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O, Israel, My Servant

by David Johnson

IMG_0666(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

It is great to be together again as we look into the Word of God.  The title for the lesson is, “Oh Israel, my Servant,” and the text is from Isaiah chapter 41 in the Old Testament, Isaiah chapter 41 verses eight through 13.  Listen to the Word of God.

But you, oh Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham, my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from the farthest corners I called you.   I said: You are my servant. I have chosen you and have not rejected you.   So do not fear, for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced.   Those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you: Do not fear. I will help you.

And so we have these tremendous promises to the nation of Israel from almighty God.  As students of the Bible we should all consider studying and understanding the whole counsel of God and that includes even the nation of Israel, even the modern nation of Israel today as we make this lesson relevant even to today’s headlines, because the nation of Israel is constantly making headlines even today. Most nations today are either indifferent or downright opposed to the modern nation of Israel.  The leaders particularly of the nation of Iran, for example, rant and rail against Israel. For example, quote: Israel is a disgraceful blot and should be blotted off the map, end of quote.

Millions across the planet demand that the dismantling or even the destruction of the Jewish state, Israel. Many Americans in growing numbers believe this is not our fight. The Middle East is far from us. Let the Jews and the Muslims settle their own disputes. What is in it for America?  But as American, Bible believing Christians and Bible believing Christians across this earth, does God shed any light regarding our support even of the modern nation of Israel?
Consider Genesis and the 12th chapter whereby the Lord said to Abram in verse two, in part: I will make you into a great nation.  We know from Scripture that nation became Israel through Isaac and Jacob. In verse three it says, in part:  I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse. Therefore the friends, the supporters of Israel will be blessed of God. Yet foes of Israel will be cursed of God. And it is a fearful thing to be cursed by almighty God.

And then in Genesis chapter 12 and verse three it also adds: And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. How is that?  The greatest descendant of Abram, an Israelite, would fulfill this magnificently in the person of Jesus Christ, a Jew in his humanity.   Jew haters need to be warned. The redeemer of the human race due to our sin problem was and is Jewish ethnically in his humanity. And God will bless America if she blesses Israel and any nation and any people that bless and support Israel.

We need to ask ourselves: Has God blessed America? Is not our bounty of natural resources grand, our freedoms and liberties greater than any nation on earth? Can these be taken away? Turn against Israel and God will curse.
For example, in the 1930s Nazi Germany became the most powerful single nation on earth. The Nazis murdered about eight million Jews.  What happened to Nazi Germany? Obviously there were other factors involved, but the premeditated, attempted extermination of the Jews certainly brought the wrath of God.

So, Iran, beware.  All enemies of Israel, beware.

So what is the root reason for this hatred of Jews, of Israel, especially by her nearest neighbors, the Arab nations?  Scripture sheds light to answer this. Consider Genesis chapter 16 and verse 11 where it says, in part: You are now with child and you will have a son and you shall name him Ishmael. So this began about 4000 years ago.

Abram and Sarai impatiently decide to help God to get a son, an heir, descendants. So Sarai gave Abram to her handmaiden Hagar to get a son prematurely.  And there has been a family feud, a conflict, crisis ever since.  Later Sarai supernaturally by God gave Abram his rightful heir Isaac, the one of God’s covenant with his people Israel. Ishmael became the patriarch of the Ishmaelite, not the Israelites.  Regarding Ishmael, according to Genesis chapter 17 and verse 20 it says, in part: I will make him fruitful. I will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of 12 rulers.
Ishmael’s descendants today are known as Arabs. Ishmael and Isaac are actually half brothers through Abraham. Yet worse than the who Irelands, worse than the two Koreas, worse than the two Vietnams are the hostilities between the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac, between Arabs and Jews.   This is prophesied, predicted, especially in the person of Ishmael through his descendants.

In Genesis chapter 16 and verse 12 it says:  He will be a wild donkey of a man. His hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him. And he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.  Today this is obviously still true.  Different Arab tribes and nations for secular and spiritual reasons are hostile amongst themselves and against their half brothers the Israelites.   And God did make the descendants of Ishmael very, very fruitful.  Today there are 18 predominantly Arab nations comprising about 250 million Arabs.  These Arab nations comprise an area of about 5.3 million square miles, more in square mileage and area than the United States of America including Alaska and Hawaii plus Mexico together, much of which is rich in petroleum and natural gas reserves. However, in contrast, in comparison, the modern nation of Israel has only about 8000 square miles versus 5.3 million square miles. The modern nation of Israel is only the size of the state of New Jersey. And the modern nation of Israel only has a population of about 7.7 million compared to about 250 million Arabs. And the modern nation of Israel, comparatively speaking, has much less natural resources.

Yet the Arab nations for decades have desired to gobble up, even annihilate their half brothers.  And that doesn’t even include the modern nation of Iran, which is a non Arab nation. They are not Arabs. They are Persians. So the mother of all hatreds continues to seethe and the wars in the Middle East region continue to drain the blood and the treasure of America. Yet we remain Israel’s closest friend and ally so far.  And America is still the greatest and most blessed nation on earth, blessed of God so far.

So are all these facts of current events just coincidence? Well, no. They are God insistence.  Because it is written: Yet the children of Hagar and Sarah continue to weep.

So as Bible believing Christians, what should be our attitude toward Israel? Consider the text in Isaiah chapter 41 and verses eight and following.   In verse eight God says, in part: But you, oh Israel, my servant. All mankind should serve the one true God, but Israel is uniquely God’s servant nation. Verse eight continues of Isaiah chapter 41. It says, in part: Jacob, whom I have chosen. Jacob was renamed Israel and was especially chosen of God, not because Israel was the biggest nation, not because Israel was the most populous nation, not because Israel was the most powerful nation, but because God sovereignly chose the nation of Israel.  And because of this, through Israel God was to fulfill his redemptive plan. And out of Israel came the suffering servant, the holy one of God. And Israel is to be the light of the nations.  Even though Israel has failed miserably in being a light to the nations, in the future Israel will be and find its rightful place amongst the nations and certainly be a light to the nations when her Messiah King is reigning on this earth.

In Isaiah chapter 41 and verse nine it says, in part: I have not rejected you. God has not rejected, nor should we think that God has replaced the nation of Israel with the Church. Jeremiah chapter 31 and verse 37 brings this out very clearly where it says, quote: This is what the Lord says.  Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel, because of all they have done.  And obviously this cannot be done. It is humanly impossible to measure all of the heavens and the foundations of the earth. Even in the New Testament in the Roman letter, in Romans chapter 11 and verse 26 and following it says in part in verse 26: All Israel will be saved, here referring to the elect of Israel, the righteous remnant of Israel will be saved. Of course, the only way that Israel and Israelites and the nation of Israel, the righteous remnant of Israel can be saved is that they also have to put their faith, their repentant faith in Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah, as their King, as the Son of God.

Also in Romans chapter 11 and verse 27 it says: And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins. Our God is a forgiving God and will forgive those when they repent and turn to Messiah, even Jesus of Nazareth.

In Romans chapter 11 and verse 28 it says in part: They are loved on account of the patriarchs.  In verse 29 of Romans 11 it says: For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.  That is, God’s gift primarily of salvation through faith and God’s effectual call, that is, God’s call for salvation of those that would genuinely repent, those of the nation of Israel that would repent and put their faith in Yeshua, in their Messiah, even Jesus of Nazareth.  And this call, this effectual call unto salvation, it tells us is irrevocable or cannot be revoked, cannot be undone, says God, regarding the faithful remnant of the nation of Israel. And this cannot mean Jews that come into the Church, who become part of the Church, because they were already saved at the time when this was written. The did not need salvation. This is regarding the future, faithful remnant of the nation of Israel.

In Isaiah chapter 41 and verse 10 God states, in part:  I am with you, that is the nation of Israel, because God is for Israel.  In verse 11 it says: Those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. We have God’s warning. Now, of course, God loves all people including Arabs, including Persians, but the Jew is special in the heart of God.
In Isaiah cheaper 41 verse 12 it says, in part: Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. And so, for example, Iran, be forewarned.  Israel, according to Deuteronomy chapter 32 and according to Zechariah chapter two, Israel is as the apple of God’s eye, literally the pupil of God’s eye, that is, to be closely protected in the imagery here. God will protect his original covenant people.  God has not discarded them. The elect of Israel will be saved.

In Isaiah chapter 41 and verse 13 almighty God says to Israel in part:  Do not fear. I will help you.  God helped Israel and has helped Israel and will help Israel. God has forbidden that Israel be annihilated, completely exterminated that the Jew cease to exist, that the Jew as with the Amorite and the Pezzarite and many other ancient peoples that are now in the dust pail of history, the Jew remains.  God has protected Israel against annihilation regarding ancient Egypt and God protected Judah against the Assyrians and God protected the Jew against Haman and Hitler that were bent on annihilating, on exterminating the Jew.

And today God will protect the Israelites, the Jews against the Arab nations, against the terrorists, against the Iranians that continue to attack. And God will help Israel against all comers yet future, which will actually, according to Scripture, the nation of Israel’s most dire, most devastating times, even Jacob’s trouble as described in the book of Jeremiah chapter 30, Israel’s most dire and devastating times are yet future. But God will protect Israel, the righteous remnant Israel.

Coincidence that God has protected Israel, the Jew, throughout all of these millennia? No. It is a God insistence.

And so as Bible believing Christians, we must stand with Israel. Why? Because it is written.

 

David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33