We are now approaching the climax in the gradation of the great gifts and high privileges which are part of Israel’s calling. The next step is,
Whose are the fathers?
Oh my friends, whenever you want to have your heart stirred afresh with love and interest for Israel, think of the fathers, think of Abraham, the friend of GOD, who was strong in faith and staggered not at the promise of GOD through unbelief, and so became a pattern of faith and obedience to all the family of GOD. Think of Isaac who was willing to be put on the altar of burnt offering, and so became a type of Messiah, the Lamb of GOD. Think of Jacob, who became Israel; of Joseph, who became the beautiful type of our LORD YESHUA, in his purity of life and in his sufferings and exaltation. Of Moses, the great Lawgiver, who was willing to sacrifice himself for the nation.
Think of the company of Israel’s prophets and psalmists, whose words you continually use as the expression of your deepest feelings of penitence, faith, devotion and praise. Think of those elders, who through faith obtained a good report, and whose paintings are hung up in GOD’s picture gallery of his heroes for the admiration and imitation of all ages, in that wonderful eleventh Chapter to the Hebrews. No wonder that we read that they are still beloved of GOD for their fathers’ sakes (Romans 11, verse 28). Christendom has forgotten the relation between these poor wandering Jews in their midst, and their noble fathers who formed the true aristocracy of all times. I am reminded of an amusing incident which happened a few years ago. A clergyman who was much interested in the Jews, was spending his summer holiday in a small out-of-the-way place in Schleswig-Holtstein. Being anxious to create an interest in GOD’s people, he gathered a number of the peasants together one day and gave them an address; in the course of which he reminded them of their obligations as Christians to the Jewish people. He spoke of Israel’s past history, and how, through them, were given to us the oracles of GOD. Then he proceeded to speak of the fathers and the prophets, and finally came to the New Testament and he observed that the apostles of our LORD YESHUA the Messiah, too, were all Jews. At this point he was interrupted by one of the peasants who stood up at the end of the room and said, I beg your pardon sir. This is a mistake. JESUS Christ had twelve apostles, but only one was a Jew, and that was Judas. I fear that poor ignorant peasant gave expression to the practical thought of multitudes in Christendom. They remembered Judas and readily associate him with the Jewish people, but they forget that Peter and Andrew and James and John and Phillip, and Bartholomew and Paul and Nathaniel, and all the other apostles were also men of Israel.
Alas, there are still Judases among the Jews, as there are among the Gentiles. They are found even among the professed followers and apostles of Messiah. But, blessed be GOD, there are also still those who answer to John, disciples whom YESHUA loves, and Nathanaels to whom He Himself bears witness: Behold, Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile; and Pauls and Appollos’; men mighty in the Scriptures and faithful ministers of the Truth, who have instructed many, not only of their own nation, but among the Gentiles.
We now reach the climax of this wonderful gradation. All the previous steps have linked Israel with everything that is sacred and holy in the history of the world, and of humanity. But this last step connects Israel not with earth only, but with Heaven; And of whom, as concerning the flesh, is Messiah, Who is over all, GOD, blessed forever.
Oh my friends, every time you approach the Throne of Grace, every time you seek to draw near to GOD, remember that the Man at His right hand, our One Mediator with GOD, and Advocate with the Father, is, as far as His blessed humanity is concerned, forever linked with that nation; for when, for us men and our salvation, the Eternal Word was made flesh so that He might have a sacrifice to offer for the life of the world. (John 6, verse 51), He took not upon Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham, (Hebrews 2, verse 16), and was born of a Jewish virgin named Mary, and was of the family of David, and of the Tribe of Judah.
I do not expect love or interest for the Jewish people from those who know not, and love not Messiah. I am not surprised at the anti-Semitism which is to be found among so-called Christian nations who have become apostate from the Truth, and who have turned the grace of GOD into lasciviousness. But I do wonder that there should be true Christians without any love or sympathy for Israel,
Of whom, as concerning the flesh is Messiah. But the Babe which was born in Bethlehem, is none other than He
whose goings forth are from of old, even from the days of eternity (Micah 5, verse 2); and the Son of Man, and Son of David is none other than the Eternal Son of GOD, the
Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty GOD, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the JEHOVAH Tsidkenu," Who according to His Divine nature is,
"GOD over all, Blessed forever." To Him, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be glory for everlasting. Amen. Shalom.