The Election of Israel
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry
By: Darrell G. Young
The Abrahamic Covenant forms the basis for the doctrine of the election of Israel. Israel is widely regarded as Godís chosen people, and that assertion is not only appropriate, but is also fundamental to the providential plan of God to restore the world into a righteous fellowship with the Creator.
Genesis 12:1-3 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
This simple and concise statement in Genesis 12 forms the basis of the original agreement between Abraham and Jehovah. Biblical covenants involve promises on the part of each to the other. The concept of a covenant between God and His people is one of the most important theological truths of the Bible. By making this covenant with Abraham, God promised to bless Abrahamís descendants and to make them His special people. Abraham, in return, was to remain faithful to God and to instruct his progeny to serve as a channel through which God's blessings could flow to the whole world.
Godís covenant with Abraham further establishes and is evidence that God was acting in his Divine accord with a promise He made to Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:15) implies much more than a contract or simple agreement. A contract always has an end date, while a covenant is a permanent arrangement. Another difference is that a contract generally involves only one part of a person, such as a skill, while a covenant covers a person's total being.
The word for covenant in the Old Testament also provides additional insight into the meaning of this important idea. It comes from the Hebrew root word ďberiythĒ which means, "to cut," for the purpose of sanctifying a holy compact. This explains the strange Jewish custom of two people passing through the cut bodies of slain animals after making an agreement with each other, and why God caused the children of Israel to practice the ritual of circumcision.
The following verses by the prophet Isaiah convey the fact that Israel is indeed the foundational component of Godís election. The word ďsurnamedĒ used by Isaiah comes from the word ďkanahĒ and means to be granted a flattering title. Israel or Yisrael is the surname of the Lord, a name that God himself bestowed upon the posterity of Jacob, for the purpose of becoming a people separated unto himself. (see Deuteronomy 29:13 and II Samuel 7:23-25)
Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
Isaiah 65:9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
The purpose of the Divine election of Israel was stated to Father Abraham in the first three verses of Genesis chapter twelve: ďNow the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.Ē
This very same covenant (with its overriding purpose) was later confirmed to Isaac, the ďsacrifice-sparedĒ son of Abraham in Genesis 26. ďSojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
Later, God restated and reconfirmed the establishment of his covenant with Abraham to Jacob, (not Esau) the son of Isaac. (Genesis 28:1-4 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.)
In Genesis chapter 32:28 we find that Jacob wrestled with the Lord and the end result was that the Lord changed Jacobís name to Israel. This fact is reiterated again in chapter 35 and plainly and forever cojoins the name of Israel with the Abrahamic Covenant.
Genesis 35:10-12 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.
The passing of this blessing and land deed came down to Jacob (Israel) because, as the Bible plainly says, Esau despised his inheritance. (Genesis 25:30-34) Jacob, perhaps through prodding from his mother, Rebekah, schemed to bargain away the inheritance from Esau, (the firstborn & natural heir) but it is obvious that Esau cared very little for the world redemptive plans of God. Esauís main desire was for his own promotion, pride and self-welfare. Later Esau became angry at losing the tangible commodities of the blessing, ala the land, and its wealth, and the fact that he lost them by being upstaged by his younger sibling. (Genesis 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.)
It was the disrespect that Esau showed for the parallel, spiritual and providential things of God that compelled the Lord to declare the following: (Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.) (see also Hebrews 12:15-17) God viewed Esau as an unrepentant fornicator and a profane person that rejected Godís grace. Esauís sin amounted to the unpardonable sin If you think that God was somehow unjust in this episode with Esau, consider the fact that God, although Esau disobeyed the word of the Lord and took for himself wives of Canaan, still gave Esau the land of Mt. Seir, or Edom. (Genesis 36:8-43) God even ordered Israel not to tread upon the land of Esau when they came up from Egypt to possess the land of their inheritance. (Deuteronomy 2:4-5 And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore: Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.)
Thus, Esauís envy and spite toward Israel and toward Godís special relationship with Israel sowed the seed of enmity among his descendants and has ever since provided the backdrop for what has regenerated itself into the modern Middle East Conflict.
Godís Purpose For Electing Israel
A detailed examination of the Biblical record discloses that the following objectives were uppermost in Godís providential design for this world when he selected Israel:
ō God elected Israel and set them aside, or separated from the world as a special people to accomplish the mission of proclaiming to the world the absolute and literal existence of the overseeing Creator. (Isaiah 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.) (Deuteronomy 14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.) (Exodus 3:13-14 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.)
ō God elected Israel to proclaim to the world that as the God of Israel, (Jehovah) He is the one and only true God, and the God of Revelation who has revealed through Israel his purposes for the whole of mankind. (Isaiah 42:6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;) (Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.) (Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.)
ō God elected Israel to demonstrate to the world that the blessings to be derived from the God of Israel, is the only hope for our world. (Psalms 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.) (Psalms 146:5-6 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:) (Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:)
ō God elected Israel to become the writers and preservers of His Holy word. Virtually all of the writers of the Holy Bible were Jewish. In Christís day, the group of writings the Jews considered Holy was the writings called ďThe Scriptures.Ē They of course made up what we know today as the Old Testament. Jesus himself referred these scriptures as literally being the Word of God. Therein lies their credibility and authenticity. Had there be any error in the Hebrew scriptures, surely the Lord Jesus Christ would have pointed it out and corrected it when he was here, but to the contrary, Jesus regularly quoted The Scriptures, and used them to describe himself and his mission. Thus the nation of Israel was instrumental in Godís plan to inculcate the Word of God to mankind. Not only was Israel and the Jews entrusted with Godís inspired Word, they have served as Godís zealous guardians of that word. On many occasions, the Jews have suffered for their perseverance in defending the sanctity of the Scriptures, and yet they have preserved it intact. The tremendous influence of the Holy Bible upon the destiny of the world was made possible by the faithfulness of Godís chosen people. (Romans 3:1-2 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.) (Deuteronomy 4:5-9 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;)
ō God elected the nation of Israel to become His nation-prophet-priest ensign to all other nations of the world, and to become His channel of sending His blessings to all mankind. (Exodus 19:6 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.) Had God not selected the nation of Israel to become Heavenís conduit of prophet and priest, then the world would remain in darkness, and oblivious to the love of the Creator, and ignorant of His plans for this world.
ō God elected the nation of Israel to provide the genealogical vehicle through which the promised Messiah could be born. The story of the Bible is primarily a story of Godís plan to bring about the redemption of mankind. All the prophets of Israel speak of, and specifically herald the coming of the Messiah. The very first prophecy in the Bible is recorded in Genesis 3:15 and that prophecy, regarding the coming seed of Deliverance from sin establishes the basis for the rest of the Bible. Finally, in the days of Herod the Great, the Lordís salvation for mankind was born of the Jewish stock of David. (Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,(King Davidís Father) and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:)
Godís Election of Israel Denotes Godís Twofold Plan
The ultimate realization of the fulfillment of the providential objectives of Godís election of Israel rests on two premises.
∑ Godís purpose in the election of Israel was to use Israel to bring salvation to the Gentiles (the God of Israel was not to be merely a God for the Jews alone) (the Gentiles salvation will provoke the Jews to jealousy--Romans 11, and Acts 15)
∑ Godís purpose is still to save Israel and to restore Israel to her land (the number one theme of Bible prophecy is the restoration of Israel to her land, and finally for Israel to fulfill her role as the Lampstand of the nationsóBeulah Land, Isaiah 62, Micah 4)
Godís mission for Israel to the world as spelled out in the Abrahamic Covenant is inseparably linked with her possession and presence in her own land. (For this reason Satan is actively marshaling his forces to oppose Israelís possession of the Promised Land)
The uninterrupted possession of the land depended solely on Israelís capacity to exhibit faithfulness to the laws and statutes of God. While the possession of the land was considered conditional in accordance with Israelís obedience, the granting of the title deed over the land to Israel was never rescinded by God. That aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional.
The Abrahamic Covenant was a contract between two parties, but unlike a human contract, one of these parties was God himself. Therefore, the Abrahamic Covenant, was, and remains irrevocable, as God cannot lie.
Israel was twice exiled from the Promised Land, once by the Babylonians, and the second time by the Romans. God forewarned Israel of these historic circumstances over and over in the Scriptures if Israel failed to conform to the covenant which Israel had made with God. But the same God who issued these forewarnings also promised that He would see Israel brought back into her land, and that He would change her ways.
∑ The analogy of Israel and the dispossession of her Promised Land is often compared the following story. (A Father buys a new car and gives it to his young son. The Father says to the Son, this car is yours, I have recorded it in your name, and I pay the insurance for you, but you must exhibit a conformity to the driving laws of the State, or else your driving privileges will be revoked. Then, after losing his driving privileges, the Son is back to wandering about on his own on foot, and discovering the plight of being without the benefits of the car, and the good graces of his Father. Finally, at long last, after restitution, the Father makes provision for the Son to drive with a permit, eventually to be restored to a full driving license.) The point of this story is that the car remained the Sons car, he just didnít retain the privilege-right to drive the car anymore. But as soon as the Father agreed that the time had come for his Son to be restored privileges to the car, the car was still his for the driving. And so it is with the Promised Land. The land has always belonged to Israel, but because of disobedience, Israel lost possession of her heritage. But God the Father has always maintained that in His good time, that Israel would someday be restored to the land.
Today, we are witnessing the reality of God the Father bringing Israel back into her Own Land, and it forebodes that Israelís time of Testing is near at hand! As Israel undergoes her trials in the land, it is wise for the Christian world to remember that for Israel to accomplish her elected mission to the whole world, she needs to come to know the true Messiah. Israelís return to the land means that the Day of the Lord is near, and that the Messiah is soon to return.
Has God Un-elected Israel?
There is a popular myth known as replacement theology that teaches the notion that God has disassociated himself from the Jewish people and has basically annulled the Abrahamic Covenant. This teaching has lent itself to a theological credence to the promotion of anti-Semitism. The basic premise of this anti-Semitic teaching is that God has forever cast off the Jewish people because they killed the Son of God. But as Jesus Christ could find no home in this world, so too has it befallen the Jews that they have found no welcome and no home in the world that Jesus left behind 2000 years ago. As the Shepherd was smitten, so too have the sheep become scattered. (Zechariah 13:7)
In the 44th Psalm, the Scriptures declare the election of Israel to be a weight that has proven to be a heavy burden for Israel to carry. The world has given witness to that yoke.
Psalms 44:1-12 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out. For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah. But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies. Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves. Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen. Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price. Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people. My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me, For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger. All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way; Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death. If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. Yea, for thy sake (Godís) are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake.
So then, the hatred and denial of Israelís heritage is basically a hatred and a denial of Israelís God. And who stands to gain from the worldís anti-Semitism? It is none other than the Great Red Dragon of Revelation chapter 12. The world is all too ready to spit upon the Jews as the ďChrist-killersĒ but it must remember that the Jews were also the ďChrist-givers,Ē and that God is not finished with his chosen people. Yet the survival of a remnant of Jews for the last 2000 years and the survival of Israel today against insurmountable odds is evidence that God is undertaking a movement to answer the prayer in the last line of Psalms 44. (redeem us for thy mercies sake) The miraculous survival of the Jews was foretold in the Bible and is attributable to the unchanging Will of God and His unchanging election of Israel.
Godís unchanging election of Israel has been the method through which all men, from all nations may choose the salvation of God that was afforded to us through the man from Galilee. Israelís disobedience and its faltering in the land reflects the fact that we all, like sheep have gone astray, and have need of the Great Shepherd. And the great lesson is that whereas God will be faithful to his ancient covenant with Israel, He can also be trusted to be faithful to the covenant that he enacted out for Gentiles (and for Jews) on the Cross of Calvary.
From the biblical standpoint manís separation from God has resulted from his own willfulness, from his wish to substitute his own way for Godís way. For this reason the world has come to hate the Jew and Israel, because they represented Godís message to abandon the gods of this world, and to turn unto him. Like wise, the Christian Church has discovered a similar rejection in this world. Like Israel, (Leviticus 20:24) the Church has also been called of God to be separate from the world. (II Corinthians 6:17)
Godís punishment for mankind has been to leave him to his own devices, and to allow him to follow his own inclinations, and to be joined to the forces with the great adversary of Israel. History has been a continuous conflict between the God of Israel and the willful way of man to follow the god of this world. Yet, through Israel, and its Messiah, and finally through the Church, God has designed the course of the Ages to use his Scriptures and his Gospel to take a people for his name unto himself. However, Bible prophecy reveals that the restoration of Israel to their Own land signals that God is electing Now to bring the history of the world, and its rebellion to its climax!
Consider the following scriptures concerning Godís Covenant and the election of Israel:
I Samuel 12:22 For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.)
Deuteronomy 4:30-31 When thou (Israel) art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Leviticus 26:40-42 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
Psalms 105:6-10 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
Ezekiel 16:59-60 For thus saith the Lord God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant. Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.
An Election Lesson From Luke
Lest we conclude that the election of Israel is based solely on Old Testament scripture, let us analyze a little history lesson contained in the writings of Luke. Herein is contained the teaching that the Lord God Jehovah utilizing the nation of Israel visited his people and manifested a means of salvation unto the world as had been foretold by His prophets. (see Isaiah 2, 49, 50, 53, Zechariah 9 and 11, Psalms 22, and 69)
The overview of Lukeís reference points to the day when Israel will be saved from her many enemies. He alludes to the fact that the election of Israel, and her destiny to provide the Messiah has resulted in making her the most hated people in the world. Luke continues with the prayerful admonition of Israelís forefathers to beseech the Lord God to perform his promise to extend mercy to Israel, and to remember His holy covenant that He swore unto Abraham!
Luke 1:68-73 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation (Jesus) for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
The end result of Lukeís admonition is that Israel be brought around to the point where she could serve the Lord God without fear from her enemies, and that Israel in all holiness and righteousness serve Jehovah and be a blessing to the nations of the whole world for the rest of her days. (Luke 2:74-75) In essence Luke is recording for Israelís posterity, as so eloquently stated by Zacharias, that the child born in a manger of the virgin Mary would rise to become the salvation of Israel.
How the present world sees Israel is not decisive, nor is it conclusive. What really counts is how God views Israel and he has elected her to be saved out of the ongoing Middle East conflict. Ultimately, His verdict regarding His covenant people will prove itself right, but not without grave consequences for all the nations, as evidenced by their encircling, like buzzards around Israel in the tribulation. Every stage in Israel's history has been characterized by mistakes and downfalls, yet God has always adhered to His promises, and he has pledged to save her in her time of trouble. Even when Israel reached rock bottom and rejected her Messiah, the Lord said to her, "Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matthew 23:39). Jesus' words are proof that He has not rejected His people, but that they have an end-time destiny of restoration.
Israelís Election Remains the Focus of Prophecy
Almost every book of the Old Testament concerns itself with the prophecies regarding Israel's future. Among those prophecies are those that are yet to be fulfilled, such as the Messianic kingdom.
∑ The Old Testament Book of Genesis contains 50 chapters. Eleven of those chapters deal with the creation of heaven and earth, the creation of man, the fall into sin, the flood, the Tower of Babel and the development and spread of the nations. This is a relatively small space for such great themes. The other 39 chapters deal with Israel's history, beginning with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
∑ The Israel theme is continued in New Testament prophecy, where the way into the Messianic kingdom right up to eternity is described (see Matthew 23:39; 24-25; Acts 15:14-17; Romans 9-11 and Revelation).
For instance, Acts 3:19-21 says, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." The Jews did not repent at that time, but repentance will come when the Great Tribulation takes place. Then the Lord will return from heaven and fulfill the remaining prophecies (Daniel 7; 9:24; 12:1-3 and Zechariah 12:10-14).
God Identifies Himself with Israel
Matthew 25:40, 45 says; "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." When the Assyrian King Sanherib wanted to attack the kingdom of Judah and capture Jerusalem during the time of Hezekiah, God's answer to him: "Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel" (2nd Kings 19:22). The Lord made it clear through Zechariah that Israel was comparable to the apple of His eye; "he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye" (Zechariah 2:8).
If the nations of todayís world only knew whom they're up against when they defame Israel, and deny her election, and deny her legitimacy in the Promised Land!
Israel's Contrast to the Nations
Israel was chosen by God and was separated from the other nations for eternity. Israel possesses a primary position before all other nations of the world and this fact will remain so forever.
∑ The nations' borders are determined by the number of the sons of Israel: "When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel" (Deuteronomy 32:8).
∑ Jerusalem is the geographic center of all the nations surrounding her: "Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her" (Ezekiel 5:5).
∑ Israel is the center of the earth: "To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land" (Ezekiel 38:12).
∑ "And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, Lord, becamest their God. Therefore now, Lord, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said. Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee" (1st Chronicles 17:21-24; and16:14-17).
Israel is incomparable to the other nations of the world because of God's sovereign election. She serves His glory. The Name of the Lord will be exalted forever because He will not let His people fall. The hatred of God's enemies, however, is directed against this. Someone once wrote, "The roots of the Holocaust are deep, and from the beginning of the nation of Israel, attempts were made to exterminate her (Egypt). Being God's chosen people also means suffering, besides knowing the Most High and the experiencing of His blessing. A world that hates God must also despise His people. They cannot fight against God, so they attack His people". The fact that the above mentioned truths remain, that they retain their validity up to the present day is proven by the fact that at the return of Jesus Christ, God's judgment will come upon the nations. What are the godless nations in comparison to Israel? Here, too, the Bible does not leave us without an answer:
ē The Word of God also remains when all the voices against Israel have been silenced: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever"(Isaiah 40:8).
ē Jesus will return to redeem His people: "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young"(Isaiah 40:10-11).
ē Then the nations are described, "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?"(Isaiah 40:15;17-18, compare also to Psalm 62:9-10).
ō Over 2600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel point blank asked God if he had cast off the nation of Israel forever. He asked of God, "wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?" Ezekiel's question points to the heart of God's election of Israel. Go responds that although he has cast them to the far corners of the earth, that He will gather them back into their own land in the Last Days. God further pledges to Ezekiel that He will change the heart of Israel, and that he will become their God again.
Ezekiel 11:13-20 And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the
son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice,
and said, Ah Lord God! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel? Again
the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, thy brethren, even thy
brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they
unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord:
unto us is this land given in possession.
But in those Last Days, when Israel is being re-gathered to its own land, Israel will come under the most intense time of trouble the world has ever known. This era is known as the time of Jacob's Trouble. Jesus alluded to this period in his Olivet Discourse, and promised his elect nation that they would be saved.
Matthew 24:21-22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's (Israel) sake those days shall be shortened.
Then shall the peace of Israel will become the peace of the whole world. The word elect, and the idea of the election of Israel comes from the Hebrew word, "ekletos." It means chosen. Through God's election of Israel, peace is accorded to all who may "elect" to accept Jesus Christ (the King of the Jews) as their Savior and Lord.
The Election of Israel
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry
By: Darrell G. Young