The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
In his book “The Knowledge of the Holy,” A. W. Tozer wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Tozer was not saying that God is the sum of all our speculations about Him. He was saying that what you think about God determines how you relate to God. For example, do you picture God as fickle and subject to change just as you and I are subject to change? Even though God has promised to redeem your soul on the basis of faith in Christ, even though He has promised to give you a resurrection body, even though He has promised He will never leave you or forsake you, can you really trust Him to follow through on His promises? That question is at the heart of Romans 9-11.
At first, those of us who are Gentiles think the subject of the salvation of Israel is irrelevant to us. Why should we care about God’s promise to Israel? The real issue is the faithfulness of God. If God can break His promise to Israel, then how do we know He won’t renege on the promises He has made to you and me? That is why what happens to the Jew is important to you.
When you read the Bible, it is obvious that Israel was God’s chosen people. God chose the nation of Israel to be an object lesson for all the world to see of what He would do through a people who were totally committed to Him. In Deuteronomy 7:6, God said to the Israelites, “You are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” God chose to bless Israel unlike any other nation, and He also said that Israel, in turn, would bless the entire world. In Genesis 12:3, He said to Abraham, “In you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” That is exactly what happened. Israel was a spiritual blessing to the nations. The Old Testament prophets were Jewish. The Jews received, recorded, and preserved the Scriptures. The Jews were the channel of God’s message of grace to the entire world. Now here is the question: What has happened to the Jews? Why have the majority of Jews turned their backs on the gospel?
Some would say, “It is because the gospel of Christ is not for the Jew.” But when people say it is somehow anti-Semitic to try to introduce a Jew to faith in Jesus Christ, they forget that the gospel did not originate with the Gentiles; it originated with the Jews. Jesus was a Jew. All the apostles were Jews. Paul, the greatest missionary the world has ever seen, was of Jewish descent. Some people say, “God has two covenants, two ways to be saved. One way is for Gentiles, which is through faith in Christ. But God still has a special arrangement with the Jews whereby they can be saved by keeping the Old Testament Law.” No. That is heresy. Read the book of Galatians. Paul said there are not two covenants. There is only one covenant, one way to be saved both for Jews and for Gentiles, and it is through faith in Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Why The Jew Is Important To You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.