Real Life Expository Study Devotional: How does God’s promise to Abraham affect believers in Jesus Christ today?

Day 25:  Benefit of their rejection.

 

‘‘I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness?’’ Rom. 11: 11 – 12.

Additional reading: Act.13: 46; 18: 6; Rom.10: 19.

The rejection of the Jews was based on their faithlessness — they thought that by observing the Laws of Moses and doing good things they could attain righteousness and inherit the Kingdom of God. However, if this was so, salvation will no longer be by grace but by works of flesh. Their rejection though temporary, paved the way for the Gentiles who had no knowledge of the gospel to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith, thus, attaining righteousness through grace.

‘‘What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel who pursued a law of righteousness has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works…’’ (Vv. 30 – 32 NIV).

The salvation of the Gentiles, thus, demonstrates that God has the right to do with man whatever He desired — the Jews were rejected because they rejected salvation through Jesus Christ preferring to stick to their ways. But the Gentiles, who had no previous dealings with God, received the gospel in faith and God brought them in as partakers of His divine nature and glory. No one can query God in this regard:

‘‘Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not!  For God said to Moses, ‘I will show mercy to anyone I choose and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.’’ (Vv. 14 – 15 NLT). Again: ‘‘No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ When a porter makes jar out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles, Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, ‘Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.’’ (Vv. 20 – 25 NLT).

In summary of the above, in God’s patience and expectant hope of the salvation of the Jews, God gave salvation to the Gentiles all because as the Creator of the ends of the earth, He has a right to do whatever He desires. This explains why Prophet Hosea said, ‘‘Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.’’ This is a direct reference to God’s salvation being extended to Gentile nations — those who were not God’s people have become His people by believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What then is the benefit of the fall or (temporary) rejection of the Jews? First and most important; all Gentile people that believe and will believe, have become God’s people and are loved by Him. Please read this: ‘‘I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness?’’ What do these verses mean?

‘‘I say then, Have they stumbled [ptaio … to trip, i.e. (figuratively) to err, sin, fail (0f salvation): – fall, offend, stumble] that they should fall [pipto … through the idea of alighting; to fall (literally or figuratively): – fail, fall (down), light on]? God forbid: but rather through their fall [paraptoma … a side – slip (lapse or deviation), i.e. (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression: – fall, fault, offence, sin, trespass] salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy [parazeloo … to stimulate alongside, i.e. excite to rivalry: – provoke to emulation]. Now if the fall of them be the riches [ploutos … wealth (as fullness), i.e. (literally) money, possession, or (figuratively) abundance, richness, (specifically) valuable bestowment: – riches] of the world, and the diminishing [hettema … deterioration, failure] of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness [pleroma … repletion or completion]?’’

This is in two parts: (1) ‘‘I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Have they (the Jews) sinned, erred or fallen short of salvation and never to rise or be restored again?  Definitely not! Rather, through their offence salvation has come to the Gentiles — to provoke them to jealousy — so that the Jews may emulate — follow the faith Gentiles have shown in God (2) Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness?’’ If the offence of the Jews will bring wealth, riches, money, possessions, abundance, etc, unto all people, what do you think the restoration (salvation) of the Jews would bring?

Check this out: ‘‘Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.’’ (NLT).

So, note that the rejection of the Jews is not permanent. It was to make a way of salvation for the Gentiles — people without God — people who did not know God. So that through the salvation of the Gentiles, the Jews will be provoked to jealousy — made to emulate the faith of the Gentiles or excited to rivalry with the Gentiles and be saved. The rejection of the Jews brought abundant wealth to the Gentiles. The restoration (fullness) of the Jews will bring much more.

In case you have forgotten, God promised Abraham: ‘‘I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.’’ (Gen. 12: 2 – 3 NIV). By simple faith in Jesus Christ, all Gentiles that believe become God’s children (spiritual Israel) and, therefore, partakers of the promises God made to Abraham years back — ‘‘…and all people on earth will be blessed through you.’’ This is the benefit of Israel’s rejection.

Meditation: How amazing that I benefit from God’s promise to Abraham years back!

Prayer: Let every word that You spoke concerning me through Abraham be real in my life.

Questions: (1) Have the Jews been rejected forever? (2) How does God’s promise to Abraham affect believers in Jesus Christ today?

 

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