Did God really say?
Hello Chosen of the Lord,
Did God really say? Yes He did! If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then the Word of God is your standard. The Word of God, written by Holy Spirit through men, is truth (2Tim. 3:16; 1Pet.1:20-21). In the pages of the Bible is found the history of the world and humanity from its creation to its consummation. It is the truth of our existence as people on planet Earth. It is also the truth of a Creator God who desires to have a relationship with His creation, despite the fact that His creation doesn’t really want a relationship with Him. By chapter 3, in the opening pages of this book, written by God, called the Bible, we are exposed to our own history as a people – a history that reveals the creation rejecting their Creator. Created humans were given one rule to follow, and through the deception of an adversarial foe, were unable to obey that one rule. That devil, that accuser and deceiver, planted a seed of doubt in the humans that God might actually be withholding something “good” from them. The doubt made them question the very words of God: “Did God really say?”. Friends that is the root cause of all the problems in the world – the moment we question God and His word, we ultimately say, “God You are wrong, and we know better than You!” Knowing that the tempter is always there to tempt us away from God, we continue to take the bait and suffer the consequences for our actions. ‘We exchange the truth of God for a lie, suppress it by our wickedness, and neither glorify Him as God nor give thanks to Him, and our thinking becomes futile and our foolish hearts are darkened’ (paraphrase of Rom. 1:18-21). In this condition, we shake our fist at God and tell Him that we, the creation, will decide our own destiny and live our lives without our Creator, ultimately becoming our own gods and discarding the Word God gave us for living abundant fruitful lives. This is the sad reality in which we find ourselves today – a reality of godlessness, lawlessness and wickedness, in which everyone is their own master and lord, and everyone does what is right in their own eyes, no matter who it hurts. Yet, God in His great love and mercy, continues to reach out to His creation, providing a way to be reconciled back to Him, through the shed blood of His Son, who atoned for our rebellion and wickedness, by dying on a cross, providing redemption and restoration of what creation had destroyed – an Eden-like existence with a loving Creator.The Bible is a book of redemption – from chapter 3 of Genesis on, it is a story of a loving God trying to redeem a people for himself who love Him for who He is. It is a book that describes the journey from a rejected Edenic existence to a heavenly future where the restored Eden is ultimately a people and their God living in harmony and love – “I will be their God and they will be my people” (Rev. 21:1-7).
The means to that end, from rebellion to restoration, is found in the story of the Israelites – a chosen people through whom God will display His love, and bring about the Redeemer, His Son to redeem all that would come to Him by faith. God makes the first move towards restoration, and humanity has the free will to choose whether they want that relationship restored, on God the Creator’s terms, not theirs. The whole process starts with God choosing a people. Starting with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; Gen. 15:5-7, 18-21; Gen. 17), Isaac (Gen. 26:1-5) and Jacob (Gen. 28:13-15), God establishes a covenantal agreement to create a people, bless that people and give that people a parcel of land in order to display His love and faithfulness to the rest of the world. And out of that chosen people, God will bring about a Redeemer who will reconcile all of humanity back to God. God chooses Israel out of love: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” (Deut. 7:6-9). This covenant is an everlasting covenant (Gen. 17:19): “He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit’”(Psalm 105:8-10). God repeats this truth over and over again through His prophets. He has promised Israel a land, and He will fulfill His promises, because His word is true! If God says it, He will do it. The land of Israel is Israel’s land because it is God’s land and He gave it to them. He really said it! Jesus will soon return and plant His feet on that land (Zech. 14:4) and be the God of His people. “All Israel” will be saved through Christ (Rom. 11:16-31), and they will be His people once more (Rev. 7:4-8). As God has decreed, so it will be done:“I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. ‘This is what the Lord says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them.’” (Jer. 32:37-42)
As followers of Jesus who love God’s word, we know that God has a plan for His people Israel. Hundreds of scriptures could be cited that declare a future for Israel! The church has not replaced Israel, it is an extension of the people of God, the chosen people, the treasured possession. Our Messiah is Jewish as was much of the early church. God is bringing many Jews to himself in this day, and many are returning to the land God promised them in ‘Aliyah’. We are reminded of Zechariah’sprophecy, “They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son” (Zech. 12:10). Isaiah writes, “The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’ They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted” (Isa. 62:11-12). The valley of dry bones will be resurrected, born again unto new life by the power of Holy Spirit, and Israel will inhabit her land (Ezekiel 37:1-14). And in the consummation, the bride of Christ, made up of Jews and gentiles will inhabit the “New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21). It’s God’s land; it’s God’s people! God really said it!
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