Spiritual Israel

(Romans 10:18-21)

Spiritual Israel. One nation under God.
Spiritual Israel. One nation under God.

When Jesus walked this earth He brought a message of hope for man, not just the people of Israel but for all of mankind. God had a plan for the people of this world and the message of Jesus Christ and the gospel of salvation was intended to unite the peoples of the world.

In early days God chose Abraham and promised him that his descendants would inherit the world. The children of Israel thus believed themselves to be a blessed people, and rightly so.

But they became arrogant and hard of heart. They rejected the ways of God and turned away from Him and their rejection opened the way for Jesus Christ to deliver His message of hope and salvation for the rest of mankind. And now we see that while God still speaks to Israel, it is no longer just the physical descendants of Abraham, but the children of faith who are spiritual Israel.

Disobedience of Israel

In the final verse of this section we see God's frustration and anguish with His chosen people, Israel. He says about them,

But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (Romans 10:21)

Israel walked away from God after He brought them into the land of Canaan as he had promised their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

When the people came into this land flowing with milk and honey, they saw an easier life and they turned away from God and followed after the idolatrous ways of the peoples of this land they had conquered.

They worshipped the false gods and idols of these foreign peoples. They rejected God as their lord and master and sought to have a man as king over them so they could be like the rest of the nations around them. They walked away from the laws, commandments and ordinances given to them by God, through Moses and chose to do their own thing instead and they called evil good and good evil.

Many times God sent prophets and righteous men to teach them the errors of their ways and to turn them around to repent and come back to Him. And many times they did repent and receive times of refreshing from God. But as time wore on they forgot and once again turned away and back to the ways of the world.

And thus we see the truth of the verse above. These were indeed a disobedient and contrary people.

It was time for change. It was time for a new way and a new chapter in the work of righteousness that God had planned since before the foundation of the world.

It was time for Jesus Christ to bring salvation to man.

The Message Goes Out

The message to physical Israel went just to the twelve tribes who were Israel and was later the message that continues to today in the hands of the Jews who represent only two and a half of the tribes of Israel.

But the message of Jesus Christ for salvation is the hope for the whole world, not just the physical children of Israel, but to all who seek God and desire to walk in the ways of righteousness.

And this message was not contained to one nation as is evident in these words from this section of scripture.

But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” (Romans 10:18)

This is the preaching of the gospel of hope that exists only in Jesus Christ. This is the message that has gone out to the ends of the earth. This is the dispersion of the message given by Jesus Christ that He instructed His disciples to spread across the globe so that all mankind would hear and believe and so be saved.

And so they did. The first disciples of the Lord spread throughout the known world todo the work of ministry and to give to mankind what they had received. The message of hope and reconciliation based on faith and available through grace.

And most amazing of all, they were not building an empire, as some churches seem to have done, but they were in the process of building the family of God. And at the same time they built a nation.

No Nation Who Are A Foolish Nation

But this was no ordinary nation for it was not founded upon anything of this world. This nation was not dependent upon a form of worldly government, or a racial descendancy, or a geographical place with boundaries separating it from other nations.

No. This nation was not like the first Israel who although being the chosen nation of God sought to be like the rest of the nations of the world.

This new nation crossed physical, racial, geographic and governmental boundaries and became the spiritual nation of Israel who are governed by God and who have Jesus Christ as their King of kings and Lord of lords.

And we see here that these people did not coming looking for nationhood, but they received it anyway. And we see also that physical Israel became jealous of this new nation who are the spiritual nation of Israel.

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.” 20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” (Romans 10:19-20)

Who are they who found God and yet did not seek Him? Who was it that found God and to whom God showed Himself when they were not seeking Him? These are the peoples of the world. The Gentiles and all who sought Jesus Christ and the way of salvation by faith and at the same time found the true God of Israel.

And why were the peoples of the physical Israel jealous? Because all of the promises to Israel and the favor of God was transferred to these new God-fearing peoples who came to Him through Jesus Christ, contrite in their hearts, humbled under the mighty hand of God and faithful to His word.

And so jealous was the physical nation of Israel that they tried to end the ministry before it began. They killed the author of life, Jesus Christ. They persecuted His disciples, imprisoning and killing some of them too in their attempts to shut down this ministry and to try to keep the promises of God for themselves.

But they could not quiet this message of salvation. So powerful is this message that it continues to spread and bear fruit down to this day.

In the world today marked by images of terror, destruction, disease, man's inhumanity to man, violence, hatred, greed and worse, never has the message of Jesus Christ and the hope He offers been more relevant and more needed.

And so the spiritual Israel continues to grow. The family of God continues to expand as the message is spread by word of mouth and now through the World Wide Web. This nation that is not a nation grows and becomes a brotherhood of man in the body of Jesus Christ as we are built into the house and kingdom of God.

His mercy and His grace are upon us and available to all who will listen and come to Him. And by faith we all come into this new kingdom of God and this spiritual people of Israel and so all of Israel will be saved.

(Photo sourced from free images.com provided by Mateusz Stachowski)

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