Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fw: God and history

Romans 11:

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

"The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";
27 "and this will be my covenant with them

    when I take away their sins."

It's interesting that when God was in His temple ten of the twelve tribes of Israel broke away to make their own nation, only to be swept into captivity and never to be heard from again.  The remaining two tribes continued to keep the feasts and festivals and sacrifices of the law for a while and then, even they drifted into idolatry and away from God's law.  They were carried into exile, as well, by the Babylonians for 70 years but allowed to return by the Persian king Cyrus.  The nation of Israel came that close to complete disintegration.  Few, if any, cultures have maintained continuity for as long as Israel.  Having returned from that exile about 500 years before Christ, Israel had a renewed determination to rebuild the Temple and return to to God's law....and there have been two major results: (1) Jesus came from the line of David and the family of Judah, just as had been foretold and (2) The nation Israel persists to this day and God still has plans yet to be fulfilled through that nation.  As written in the passage from Romans above, "a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."  We are living in that time when the fullness of the Gentiles is being completed...the formation of the Church...those who have come to faith in the Lord by his grace.  Amazingly, though Israel has largely not come to faith yet they persist as a nation and a culture...they have not disappeared or dissolved though there are strong forces that seek their destruction.
God has preserved Israel for His purposes, which include their ultimate deliverance.  And this is a model for all...He has preserved your life and mine that we would come to the place of faith where we accept His covenant and have our sins taken away.  God will preserve what He chooses that His plans will be fulfilled...and no man or nation will alter that.
Rob Smith

"Death is inevitable.  Life is a choice!"

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."

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