As believers living in a world of instant communication, we can become overwhelmed by reports from all over the world. Indeed, God is moving by His Spirit in South Korea, South America, China, Africa and beyond. All of these nations are near to the heart of the Father and we rejoice in their salvation. There is however, a special and unique place in God’s heart for Israel, for the Jewish people. When properly understood, this uniqueness can fuel a deep love and burden for God’s chosen people.
Its unique beginning in spiritual history
The nation of Israel began with the amazing call of Abram and continued through Isaac and Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel by God). Jacob’s son Joseph became famous in Egypt and saved the nation from starvation during seven years of famine. Israel’s history continues with Moses, the ten plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea that provided for the nation to leave Egypt in a miraculous way. A cloud led them by day and a pillar of fire by night. Manna was provided daily for them for forty years and water was provided from a rock. By parting the Jordan River, Joshua led them into the Promised Land where the walls of Jericho fell down before them. Eminent Judges, Prophets, and Kings arose in Israel establishing without doubt the uniqueness of Israel as a nation.
Its unique covenant relationship with God
This unique relationship came into being by the divine election of God and it is backed up by the eternal covenant God made with Abraham. ‘’And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations,for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.” (Genesis 17:7) This covenant relationship is affirmed in the New Covenant, ‘’for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29)
Its unique relationship with the land God
God’s covenant promise to Abraham included inheriting the land of Israel as an everlasting possession. ‘’And I will give to you and your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, and all the land of Canaan,for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8) The fact that the people of Israel were twice scattered because of their sins and then twice re-gathered back to their land is an amazing historical confirmation of the eternal covenant.
Its unique position among the nations
“…Israel is my son, my firstborn son.” (Exodus 4:22) Israel is first among nations as a firstborn son is in a family. That is why Rabbi Shaul (Paul) directed the gospel, “…to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) God’s judgment follows this pattern also. “There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek.” (Romans 2:9) In addition, God has established a reciprocal relationship between Israel and the nations. According to the way a nation deals with Israel, so God will deal with them. ‘’And I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12: 3)
“For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15)
Its unique purpose as a nation
God entrusted the Nation of Israel with the privilege of bringing forth the Word of God into the earth. All the men the Holy Spirit moved upon to produce the Scriptures were Jewish. Rabbi Shaul (Paul) recognized this unique purpose in the New Covenant. “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all they were entrusted with the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:1-2) In addition, God’s ultimate purpose for Israel was fulfilled when the nation brought forth the Jewish Messiah, the Living Word made flesh.
Its unique contribution to the world and the Church
In speaking to the Samaritan woman by the well, Yeshua (Jesus) revealed the tremendous contribution the Jewish people would make to the world. He said, “…salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22) In other words, as a result of the Messiah being born through the Jewish people according to the Scriptures, salvation would come to the world. Furthermore, the Jewish apostles laid the very foundations of the Church. “Having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Messiah Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone …” (Ephesians 2:20)
Its unique spiritual destiny
God’s plan for the nation of Israel is not yet complete. There is a great purpose and destiny assigned to the Jewish people in the last days. Having come under a personal hardening and being sidelined for twenty centuries, an amazing spiritual awakening is taking place among the Jewish people. This will culminate when, “…all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26) Rabbi Shaul (Paul) shows that when the Jewish people become spiritually awakened, it will trigger a powerful revival in the spiritual realm. “For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15) Finally, the return of the Messiah is intricately connected to the Jewish people. Yeshua said to the Jewish people, “…you shall not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord’.” (Matthew 23:39) It is the Jewish people who must welcome back the Messiah to earth!