemies from Ishmael. There is no sacrificial service so how are the sins of the people and the nation atoned? The nation has gone to war with her neighbors early and often and continues to live daily under threats, torments and aggression on all sides. But where is her call to the God who brought them up from Egypt by His great and powerful arm? Where is this nation’s spiritual badge of freedom under the banner of the Lord her God, the God of her history? Why do we not hear her call upon her personal God who made her great as vividly recounted in her Scriptures?

The answer lies in the inescapable fact that, in spite of their wailing at the remaining wall of the old Temple, she still has abandoned her Lord and Savior, just as she has so often in the past. She still dwells apart from the only One who can protect her and comfort her and establish her in the glory she deserves as the chosen people of God. Her decision two-thousand years ago to crucify her King, her Savior, her continual refusal to this day to recognizes her only Redeemer, prevents her full restoration and the only resolution to the tension in the Middle East that will bring to the region the conflagration that is inevitable.

She is and always remains God’s chosen race, and must be viewed now and forever in this manner. And in this regard, that God has not abandoned His people, but will let His will be fully accomplished for her and the rest of His creation, all God’s people, the remnant called the Church, must love her, and wish her well, and do what can be done to protect her. This is what keeps her friend, the United States of America, from breaking its promises to her of aid and support. God has promised a blessing on all who support His people, (Gen. 12:3) so we stand with this current nation of Israel, in spite of that sad fact that she continues to live without her God and Savior. But we are encouraged and delighted that there are those Jews who come to know their Messiah, Jesus Christ, in the blessing of Joel chapter 2,

Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the LORD your God, And there is no other; And My people will never be put to shame. It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

and those of us who have been grafted into the family of Abraham by the blood of the Lamb (Romans 11:17, 19, 23, 24) await alongside these “completed Jews” for the unfolding of the last days, however and whenever they arrive.

Even so come Lord Jesus!

[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]

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