I feel deep sorrow when I hear of how Israel is troubled on every side by people that want nothing less than her destruction. I feel I understand the reasons from both the biblical view of this chosen-by-God group of people, and from a secular view provided by media sources and personal testimony of the people themselves, (on both sides). My sorrow stems from my belief that they missed the advent of the Messiah and still wait for the Promised One. Why? How can you read Isaiah’s messianic prophecies and not see Jesus? Paul the apostle, explains this quite well in the book of Romans. Being a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin, taught by one of the great teachers of his day, and extremely zealous for Israel’s salvation, quotes repetitively from the book of Isaiah, showing how they missed the advent, and why. I cannot, because of time and length give a complete rundown of Paul’s explanation, but if you take the time to read Romans, from a modern language translation, i.e., the NIV, NASV, HCSB, or even the NKJV, or the paraphrase versions, MSG or TLB, you will gain much insight, (and please do not judge), on the reason Jesus was rejected by them.
Why They Do Not See Jesus
But to Israel He (God) says: “All day long I have spread out My hands to a disobedient and defiant people.” Rom.10:21 …as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that cannot see, and ears that cannot hear, to this day.” Rom.11:21 …as it is written: “Look! I am putting a Stone in Zion to stumble over, and a Rock to trip over, yet the one who believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Rom. 9:33
It may be hard to grasp what Paul is saying from these few passages. He is wanting to convey that God has reached out to Israel all this time, but they refused His fellowship. The Old Testament reveals the cycle-of-sin that Israel fell into after God brought them from Egypt into the land of promise. They chased after the false gods instead of Him. Though the Messiah was promised even before all of these events, because they fell into idolatry and all sorts of lewd iniquity, God allowed them to fall, He did not and does not force anyone to follow Him. In spite of their obstinance and disobedience, (skipping way ahead), when they returned to the land of promise the second time, religious groups eventually formed that attempted to follow hard after God, but pride and “law interpreters” brought their zeal for God to the ground, buried in impossible-to-follow dictates, and misguided directions as to the advent of Messiah. In other words, they were looking for Him though eyes of flesh not spirit.
They expected Him to come and with a mighty hand wipe out the Romans, and set up His kingdom at that time. Jesus came as a sacrificial lamb and His blood to cover their sin, and set His kingdom into being when He didn’t stay dead but rose, and set down at God’s right hand, enthroned forever, a spiritual kingdom, as it is today. When the church, His kingdom began, they rejected it too, resulting in their attempting to undo what Christ did, in order to keep their ritual and religious order intact.
And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness from Jacob, (Israel). And this will be my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” Rom.11:26
There was no intent on God’s part for Christ to set up an earthly kingdom. This one thing needs to be added; the earliest believers were Jews, Peter and they followers of Jesus’ earthly ministry…don’t blame Jews for the churches troubled beginning and subsequent persecutions. Satan, you know, the prince of darkness is to blame, he tried to used every pagan religion to destroy the “Way.” To wrap this up. Judaism rejected Jesus, and still look for their Messiah, blinded by unbelief, and by pride. God allowed this, and Paul adds:
“I will call not-My-people, My- people, and she who is unloved, Beloved. And it will be in the place where they were told you are not my people, there, they will be called Sons of the Living God.” Rom.9: 9-10 But I ask, did not Israel understand? First, Moses said: “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that lacks understanding.” Rom.10:19 And again, Isaiah says: “The root of Jesse will appear, the one WHO RISES to rule the Gentiles; in Him the Gentiles will hope.” Rom.15:12
Since Israel still waits, we non-Jews are given a window of opportunity, so to speak. God has mercy on all people, and for us looking backward to advent in celebration, they still look for the first advent. Sad, I agree. But God in mercy will not forget Israel, His beloved. There are many Messianic Jewish believers who are full of joy that even the Gentile converts do not experience. These Jews following Christ have received the promise and are filled with the wonder of the promise they received as a people centuries ago. A last thought, Paul warns not to become boastful that we Gentiles have the promise. If you noticed, we are no different. Our lawmakers and interpreters of our Constitution pervert original meaning purposely. They despise the original purpose, and want that to change but cannot gather support from all politicians, so they in judgment interpret the law to suit their personal morals.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.