Ignorance About Others
The Christian church, that I have observed, seems to think that God has set aside Israel to gush over His new people, the Church. This is simply not true but it is typical of the game “Whisper Down-the-Lane,” the message has gotten more and more garbled as we move through the centuries. The Church and we, as individuals, need to be less ignorant about others, especially Israel. Israel has not been forgotten about. Israel is still the Israel of God; God is still the God of Israel. Rather than being a usurper, the Church, if you can call it that, is really a guest in Israel’s domain. We are not our own, we were bought with a price, and we need to respect and learn about the others in God’s Kingdom.
The book of Romans has been mistranslated and convoluted for centuries. Our understanding of Paul’s writings as disavowing Torah and replacing it with the Church has been wrongheaded from the start. Paul never converted. Paul remained a steadfast Jew until his death. He never expected other Jews to become Gentiles. The Gentiles, although not Jews, were to join the Jewish community and not the other way around. Let’s look at what Paul says in Romans 11.
Romans 11:1-24 (ESV)
The Remnant of Israel
1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”
9 And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.”
Gentiles Grafted In
11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation
25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
[k] “The Deliverer will come [l] from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my [m] covenant with them
[n] when I take away their sins.”
28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are [o] beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and [p] the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as [q] you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now  receive mercy. 32 For God [r] has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and [s] wisdom and knowledge of God! [t] How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For [u] who has known the mind of the Lord,
or [v] who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or [w] who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36 For [x] from him and through him and to him are all things. [y] To him be glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:1-36 (ESV)
Our view of others, no matter where it came from, needs to be adjusted to God’s view. We cannot think that God is a God who abandons His people, for if He does that, what then can we base His promise to us on? How can we be sure He will be faithful to us? The Jewish people, not us, are God’s chosen. We are the wild olives grafted in by His grace. Our attitude toward His people must be as a guest not the owner of the House.
See Ya Next Time
Meditation: We need to view Israel as God’s chosen not God’s forsaken. We need to see Israel as those called to be a Light to the Gentiles, not the other way around. Our view has been affected by those in the Church whose motives were not pure, and who had agendas that were wrong. We need to re-examine Paul for who he was, not who the Philosophies and the Church Fathers wanted him to be.
Read Romans 11 process the information found in there by looking at Paul as a Torah observant, not Torah rejecting Jew.
Activity 1: Read Romans 11:1-10; and also the following: 1Sam. 12:11; Jer. 31:37; 33:24; 2Cor. 11:22; Phil. 3:5; Ps. 94:14; Ro. 8:29; 1Kgs. 19:10, 14; 18; Ro. 9:27; Jer. 3:14; Zec. 13:8; Ro. 4:4; Dt 9:4,5; Ro 9:31; Isa. 29:10; Dt 29:4; Isa. 43:8; Jer.5:21; Ezek. 12:2; Eph. 4:18; Matt. 13:14; Ps. 69:22,23; Think about the implications of these verses in Romans 11:1-10. Do not read them all at once. Take time to think it through.
Activity 2: After reading and thinking. Write down some of your thoughts concerning some new things that you learned. Reread Romans 11 from the viewpoint of a Christian Paul, then read it as Sha’ul, the Jewish Rabbi. What are the similarities? What are the differences? Write down your thoughts.
Activity 3: Read Romans 11:11-36; along with Acts 28:28; Romans 15:16; Acts 26:17; See Acts 9:15; 1Cor. 7:16; 9:22; 1Tim. 4:16; James 5:20; Ro. 5:11; Num. 15:18-21; Neh.10:37; Ezek. 44:30; Jer.11:16; Ps. 52:8; John 15:2; Eph. 2:12; 1Cor. 10:12; 2Cor. 1:24; Ro. 12:3,16; 1Tim. 6:17; Prov. 28:14; Isa. 66:2; Jer. 44:10; Phil. 2:12; 1Cor. 15:2; Heb.3:5,14; 2Cor. 3:16; Isa. 59:20,21; John 4:22; Heb. 8:8-12; Ps. 14:7; 53:6; Rom. 9:4; Isa. 27:9; Heb.8:12; Ro. 9:5; Dt. 7:8; 10:15; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 2:2-3,11,13; Col. 1:21; 3:7; Titus 3:3; Rom. 3:9; Col. 2:3; Ps 139:6; Eph. 3:10; Dt. 29:29; Isaiah 40:13; 1Cor. 2:16; Job 15:8; Job 36:22,23; Job 35:7; 41;11;
In verse 36 of Romans 11, pay close attention to the following cross references in regard to Israel. 1Cor. 8:6; 11:12; Col. 1:16; Heb. 2:10; Rom. 16:27; Eph. 3:21; Phil. 4:20; 1Tim. 1:17; 1Peter 4:11; 2Peter 3:18; Jude 25; Rev. 1:6, 5:13;
In what way can you say that you know Israel better. Write it down.
Prayer: Ask God to open your mind to His chosen people Israel. Ask Him to help you see them through His eyes. Also ask Him to remove any remnants of Jonah that you might have in your heart. Ask Him how you can begin to reconnect to His people.