God’s Promise to Israel

Frequently, people discuss the issue whether Israel is still God’s chosen people or not. The ones that say that Israel is not God’s chosen point to the scripture that says, “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Mt 21:43). If the kingdom was taken away, then Israel cannot be God’s chosen people. While the idea that Israel is no longer God’s chosen is probably correct, there are some other considerations that are usually ignored. The big thing that is missed is the fact that the kingdom is not all that is involved in God’s relation with Israel. God made some big promises to Abraham back there in Gen 12, 15 and 17. God also made a covenant with Israel that involved the Law. Neither of these directly involved the kingdom. Both of them involved the Land of Canaan.

A salient point to remember is the Law of Moses is still in effect for the Jews (Mt 5:17-18). The Law was part of the covenant that God made with Israel. If they kept His law, He would give them the things that He promised them, including the Land. If they disobeyed, He would evict them from the Land. If they repented, He would bring them back again!

Deuteronomy 30:1 ¶And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

This promise is from Moses and is part of the Law. It is not a kingdom promise. Therefore, it can be true that another nation (the church–Rev 5:9-10, I Pet 2:9) gets the kingdom, yet Israel still inherits the Land. These are not mutually exclusive promises. Therefore, when we see Israel chastened and thereafter returning to Israel, we should see the fulfillment of Dt 30:1-5, and not be blinded by the fact that the kingdom was taken from Israel.

About James Johnson

Bible student for 60 years. Preacher of the gospel for over 40 years. Author of commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb. Married with children. Worked in aerospace and computer engineering for over 40 years.
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