Some Background on Israel and Why learn About Them
Oct 7, 2018 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
A. What’s the big deal about some unknown guy named Nehemiah going back home to a ruined city and rebuilding it?
B. Why waste time studying a nation that has consistently abandoned God and trashed their heritage and brought God’s judgment on themselves?
C. Let’s listen to Nehemiah’s own words as he prays… (Nehemiah 1:6,10)
1. Neh 1:6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
2. Neh 1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
D. Did you notice?
1. The nation of Israel, and its PEOPLE are
a. The Servants of God – key phrase in Scripture
b. AND they are the People of God – another key and important phrase
c. Not WERE, but still are today, even though lost and without Christ!
2. They are NOT just some obscure small group of forgotten people in ancient history like the Hittites, or Amorites, or the Canaanites, or the Girgashites, or the Jebusites.
3. No, these are the Israelites – a distinct people group still in existence, even though all other nations in history have come and GONE!
4. They, above all other nations ARE the elect of God! (Rom 11:28) “As concerning the GOSPEL they [the Jews] are enemies for your sakes, but as touching the ELECTION they [the Jews] are beloved for the father’s sakes.”
5. They are beloved of God – loved above all other peoples! (Deu 7:6) For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
6. And WE BIBLE believers have a duty to know what God is doing with them, and learn from them, and learn how we are to treat them, even today!
E. So, who are these people called Jews, and what is the world supposed to do with them?
A. The Jews are THE most hated people of all time – antisemitism goes way back
1. Example of Haman in the Book of Esther – attempted genecide of 2 million Jews
2. The Roman Catholic Church held the Jews responsible for killing Jesus – their crime was called, “Deicide” (God-killing). For 1900 years of Christian-Jewish history, the charge of deicide led to absolute hatred, and intense violence against and the murder of MILLIONS of Jews throughout Europe and America.
3. For 1900 years, the Jews were tolerated, and then driven from their homes, century after century – driven from one country to another
4. The Protestants were no better at treating the jews as the blame for every wrong
a. The black death was blamed on the Jews poisoning wells
b. Economic collapses were blamed on Jewish government officials
c. When children would go missing, people usually blamed and slaughtered Jews
d. Did you know that in the 1800’s historians were keen to rewrite the Bible and say that the Jews were not freed by God but were expelled due to their “nastiness”?
5. 100 years ago, European and even American governments basically wanted nothing to do with the Jews, until AFTER World War 2. Refugee ships filled with fleeing Jews were turned away from almost every port, driving them to a tiny patch of desert down in the Middle East that nobody wanted called Palestine.
6. Even born again Christians today pick up a bad spirit about the Jews – it is evil!
B. They have over 3,500 years of history as a distinct people group
1. They have seen the rise and fall of the following empires…
b. Assyria (Nineveh)
c. Babylon – these are all massive, Western hemisphere empires
h. And England
2. Israel, as a people has outlasted them all!
3. It is a verifiable miracle that they as a people still exist, and are in their own land (Gen 50:24) And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
4. That their language is still based upon the language of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, 4,000 years ago! ANCIENT HEBREW!
5. They are NOT going away folks!
C. Who and What is ‘Israel’?
1. Normally only think of Modern Israel (MAPS)
2. Israel is more than just LAND in the Middle East
3. They are God’s People
a. Exo 3:7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows
b. Exo 3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people [NOT YOUR PEOPLE MOSES, BUT MINE] the children of Israel out of Egypt.
c. Exo 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
d. Mat 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
4. People to whom God made many promises
a. For their Promised Land
1) Gen 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
2) Gen 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
b. That they would expand until they could not be numbered
1) Gen 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
2) Gen 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
c. That from them [the Jews] would come the Messiah for the world (Joh 1:29) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
5. Israel is specifically the descendants of a single man named JACOB – whose name gets changed to ISRAEL when he finally yields to God (Gen 35:10) “…thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.”
a. Let’s look at how GOD traces HIS attention on a specific line of people
b. Starting with Abraham
1) Had two sons
2) Ishmael and Isaac
3) Isaac was God’s promised son – a miracle conception and birth
1) Had two sons as well
2) Esau and Jacob
3) Esau threw away his birthright and it passed to Jacob
4) Esau never gets right with God
5) But Jacob does
6) Gen 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
1) Has 12 sons and one daughter
2) Reuben, the Simeon, and Levi all blow their opportunity to stand in the line of the Messiah
3) Only two left
4) Joseph (northern 10 tribes) and Judah
5) God chose Judah
6. Therefore, we have the special phrase, “God is the God of…”
a. NOT ENGLAND, or AMERICA, or IRELAND, but…
b. Abraham, Isaac, and JACOB – the God of ISRAEL
c. Gen 50:24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
d. Exo 2:24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
e. Exo 3:6 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.
f. Exo 3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
g. Exo 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:
h. Luke 20:37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
i. Act 3:13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
a. That PROVES that the descendants of Jacob are SPECIAL to God’s plan – they are the elect (Isa 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.
b. But that does NOT mean they are SAVED, converted, or predestined for heaven – the Jewish people actually are WICKED in many ways – almost always have been
1) Deu 9:6 Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.
2) Isa 1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
3) And today, Israel is a lot like Sodom!
4) Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies [Moses and Elijah] shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. JERUSALEM
c. It just means CHOSEN, selected for a GREAT purpose!
D. Two Kinds of Jews
1. There are physical Jews – an Outward Jew
a. All physical Jews, and even though scattered, they are still descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
b. There are Jews according to their flesh – genetic makeup
1) 1Co 10:18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
2) Gal 2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
c. Paul was a physical Jew
1) 2Co 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
2) Php 3:5,6 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. PAUL WAS A GOOD JEW
d. Physical Jews are still elect/specially selected for God’s plan
e. And are STILL a special People that God never just abandon – or replace – even though lost
1) That is what Replacement Theology tries to say
2) Saying that God replaced Israel with the Church!
3) And so the Roman Catholic and the Protestant churches have been killing and fighting like Old Testament Jews when we are NOT in their place at all!
4) No! Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Rom 11:28
f. But being a physical descendant of Jacob/Israel/Abraham will not get you into God’s kingdom
2. Believing Jews - An Inward Jew
a. God looks on the heart of the Jew and seeks MORE than outward works – more than sacrifices, and more than genetics!
b. He looks for repentant and believing Jews
1) Mat 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
2) Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
3) Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
4) Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
c. THAT is why God is able to look at the heart of a NON-Jew (a Gentile like us), and can find righteousness that we got NOT through our good works, but by faith in the Messiah (Romans 10:1-4) And Gal 3:26 For ye [GENTILES] are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
1) The Apostle Paul, and all the Apostles were believing Jews!
2) ALL Believing Jews are the elect WITHIN the elect
3) And we Gentiles get ADOPTED into that special place as well – just by believing
III. Preview of What We are Going to Study this Month from the Bible…
A. This morning we have learned, Who and What is ‘Israel’
B. Every Sunday 6pm Meeting (starting tonight) we will study about Israel in Romans chapter 9, 10 and 11
C. In two weeks, TEN Undeniable Truths About Israel
D. And then, God’s View of Israel and What He has Planned for Them
E. What are Christians and the Church Compared to Israel?
F. False and Heretical Doctrines About Israel
G. Don’t miss a single Church Service!
IV.Why Should We Care?
A. If you want to know God, you are going to have to look to the Jews (John 4:22) Jesus said, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” Believing in a JEWISH Saviour, that you read about in a JEWISH Bible!
B. Because the JEWS are the centre point of God’s attention – NOT us!
1. Deut 7:6 "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth…”
2. Deut 7:7,8 “The LORD did not set his love upon you [JEWS], nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: Because [SIMPLY BECAUSE] the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen…”
3. Deut 14:2 “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar [OUT OF STEP] people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”
4. Deu 32:9,10 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he [GOD] kept him as the apple of his eye.
C. Because they are to be watched and learned from, and not mocked and ignored (Romans 15:4)
1. Don’t spend all your time just in the New Testament!
2. Some one has said, "As goes the Jew, so goes the world.”
3. You watch Israel if you want to know what is going to happen in the near future. If you want to know what is going to happen to England; if you want to know what is going to happen to Germany, watch the Jew.
4. The reason I know there will not be any more great Germany is because of how they treated the Jews.
5. The reason that Spain is no longer a real world power, is because of how they treated the Jews for over 500 years during the Dark Ages. At one time Spain was the greatest nation on earth. Did you know that? But terrible massacres and persecutions swept across their boarders under Spanish brutality against the Jews!
6. Because ISRAEL is a warning to Ireland, to England, to Russia, to France, to China, to South America, Egypt, Asia, and Australia. It is a warning to every nation under heaven. The things that God did to the Jews, and worked out in the history of the Jews, God will work out in the life, in the activities of every other nation.
D. Because their mess-ups allowed US Gentiles to get saved (Romans 11:11-15)
E. And because everything is about to change, with Israel heating up and the antichrist coming into power in Europe, and the Jewish temple being rebuilt, and the Tribulation starting, whew!
F. And just before all that, there will be a special shout, heard only by born again believers, calling us out BEFORE all that hits the world!
G. And you had better be ready! The wrath of God on this entire sin-sick world is coming!
H. If you are NOT ready, not saved, not born again, you are doomed! Because, Jew or Gentile, Irish or German, French or English, Filipino or Romanian… JESUS said, you MUST be Born Again (John 3:3)