for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.1 Peter 2:10(NASB)
Although certain nations have founded their laws on Judeo-Christian principles, which acknowledge God as Creator and chose His moral laws as the foundation upon which to build their societies, there has only been one nation that has a God-instituted, everlasting covenant-relationship with the Lord and that is the nation of Israel.
They were His chosen people.. selected out from the sea of humanity to be governed by God. They were the ones through whom the holy Scriptures, which taught the message of Salvation were written.. and they were the ones through whom the Messiah was to be born - for He was to be the Saviour of the whole world.
It was to be their mission to share the good news of redemption.. which comes from God alone. Israel was chosen to be a model nation through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed. They were to set be an example to the gentiles of a people that trusted the Lord. They were to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation that was blessed by the God of Israel.. so that others would follow their good example and place their trust in the Him.
But Israel disobeyed the Lord and lusted after the idolatrous systems of the world - denying their testimony and causing God to have to set them aside for a season - demonstrating that when the Israelites obeyed God, they were blessed.. but when they rebelled against Him they would be punished.
No wonder that the Lord Jesus wept over His people and cried: How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is being left to you desolate For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
Christians in this dispensation of grace are that very nation about whom Jesus spoke.. who are to bring forth the fruit of righteousness. It is the Body of Christ who has been entrusted to share the good news of the gospel to a lost and dying world in this present dispensation of grace. It is the believers in Christ crucified and resurrected, who are the ones who are to go into the world to make disciples.. to the glory of God.
The Church was not an afterthought.. for God knew from the beginning how His plans and purposes were to come to fruition. He knew that Israel would reject their Messiah.. for a season - but He also knew that even greater glory would be ascribed to His name as an even greater multitude of saved souls would be the final harvest..
God purposed that Jew and Gentile were to become one Body in Christ, Who is the Head.. one people under God - a nation with a citizenship in heaven, who were once dead in their sins and estranged from God.. but now have become the people of God.. And we who are called by His name have the right to call Him Abba - Father.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and grace to both Israel and to the Church. None of us deserve Your grace and yet You reached down from heaven and lifted us up into heavenly places - and we have become one in Christ - in Whose name we pray, AMEN.
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