Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 24
SEVEN BLESSINGS FOR ISRAEL
We’ll return again to Romans Chapter 9, and begin with verse 4. In our last lesson we introduced this chapter by using the first three verses. It’s always so nice to be able to share with you what The Book says, and just as important, what The Book doesn’t say. We have a lot of preconceived ideas of what The Book says, and then when you really look at it, it’s not in there. And we must constantly be aware that there are a lot of ideas that are not according to Scripture.
Now as I teach Scripture I always like to point out whenever possible how intricately this whole Book was put together. Man could have never dreamed it up, and here is another one of those little instances where Paul now unloads on us with eight distinctive statements. Now when you put that in the numerology of Scripture, remember `seven’ is always God’s number of completion, and when you follow that with an eighth, it is then always a new beginning or something that goes beyond the finish. Now I know that when the Apostle Paul was penning the Book of Romans, and he came here to verse 4, he didn’t sit there and meditate for hours on end saying, “Now how can I find seven things, and then come up with an eighth.” He didn’t do that. He just penned as the Holy Spirit was giving him utterance, and now we can look at it and say, “Isn’t it miraculous?” Here he comes up with another one of those situations that has been with us all the way through Scripture, seven things, but also an eighth one.
Do you remember when we were studying the eight signs back in the Book of John? All eight signs were miracles. Well, seven of those signs took place before Christ’s death, burial, and Resurrection, which completed all that had to be done, but in the last chapter of that Book we come up with the eighth sign and miracle, and it was that sign of new beginnings. So you see this all through Scripture. Now let’s look at the first seven, and then we’ll take a look at the eighth one. Now verse 4 of Romans Chapter 9, and I think I will enumerate these, and come back and look at them. Speaking of his kinsmen according to the flesh up in verse 3:
“Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, (1) and the glory, (2) and the covenants, (3) and the giving of the law, (4) and the service of God, (5) and the promises;” (6)
“Whose are the fathers, (7) and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came,…” (8) Now let’s go back and take them one at a time.
“Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption,…”
Remember from our studies in Chapter 8, the word `adoption’ meant to be placed as a full son. In other words it’s a positional word, it’s not a legal term so much as it is positional. The Nation of Israel has been positioned as a unique set-aside nation of people. No one can infringe on that, no one can invade that position that only the Nation of Israel of all the people of the world enjoy. Let’s go back and just check a couple of verses in the Old Testament in the book of Deuteronomy Chapter 7. Since I don’t have my Bible marked or have any notes people may wonder how I can remember these verses. Well, I have to have crutches like everyone else. I know the first verse in this line of thought would be verse 6, but it’s much easier to remember Deuteronomy 7:7 than Deuteronomy 7:6. And so this is the way you do things like this, just lock this in Deuteronomy 7:7, and when you get there you see that verse 7 isn’t the verse you want but rather it’s verse 6. Are you with me? All right, so let’s go up to verse 6. Here Moses is writing to the Jew, to the Nation of Israel.
“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”
Is that plain language? Hey I don’t see how you can make it any plainer. When people say, “What do you mean that Israel is God’s chosen and special people?” Well it’s right here. God has chosen that little nation of people to be the top of the heap. They’re king of the hill in all of God’s dealing with the human race. Now come into verse 7:
“The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:”
Now you see we’re living in a time where bigger is better. But you see God doesn’t work like man works. God didn’t choose the biggest nation on earth, but rather He did the opposite, He chose the smallest group starting with one man. We’ll be looking at that just a little later when we start to cover the “Covenant” portion of verse 4. For now we just want to look at their position as being the favored Covenant nation of God. Now go to the Book of Isaiah Chapter 66, and verse 22.
“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make,…”
Now, if you’re a Bible student, where does your mind immediately jump to? Revelation Chapters 21 and 22. Even though this heaven and earth is going to be destroyed, yet God says He will create a new Heaven and a new earth for all eternity. Now Isaiah is referring to the same event. Now reading on:
“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.”
Is Israel ever going to pass off the scene? Never! Even after we’ve gone through the millennial reign of Christ, and I think of this whole universe, (See II Peter 3:10) there’s going to come a whole new creation of new heavens and new earth, and who will still be the apple of God’s eye? Israel. Even in the eternal state Israel will have that unique position. Now don’t let that discourage you because what have I often said? You and I, as members of the Body of Christ, are even in a better position than Israel. Israel is not in the best position. We are, but the reason we have to constantly refer to Israel’s position is because the world in general under all the Satanic pressures, is trying to put Israel out of the picture, and it’s not going to happen. They can ignore the Covenant promises and Israel, but God will never lose sight of His Covenant people. Now, then, with that let’s go back to Romans and go into the next part of that verse 4, and that is part of their heritage, and uniqueness was the glory.
“Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory,…”
Now I’m not going to take you all the way back to the Old Testament to look at that, but you see, I think we looked at the verse in the last lesson if I’m not mistaken; back in Deuteronomy with Moses I think. When Moses reminded the Nation of Israel that there had never been another nation of people that experienced the mountain on fire like Israel did with Mt. Sinai. Then Moses went on. Was there ever a people that experienced God coming down on the mountain with thunder and fire, and of course His glory? No other people on earth had ever experienced that, but Israel did. Then you leap the centuries, and you come on up to King Solomon building the Temple, and again we won’t look it up, but you all know the account. When Solomon had finished the Temple and they were ready to dedicate it, the children of Israel, of course, were gathered around it. What happened inside? The glory of God came in and filled that Temple. And it was so filled with God’s Shekinah glory that the priests didn’t even dare intrude.” Has that ever happened to anybody else? I dare say that you could visit every pagan temple that has ever existed and you’d never find any evidence of that kind of an invading glory. But Israel did.
Alright, that’s enough on the word `glory’ I think. And now here comes one that I always have to spend some time on, because any of you who have heard me teach very long, know that this is a word that I just bring up and bring up and bring up. And what is it? The Covenants.
“Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants,…”
Now remember, you and I as Church-Age believers, are not under any kind of a covenant. Now I know you’ve heard of Covenant theology and so forth. But we are not under any covenant. But, now let me qualify right away and clarify. All the things that God did on behalf of Israel in regard to the Covenants, we are now experiencing that which falls over the edges. And so yes, we are experiencing the great Salvation of God and all that because of what God has done in fulfilling the Covenants with Israel. But as the Covenants themselves are concerned, we have nothing to do with them.
Let’s go to Genesis 12 because this is where everything ties together. That even as Paul writes these three Chapters, 9, 10 and 11, with a special regard to the Nation of Israel, we have to tie it all to the Old Testament account.. Most of you know it almost by memory. The Abrahamic Covenant. Now this is when God first spoke to Abram when he was still down in Ur of the Chaldees and made him one command, “Leave Ur and go to a land I will show you.” By faith Abraham went. And that’s the beginning of God’s dealing with that man called Abraham, out of whom would come the Nation of Israel.
Now you know it’s amazing, and I never tell things like this to ridicule, because I understand exactly how these things can happen. I had a gentleman come up to me last night, who’s been in my class at least six or seven years. He came to know The Lord about three or four years ago and has just become a good student of the Scriptures. And so he had had a conversation with one of his neighbors, and out of that conversation something came up that he couldn’t find the answer to, so he told the fellow, “Give me till tomorrow. I’ve got to go find the answer in my Bible.” While he was looking for the answer to whatever the question was he suddenly for the first time, understood and saw from his own Bible that the Nation of Israel had come from the very same twelve sons that had sold Joseph down into Egypt.
And I said, Now don’t feel bad. I had a fellow approach me, oh I’d say about ten or twelve years ago, who had been a Sunday school teacher for twenty some years, and he hadn’t even found the answer yet and he asked me, “Where did the nation of Israel come from, other than Abraham?'” Now you see, people have not been taught these basic fundamentals. That after Abraham received this Covenant promise that out of him would come a nation of people, the next person to come into that Covenant promise was Isaac. The next one in response to that Covenant promise was Jacob. And then out of Jacob came the twelve sons, one of whom was Joseph. And out of those twelve sons who, because of Joseph, ended up down in Egypt because of the grain shortage. And while those twelve sons and their families were in Egypt, what happened? They exploded in population. And those twelve sons became the twelve tribes of Israel that Moses led out and took through the wilderness experience. And Joshua led in the land. Now there’s the nation of Israel. Now I know most people must understand that. But you have that percentage who have never realized, “How did the nation of Israel ever come about?” Well that’s exactly how it came about, but it began back here in Genesis 12.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram (back in Chapter 11), `Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:'”
There was a reason for God wanting Abram to leave his father’s house. Abram’s family were idolaters, they were idol worshippers, they were pagans, they had no knowledge of the One true God. And so out of this whole then-known world, saturated with pagan worship, God puts the finger on this one man Abram, appears to him (the Scripture in the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament makes it so plain), spoke to him I think face to face, and gave him these instructions. “Leave your idolatrous family, make the break from paganism, and go to a land that I will show you.”
Now we know that Abram was not totally obedient, and I don’t put the blame on Abram, but rather on his father. I’m sure when Abram the son went in to tell his father that he was leaving, and he didn’t know to where, then taking into account the nomadic make-up of the people in that part of the world at that time Terah the father said what? “Well, we’ll just go with you.” Well you know Abram couldn’t tie him down, and lock the door on him so Terah went with them. But God stopped him half way between Ur and Canaan until old Terah dies up there in Haran. Because Abram could not keep that family tie with a pagan while God is now going to deal with this man on Covenant promises, bringing about the Nation of Israel out of which of course would come this Book, our whole spiritual realm of salvation, and everything else. It all begins intricately with the Nation of Israel. Now reading on we find God still speaking to this man Abram.
“And I will make of thee a great nation,…”
Now the first thing we think of is a great nation like America with 300,000,000 people, but that’s not what God calls great. Israel has never had over 15,000,000 as far as I can see from history, and that’s not as many people as some of the cities of the world today. So when God said `great,’ He was not speaking in terms of numbers, military power, and so forth. But this little nation has been great in so many other ways, and they still are, and they will be. In fact I made mention recently that when their Prime Minister was assassinated, what other little nation on earth of less than 5,000,000 people within their borders could have commanded all the big wheels of all the superpowers to come to their leader’s funeral? Nobody but Israel. Why? Because they are the very center of all of God’s dealing with the human race. Now reading on again.
“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
In other words, through this one man would come God’s flow of all spiritual blessings. Now that’s hard for us to comprehend, but it is with this one man, and that’s why I make such an emphasis of the Abrahamic Covenant. Through this man, and the Covenant God made with him came The Messiah, The Redeemer of all mankind, and this is why Satan has constantly attacked the little Nation of Israel. Satan has to do anything in his power to somehow thwart God’s plan for the ages, and he has to start with the Nation of Israel. Now turn to Chapter 15., and let’s follow these Covenants. I see we can’t finish this verse in this lesson, but hopefully we will the next. Now verse 2. Now Abraham understood, he wasn’t ignorant, and, of course, he’s already 50 years of age when God speaks to him in Ur. And here God’s talking about a nation of people coming from his loins. How can a nation of people come when he hasn’t the first son yet. Here’s his argument.
“And Abram said, `Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus (Well Eliezer certainly had no gene connection with Abram.)?’ And Abram said, `Behold, to me thou hast given no seed (no child): and lo, one born in my house is mine heir (Lot).’ And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, `This shall not be thine heir, but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.'” What’s God saying? You’re going to have a son of your own from your own wife. That’s the way it’s going to be. Verse 5:
“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, `Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.'”
Now remember, this is a two-fold promise. We covered this when we were teaching Genesis that Paul teaches in Galatians that we are of the seed of Abraham. Even you and I as Gentiles, not that we become Jewish blood, but by virtue of the spiritual promises to this man Abraham, you and I may now enjoy and experience these Grace Age promises. But now let’s not stop there as we need to go back a couple of chapters to Chapter 13, and drop in at verse 16.
“And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth:….”
Now you have two completely different realms haven’t you? You have the stars which are heavenly and the dust which is earthly. Now, those who have heard me teach over the years, and especially while we were back in Genesis, always remember that God has divided everything in Scripture between these two areas.
1. The Nation of Israel which is earthly, and all their promises are earthly.
2. The Body of Christ, the New Testament Grace Age Church is heavenly, and all our promises are heavenly.
You and I are citizens of Heaven, all of our promises are heavenly and the Nation of Israel is earthly, all of her promises are earthly, and here you have it in these two verses. “Count the dust of the earth, so shall thy seed be. Count the stars of heaven so shall thy seed be.” Now go to Genesis Chapter 17, and we see another addition to this Abrahamic Covenant as parts are added as we go along. Now we see where this Covenant is going to continue. And this also become intrinsic to another verse a little later in Romans Chapter 9.
“And God said unto Abraham, `As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her; and she shall be a mother of nations: kings of people shall be of her.’ Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, `Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?’ And Abraham said unto God, `O that Ishmael might live before thee!’ (why can’t you use him?) And God said, `Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.'”
But God’s not casting off the people of Ishmael as nothing, and He says so in verse 20:
“And as for Ishmael I have heard thee; Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. (Arabs) But my covenant will I establish with Isaac,…” And never lose sight of that.