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Restored to Israel
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Modified from Irving L.
Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's
Survey of the NT"
We begin a very, very exciting chapter.
I am simply going to entitle the study of this chapter, "Is God through
with Israel?" That is going to be the main topic of Romans 11. It doesnít
look good for the nation of Israel when it comes to salvation by faith.
God has allowed the Gentiles to come in. The churchóthe parenthesis
between the 69th and the 70th week of Danielóhas been flooded by the
Gentiles. They are accepting this righteousness by faith. It doesnít take
much for a Gentile to understand that he is a sinner and that he canít
live up to it. He has not had the benefit of what Israel has had. But that
brings up the question, "Is God through with Israel? Since Israel has
rejected Him and His offer, since all the blessings have been laid in
front of them and they have turned their backs on it, has God rejected
We are entering a very controversial subject. I want you to know from the
outset, it will be immediately clear as to where I am in the midst of this
controversy. I am on the side of those who believe God has not finished
with Israel yet. I will try to explain to you why. If we disagree, then
letís continue to believe that God, the Holy Spirit is the same in both of
our lives. Whoever is wrong, God will bring us into a unity. But I
definitely, adamantly stand that God is not finished with Israel. He has
promised certain things to them that He as God is faithful to perform. God
will bring those things to pass.
I read an illustration of something that happened over a hundred years
ago. The King of Prussia was talking to the chaplain of his army and said,
"Listen, can you give me one word that would somehow, in some way,
validate the inerrancy of Godís Word, that would validate the fact that it
is the truly inspired scripture?" The chaplain looked back at him and
said, "Absolutely, with no problem whatsoever." He was sort of taken back
and said, "Well, what is that word?" The chaplain said, "Israel. Israel.
Look at it. It is from the first part of Genesis all the way through the
book of Revelation. Israel. Israel. Israel. You pick up your papers today
and you will recognize the smallest country in the world is the very
center of everybodyís attention right now. It is the focus. Everything
seems to somehow revolve around Israel. Israel. Israel. You say, "Well,
they rejected His offer of righteousness by faith." That is true. You are
going to see today that there has never been a time in Israelís history
that they have not rejected God and rebelled against God. Moses said that
they were stiff-necked, rebellious people. The First Baptist Church of the
Wilderness! They were that way from the very beginning and it has never
been any different.
Listen to their history. In a great sin against God they said, "We want a
king. We donít want a prophet." Do you know what that is equal to? Israel
was saying, "We donít want you, God, to rule over us. We want man to rule
over us." That was a terrible sin of rejection to Godís leadership in
their nation. The prophet Samuel said these words after God had said to
him, "Samuel, donít be distraught. They have not rejected you. They have
rejected Me as being King of their lives." Then Samuel the prophet said
this to the nation of Israel: "And Samuel said to the people, do not fear.
You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the
Lord. But serve the Lord with all of your heart, for the Lord will not
abandon His people on account of His great name [Not on account of them,
but on account of His great name] because the Lord has been pleased to
make you a people for Himself."
Listen to Nehemiah. Nehemiah is talking about a time in Israelís life when
they got into prosperity and turned away from God. That sounds like the
Gentile world of today, doesnít it? They turned away from God and turned
to their prosperity and blessings. Well, God would have to raise up an
enemy to punish them. When He did, they would be chastened for a while,
but as soon as the punishment drifted off, they would immediately go right
back to the same sin. It was almost like a cycle. They just kept going
Nehemiah brings that account to our attention beginning in
But they became
disobedient and rebelled against Thee and cast Thy law behind their
backs and killed Thy prophets who had admonished them that they
might return to Thee. And they committed great blasphemies.
Therefore Thou didst deliver them into the hand of their oppressors
who oppressed them, but when they cried to Thee in the time of their
distress, Thou didst hear from heaven, and according to Thy great
compassion Thou didst give them deliverers who delivered them from
the hand of their oppressors. But as soon as they had rest, they did
evil again before Thee; therefore Thou didst abandon them to the
hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them. When they cried
again to Thee, Thou didst hear from heaven, and many times Thou
didst rescue them according to Thy compassion, and admonished them
in order to turn them back to Thy law. Yet they acted arrogantly and
did not listen to Thy commandments but sinned against Thine
ordinances, by which if a man observes them he shall live. And they
turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not
listen. However, Thou didst bear with them for many years, and
admonished them by Thy Spirit through Thy prophets, yet they would
not give ear. Therefore Thou didst give them into the hand of the
peoples of the lands. Nevertheless, in Thy great compassion Thou
didst not make an end of them or forsake them, for Thou art a
gracious and compassionate God.
That is who we are dealing with here, folks, a
gracious and a compassionate God.
I submit to you that God has not changed His
methods, nor His final objective for the nation of Israel. Listen to
the prophet Isaiah in
"For this is
like the days of Noah to Me; when I swore that the waters of Noah
should not flood the earth again, so I have sworn that I will not be
angry with you, nor will I rebuke you. For the mountains may be
removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be
removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken," says
the Lord who has compassion on you. "O afflicted one, storm-tossed,
and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and
your foundations I will lay in sapphires. Moreover, I will make your
battlements of rubies and your gates of crystal, and your entire
wall of precious stones. And all your sons will be taught of the
Lord; and the well-being of your sons will be great. In
righteousness you will be established; you will be far from
oppression, for you will not fear; and from terror, for it will not
come near you...no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper;
and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This
is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication
is from Me," declares the Lord.
That is exactly what Paul is trying to
tell us. God has not forsaken His people. God has promised His people
certain things. God is going to carry that out regardless of the fact that
they have rejected Him. He has not rejected them. Now there is a big
difference there. I want you to see five witnesses to the fact that God
has not finished with Israel yet.
Again this is my case. I am stating it. If you disagree with me, that is
your prerogative. Letís donít break fellowship over it, just keep praying
for one another. The word of God is the authority and I want you to
remember that. Much of the argument about this chapter, that God is
finished with Israel, did not come from peopleís individual search for
truth in Romans. It came from a seminary classroom. It came from a tape
that we have listened to. It came from a favorite speaker who spoke on
that topic. But friend, letís just let the word say what it says. If I am
wrong, I am wrong. If you are wrong, then be wrong. Is God finished with
I want to show you two things out of five this time. There are three more
yet to come. First of all, the Apostle Paul in verse 1 begins by
establishing the pattern by which God will bring Israel to Himself. Again,
this is my view but I want to share it with you. The first sentence
answers the whole question whether the church has replaced Israel, which
many people are saying. Verse 1 says, "I say then, God has not rejected
His people, has He? May it never be!" I donít know how much simpler you
can get. God has not rejected His people, has He? Now, who are His people?
You have to look at the context. In chapters 9 and 10 we are dealing with
Israel. Here God is speaking to a Gentile audience to let them see that
they should never be arrogant and not miss the point of Godís intervention
in Israelís life and of Godís love for these people. Has God rejected His
people? May it never be!
The term "rejected" is the term that means to cast away from, to throw
out. It is in aorist middle. Has God chosen on His own to throw Israel
out? Has He replaced Israel with the church? Now in a sense that is right
because we are spiritual Israel and that was the design God had, even with
Abraham, that it be by faith. We are a part of that tree that grew up out
of the root of faith. And so, therefore, in that sense we are a part of
spiritual Israel, but we are talking about the nation of Israel. Has God
taken the nation of Israel, thrown them out and replaced them with the
spiritual Israel, the church today? Well, letís just see.
Paul says, "May it never be!" The nation of Israel is still the focus of
God, in the plan of God. God has a future planned for them. Paul says
something about himself here. This is interesting to me, and I want to
take some time with it. Have you ever wondered about the conversion of
Paul? Watch this. Paul says in 11:1, "For I too am an Israelite, a
descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin." He is writing to the
church at Rome, and there were obviously many proselyte Jews there. A
proselyte Jew is a Gentile who later on in life decides that he wants to
convert over to Judaism. He goes through the rituals, particularly the
ritual of circumcision, and is brought in. Paul said, "I just want you to
know, I am pure blood from Israel." He says it even better in Philippians
3 when he says, "I was circumcised the eighth day," which was the custom
for male children. He says also, "I was of the tribe of Benjamin," the
same thing he says here. He says, "I was a Pharisee of the Pharisees." He
said, "I was a descendant, of course, of Abraham." He said, "According to
the law I was found blameless." In other words, Paul is identifying
himself here. "If God is through with the nation of Israel, wait a minute,
I am an Israelite. I am of Abraham." He says, "I am also of the tribe of
Benjamin, the most beloved one of all the tribes."
Now, what is he saying? Is he saying that because he is a Jew by birth, an
Israelite, his conversion proves that God is not finished with Israel? I
donít think that is exactly what he has in mind here. I donít think Paul
is saying, "The fact that I am saved is proof that God is not finished
with Israel." For the first eight chapters of Acts, the whole church was
made up of converted Jewish people. You donít get to the Gentiles until
you get past chapter 8. So we know that there is something going on here.
I think he is saying, "The way I was converted sets the pattern for the
way God one day will bring Israel to Himself."
Now, if you think about Israel, remember they rejected Godís plan of
righteousness by faith. What does it mean to be an Israelite who is as
adamant and disobedient and obstinate as chapter 10 says they were? Well,
letís just take a man by the name of Saul who later became Paul. Letís
just take him before he got converted. He was schooled by Gamaliel, the
greatest teacher of the Law ever in the city of Jerusalem, from the time
he was about 12 years old. He was born and raised in Tarsus of a Jewish
family. Here was a beautiful picture of exactly what Israel was, adamantly
against righteousness by faith. That is why he says in
Philippians 3, "according to the Law
found blameless." Paul was a man who was working his way into the kingdom,
a man who was sold out on all that Israel represented.
God changed Saulís life. Have you ever thought about that? Let me just
walk you through this just for a second. In
1 Corinthians 15:8 look what Paul says
about his salvation experience, not the fact that he was saved, but the
things about the way he was saved. It says, "And last of all, as it were
to one untimely born, He appeared to me also." Now "untimely born" means
born out of season. What does this mean? Is he talking about the fact that
he was an apostle born out of season? I am certain that could be true
because they cast lots and Matthias was the 12th disciple. But did God
have Paul in mind and should he have been the 12th one? Could he be
saying, "I am an apostle born out of due season?" Certainly that has
tremendous weight. But wait a minute, "As one born out of season, an
Israelite born out of season, sold out to everything Israel is sold out
to, absolutely totally focused on the fact that righteousness is by works,
not by faith. One untimely born."
You know, three times in the book of Acts Luke mentions the conversion of
Paul. Why? Why does he keep bringing it up? Well, in
1 Timothy 1:16 look at what he says. "And
yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost
[the first one], Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as
an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life." Now let
me just suggest something to you. The word "example" there in that
passage, hupotuposis, is a word that means exact pattern. If
I was an artist and I was going to draw a picture and I had a sketch of
what I was going to draw, that sketch has got to be exact. I mean,
absolutely exact. I have something here that I am going to draw by. I am
going to make sure that every detail here is exact to this detail because
this is correct, this is the pattern, this is the example.
Now if you took the fact that Paul was saved by grace and by the mercy of
God, which he was, and that was a pattern for other people who came to
know the Lord, whether Jew or Gentile, it falls short. If it is an exact
pattern, if it is something that everyone is measured by, something is
missing. For instance, how many people do you know who were stopped in a
road and blinded for three days for God to get their attention? Then he
was sent off into the desert for three years and taught by the Holy Spirit
of God. If it is an exact pattern, then something has got to fit here. If
everything else has to match the sketch, then what is he saying? He is not
saying, "It is the fact that I am saved that proves God is not finished
with Israel yet." How many people do you know who have been to the third
for more discussion of
The Third Heaven). We only have two specifically recorded, and that was Paul and the
apostle John. John got to write the book of Revelation, which was the
account of his going into the third heaven. But you see, the things that
happened to Paul are so uniquely different than could never be the sketch,
could be the pattern for others that were going to come to know the Lord
Jesus, unless you just milked it down and said it was only by grace and
the mercy of God. That applies to all of us.
What is he saying? I donít think it is the fact that he was saying just
what he was thinking. I think if you are talking about the way he was
saved, with that being a pattern for the way that God one day will get
Israelís attention and turn them to Himself, that makes a ton of sense.
Paul says, "I am an Israelite. I am of the tribe of Benjamin, a descendant
of Abraham. God is not finished with Israel yet because I am one who was
born untimely. I was one whose salvation was a pattern, was an example for
those who would later come to know Him for eternal life." You see, we know
something about Israel that others donít know. We know from the word of
God in the book of Zechariah that God is going to take one third of the
nation of Israel and save them at the end of the 70th week of Daniel, that
terrible time, especially the last three and a half years, the great day
of our Lord, the great time of tribulation. And at the end of that time,
the end of the fire and all the things that happen, God is going to bring
a people and turn them to Himself. They are going to suddenly realize that
it is Jesus and He is the one who they have slain.
Zechariah 12:10. Here Zechariah is
talking about the future. This has never taken place in the life of
Israel. He says in
verse10, "And I will pour out on the
house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace
and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced;
and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will
weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born. In that
day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadad
Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land will mourn, every family by
Zechariah13:1 continues, "In that day
a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants
of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity."...
13:6 "And one will say to him, ĎWhat
are these wounds between your arms?í Then he will say, ĎThose with which I
was wounded in the house of my friends.í"
Do you see what he is talking about here? It says in verse 7, "ĎAwake, O
sword, against My Shepherd, and against the man, My Associate,í declares
the Lord of hosts. ĎStrike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered;
and I will turn My hand against the little ones. And it will come about in
all the land,í declares the Lord, Ďthat two parts in it will be cut off
and perish; but the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third
part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as
gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will
say, "They are My people," and they will say, "The Lord is my God."í"
God says to Israel there is going to be a day in the future that He is
going to establish them in righteousness. That has not yet taken place.
The righteousness they are pursuing right now is by works and it is a
false righteousness, but one day He will establish them in righteousness.
One day He will save one third of Israel in the land and bring them
through the fire, through the difficult times that we are talking about.
Then they will turn to Him and call Him their God and He will call them
His people. Has God thrown Israel away because Israel as a nation has
rejected God? I think not. And the Apostle Paul, to me, is the pattern by
which God will bring a nation to Himself. He stopped a man who was the
epitome of what Israel is, stopped him in his tracks and turned him around
and saved him. He will do the same thing with the nation of Israel. God
could do it today, but God does what He does in the appointed times that
He Himself has appointed. I believe Paulís dramatic conversion, the way in
which he was saved, sets the pattern for Israel later on.
You may say, "Well, I canít buy that." Alright, letís push that argument
aside. We come to argument number two. The second argument I want to share
with you is, we have the persistence of God with Israel. I hear people say
and have read theologians who come up with the idea that Israel has
rejected God. Now what is new about that? When has there been a time in
Israelís history that they have not rejected God? They are a stiff-necked,
rebellious people. They have rejected God through their whole history and
just because they rejected Christ in the present time when Paul is writing
does not mean that God uses that rejection to throw them away. God has
made promises to them.
What Paul does is he takes you back to those difficult times and difficult
judgments that God has already made on Israel and shows you that even in
the midst of those judgments that sound so severe, God persistently has
kept for Himself a remnant out of Israel. He has always had a people,
folks. He has always had a people.
Romans 11:2: "God has not rejected His
people whom He foreknew."
I love that. God foreknew us and God
also foreknew Israel. Remember back in chapter 9 we saw that not all
Israel is Israel. We know that the true root is based on faith because
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob become the first-fruits. Then out of Isaac came
the nation of Israel. So we know then that he is not talking about all of
Israel, but He foreknew those.
Now foreknowledge certainly means that God knew ahead of time those who
would respond to Him by faith, but I think it probably has an even more
mysterious meaning. God entered into a relationship with them long before
they ever existed and nothing is going to stop that relationship for all
of eternity. Remember, God never ever prepared a man for destruction. Man
prepares himself for destruction. He hardens his own heart. God just
finishes the process. But when it comes to salvation, folks, it is God who
prepared the vessels of mercy. He knew us before we ever knew Him. He
chose us. No man comes to Jesus except the Father draws him.
By the way, let me just share a thought on that. I was in a meeting one
night sharing that, that no man comes to Jesus except the Father draws
him. I was kind of confused as to how to explain that because you are
getting into realms that I donít have the words for. A man came running to
me at the end of the message and said, "Praise God, son, praise God." I
said, "For what?" I thought I had confused the whole bunch. He said, "Oh,
I know today that I am chosen." I said, "How did you know? How did you
know?" He said, "Oh, because I am drawn. I am drawn. The drawing showed me
that I was chosen because no man comes to Jesus except the Father draws
him." What a beautiful picture he drew for me.
God foreknew Israel. He foreknew. He always had a remnant for Himself.
Well, Paul goes back to the time of Elijah. What a great time to go back
to because at the present time when Paul was writing this, it didnít look
good for Israel. But I want to tell you something, back in Elijahís time,
it looked even worse for Israel. He recites this. He is trying to
logically bring people to understand that just because the judgments of
God have been severe upon Israel, just because Israel has rejected and
rebelled as according to their own history, it still does not mean that
God has finished with them. For God has always had a remnant in His
Romans 11:2 "Or do you not know what
the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God
against Israel?" Elijah is having a bad day. He said, "ĎLord, they have
killed Thy prophets, they have torn down Thine altars, and I alone am
left, and they are seeking my life.í" Have you ever felt that way? "I am
the only one, Lord. I am the only one who loves You."
God says something back to him that sort of pops his bubble in verse 4.
"But what is the divine response to him? ĎI have kept for Myself seven
thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.í" Elijah, you only
missed it by 6,999. Yeah, you are one of them, but I have 6,999 more. He
mentions only men, not necessarily others.
So then, we have then the fact that God had a remnant. In the bleakest
hour of Israelís history, when they had killed the prophets and they had
rebelled against God, God still kept for Himself 7,000. The word "kept"
is kataleipo, which means to reserve. It is in the aorist
active indicative. God did it and takes all responsibility for His
actions. He did it in the midst of a difficult time.
Paul is reminding us of the history of Israel. It has always been bleak
when it comes to the nation of Israel. That is why Moses said what he said
about those people. From generation to generation it was like one cycle
after another of rebellion and rejection. But in the midst of all the
judgments, in the midst of all the punishments, God kept for Himself a
remnant. So just by the fact that Israel has rejected God does not in any
way mean that God has rejected them. At no time has the nation of Israel
been true to God and to His plan of righteousness by faith. But this
remnant has been saved by Godís grace. Remember, never was that remnant
according to any work that they did. These were those who by faith it was
reckoned unto them as righteousness.
Romans 11:5: "In the same way then,
there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to Godís
gracious choice." He reaches all the way back to Elijahís day and the time
of Israel and brings them right up to the present and said, "You see, even
right now in Israel, who has rejected Godís plan of righteousness by
faith, He still has a remnant. I am one of them, even right now. Times
havenít changed much."
Romans 11:6 goes on, "But if it is by
grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer
You know what? Some people can even
make faith a work by thinking that it is their faith that saves them. No,
it is your faith in the grace that God extends to you. It is not your
faith, it is His grace and His faithfulness. By faith you turn and cry out
for that. I hear so believers who donít even understand this. There are
believers who are still trying to live as if it is up to them. They get in
a pit of despair and they try to crawl out of that pit. Have you ever
tried to crawl out of a pit of despair? Let me tell you something that
works a little bit better. Cry out to Him and let Him by His grace lift
you out of that pit! There is a huge difference in you crawling out and
God delivering you from the pit. You see, that is what grace is. It is
what God can do, not what man can do.
Well, God saved a remnant by His sovereign grace during a time when it
seemed no one believed in God. But what about the others? What about that
part of Israel that didnít believe God? Did anything happen to them? The
judgments are clear, and Paul brings this out. He says in
Romans 11:7, "What then? That which
Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen
obtained it, and the rest were hardened." His point is that those that God
always had in the midst of the hard times, the remnant, were chosen. God
has done that all the way through to the end. The rest were hardened.
Romans 11:8 gives a pretty bleak picture
of how God has brought His judgment upon Israel as a whole nation because
of their rejection of righteousness by faith. Not because of their zeal,
not because of their sincerity, but because of their rejection of His plan
of righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus. Verse 8 says, "just as it is
written, ĎGod gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to
hear not, down to this very day.í" "A spirit of stupor" is the idea of
numbness, the feeling you may get after youíve been stung by a bee.
The idea is that Israel chose to reject the goodness of God. It was laid
in front of them. Therefore, in a sense, God stung them and numbed them.
The way He numbed them was, He blinded them and deafened them to the very
thing that they had right in front of them. Look at what Paul says in
Corinthians about the law of Moses. There is a veil. Why? Because the law
puts you into a different framework of thinking. You think you can work
your way into righteousness. No, you canít. Therefore, you are blinded
when you look at it that way. But when you recognize you canít and turn
the other way, you can see the grace that God has in Christ.
Now watch verse 9: "And David says, ĎLet their table become a snare and a
trap, and a stumbling block and a retribution to them." Paul does this a
Romans 9-11. He goes back to the Old
Testament, but he doesnít teach out of the context of the Old Testament.
He takes a thought that they had, runs up to the New Testament and applies
it to what he is saying. He was such a scholar of the Old Testament
scriptures, writing to people who also knew them. He takes
Psalms 69:22-23 and summarizes it into
four words. But let me just read
Psalms 69:22-23 for you: "May their table
before them become a snare; and when they are in peace, may it become a
trap. May their eyes grow dim so that they cannot see, and make their
loins shake continually."
What is the table? The table is the table of blessing. Any time you set
the table before someone, you are thinking of the blessings that God has
given. In the context, I would think that it was all that the prophets had
shown them of the marvelous spiritual blessings that they had. What a
privileged people! He says, "Let their table that has been set before
them, all that has been clearly given to them that they have rejected,
become a snare and a trap and a stumbling block and a retribution." Boy,
what a word picture he draws for you.
The word for "snare" is really the word "trap." The word
pagis is the word for trap, meaning for something to suddenly
catch you. You are unguarded. It is unexpected, and it catches you. The
word for trap is the word thera. It is the word usually used for a hunt
for wild beasts. It comes from the word for wild beasts. But used in this
way it means destruction. This trap is going to become destruction for
them. This table of blessings becomes a trap which is going to destroy.
A "stumbling block" is the word skandalon. I have an idea
what skandalon is. It is the little trigger part of the trap
that you put the bait on, so that when something takes the bait it causes
the trap to shut.
I like the kind of mousetrap that has a little lid on it. It is supposed
to have a smell or something that attracts mice. I add to it, though. I
put a whole spoonful of peanut butter on top of it. I want to make sure
that I attract the mouse. When that mouse comes up and he touches that
bait that is on that little lip there, that is a hair trigger and that
trap comes shut.
That is the word skandalon. That is the word Paul uses here when he says
"stumbling block." The picture to me is so clear. He is saying, "Let
Israelís blessings become the trigger that springs the trap of destruction
which is in repayment for the rebellion to the goodness of God." That is
exactly what happened.
The word "retribution" is the word that means God will pay them back
exactly as He knows how and only as He knows how to pay. Itís an exact
repayment. If I repaid, it would be overdoing it or under doing it. God
never overdoes or under does. He is righteous. Therefore, He repays,
retributes as needed. It is a pretty tough judgment.
Romans 11:10 says, "Let their eyes be
darkened to see not, and bend their backs forever." The words "bend their
backs forever" has the idea of bending a bow. It has the idea in a
figurative way of meaning oppression or affliction. Look at the nation of
Israel, folks. There has been a lot of affliction and a lot of oppression
over the years. But just because the judgment that is quoted here way back
in the Old Testament is so severe, donít ever think that to mean that God
is finished with Israel. As a matter of fact, if He was finished with
Israel when He made that judgment, then Paul would not have been a
believer in the New Testament. You see, that judgment was made way back in
the Old Testament. Oh, the judgments against Israel have been there and
been there and been there. But in the midst of those judgments, God has
always had a people whom He has chosen by His grace to be a part of His
There is a day coming when the judgment is going to get worse than it has
ever been. Daniel says it will be to break the rebellion of My people. But
out of that will come that remnant, the third part, that God will bring to
Himself. That will be their great day of atonement. Why would you use the
thought that God has rejected His people just because they have rejected
Him and His judgments have been so severe? That has been the history of
Israel all along. It has never changed. Why would it be any different in
the future? God has persistently had a remnant in Israel.
The next several verses clarify even more what I am saying. Has God
finished with Israel? I think not, and I have no apologies in saying that.
God still has that nation on His agenda, but they donít realize it. Prime
Minister Rabin, who was assassinated, made the statement, "The scripture
has nothing to do with the land that Israel has right now." That is why he
was so liberal in giving it away. It is almost as if scriptures have
nothing to say about Israel. Oh yes, they do, folks. And Godís hand is all
over Israel, even right now. God is going to deal with them, and I believe
that is why Paul brought himself up. You may disagree, but I believe it
is. God is going to deal with Israel one day just like He did with Paul.
If you had asked somebody, "Do you believe that Paul could ever be saved?"
the day before he was saved, they would say, "Are you kidding me? That man
is so hard-nosed, righteousness by works, you will never get that man to
change." The next day, God stopped him, blinded him and changed him. And
God is going to do that with Israel one day. He is going to take them
through the fire and refine them and turn them to Himself. There is going
to be great mourning in Israel for the one whom they have pierced.
You ask, "Well, how can I apply this to me? What can I do about it? How
can it apply to my life?" I tell you how it applies to my life. What is
hitting me in chapters 9, 10 and 11 is the fact that I donít even deserve
to be standing in the pulpit. I donít deserve anything. But a gracious God
showed His compassion upon my life. Think about that. Have you lost sense
of that? We act as if we deserve something. We act as if it is ours and we
can do something for God.
Paul says in chapter 12, "I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies
of God,..." He say, "Donít you ever think for one second that you can do
anything that is pleasing in Godís eyes unless it is out of total faith
and dependence on His ability in you to do through you what He has
commanded you to do.