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The God of Israel Message

Names of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  49:38
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Introduction

The well known Jewish commentator and radio host Dennis Prager is know for his dry wit and firm commitment to the Torah and righteousness. On his talk show he fields a range of questions from a wide ranging audience. Last Friday I was listening to his show when a self-proclaimed evangelical believer called in and said, “I know a lot about what it means to be a Hebrew because I read my Bible.” He then went on to say, “But I am interested in knowing what you think it means to be a Jew? I have heard some people say you are born a jew and others say it is religion. What is your take, Dennis?” Dennis paused for a second and then he said, “Sir, there are two groups of people deeply confused when it comes to answer the question, ‘who is a jew?” The first group is non-jews and the second group - long pause - is Jews.
Ha-Foke-Bah
Psalm 72:18-19
Psalm 72:18–19 TLV
Blessed be Adonai Elohim, God of Israel, who alone does wonders. Blessed be His glorious Name forever. May all the earth be filled with His glory! Amen and Amen!
I want to talk to you about the God of Israel who exceeds your greatest dreams.
I am not sure what is more controversial saying that the God of Israel can exceed your greatest dreams or saying that one of the Names of God is “The God of Israel.” Every Christian book that I have read on the topic of the Names of God, without fail, does not mention “The God of Israel” as one of the Names or even Titles of God.
Many Christians say that was once a legitimate title but God has abandoned it for a new title, “The God of the New Israel.”
Other Christians more dogmatic in their view say God has abandoned this title all together and His new title is, “the God of the Church.”
Interestingly, a scholar of the highest ranks of the Christian academy, Richard Bauckham, has said that the Christian understanding of God has failed because it built its foundations on a Hellenistic question, “What is God?” Bauckham said that is not a question the writers of the Hebrew Bible, Yeshua or the Apostles asked. That is a question that Greek Philosophers asked about a God who did no have a name but could only be a What?
Aristotle’s What is God? - He is the Unmoved Mover
Plato’s What is God? - He is a Perfect-Eternal Being
Aquinas - He is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Loving
Richard Bauckham says that is all good and fine but the problem is that you just turned a “Who” into a “What.” Bauckham argues convincingly that if one wants to know God you must asked like the Jewish writers of Scriptures - The Whole of the Scriptures - “Who is God?” God has a Name.
When you ask “Who is God?” to the writers of Scripture the answer always comes back, “He is the God of Israel: the sole Creator of all things and sole Ruler of all things.”
Another Christian writer wrote a book entitles “The God of Israel” and he said, “The God of Israel is the FIRM FOUNDATION and inescapable predicament of theology. If theology is pursued without reference to the God of Israel, Christian theology is hopelessly exposed to the charge of being mere vanity.” - R. Kendall Soulen
There is something scandalous about a God who not only elects a nation of people but asks all nations to acknowledge it when they all on His Name. Here is what is important. When he chose to be identified with a specific family, a specific tribe of people and then promised to sustain and care and do more than they could ask or think, over and over again, over long periods of time, God gives us a firm foundation for anything that could be called “hope.”
In a particularly deep and irrevocable way God connects himself not just to one people but to all people. If He fails as the God of Israel then He fails for every other nation. If He does not uphold the promise that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse will be cursed and then He fails all others.
If He is the God of Israel then that Name means something when you call upon the God of Israel. You are asking Him to keep promises, to bring covenant blessing, covenant authority and covenant presence. If He is not the God of Israel then He is Nietzche’s dying god who has failed with regard not just to His character but to His own Name.
To call on the Name of the God of Israel is to to call on the One who exceeded the greatest dreams of our ancestors. It is to call on the Name of God that David sang about and said
Psalm 72:18–19 TLV
Blessed be Adonai Elohim, God of Israel, who alone does wonders. Blessed be His glorious Name forever. May all the earth be filled with His glory! Amen and Amen!
Rabbi Paul repeats this blessing in his usual way saying,
Ephesians 3:20 TLV
Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us,
We all have things we need the God of Israel to take care of.
Greatest Dreams of the Future
Problems to Turn Around
The God of Israel is not like a waiter who just takes your order and brings your what you ordered. The God of Israel exceeds what you could possibly dream. That is what David meant “He alone does wonders” or Paul when he says, “he goes far beyond...”
We think ordinary, the God of Israel thinks extra ordinary.
We think if I could just have a lucky streak, the God of Israel thinks blessing.
We think if I could just manage this problem, the God of Israel thinks freedom from this problem.
We think if I could just get my gets a little further ahead, the God of Israel thinks they should be robust and prosperous.
We think If I could have just a little romance in my marriage, the God of Israel thinks the Song of Songs.
We think if I can just get by but the God of Israel wants you to prosper.
We think in limited terms but the God of Israel thinks beyond our expectations.
Because His Name is the God of Israel we know He does wonders. We know because He is the God of Israel He has always been doing more than anyone could have asked or imagined.

The God of Israel exceeds your greatest dreams.

God of Israel exceeded Hannah’s dreams and Eli’s blessing.

Tell the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. The the story of Hannah’s greatest dream and what God to exceed it. Here is where you emphasize the contrast you just created in Introduction and the title the God of Israel.
Hannah thought she was going to live forever in this state she did not see this coming.
On Screen Bible 1 Samuel 1:12-17 The Point: She was given a blessing in the Name of the God of Israel.
On Screen Bible 1 Samuel 1:18-20 The Point: She did not wait for the pregnancy test to worship, she believed that the God of Israel who had made barren wombs leap in the past could make them leap right now!
The story does not end there: After the birth of Samuel Hannah starts believing God will exceed her wildest dreams.
On Screen Bible 1 Samuel 2:2-4 She Declares It
On Screen Bible 1 Sam 2:21 God Does It
The rabbis wondered about the number seven? With Samuel that is only 6. Samuel does not count because he becomes Eli’s son when he enters His home. The rabbis said the reason is because Hannah lived to see Samuel’s two sons, and grandsons are like sons in Israel (Abijah and Joel).
She did not see that her son Samuel would be one of Israel most celebrated prophets and judges.
Eli thought that perhaps God would give her just a child. In total she had five children in addition to Samuel.
God exceeded both her expectations and his blessings. The God of Israel exceeded Hannah’s greatest dreams.
Exhortation: The God of Israel will exceed your greatest dreams.
Victoria Sharp was a young teen who loved children when I met her almost 17 years ago. One day after service I felt the Lord lay something on my heart. I prayed over her and I had not thought about it sense.
God exceeded her greatest dreams. When I met this gal she was just a young girl hoping to lead a children’s small group at our congregation. God did not just give her a small group of children, God made her a foster mother of children, a spiritual mama to many kids. God went beyond her dreams.
Prophetic Declaration: I believe the God of Israel will exceed your greatest dreams.
You were hoping God would just to get a job to pay the bills but the God of Israel is about to exceed your greatest dreams.
You were hoping God would just get you a promotion but the God of Israel wants to make you a leader and not the led, an influencer and not the the influenced, the head and not the tail.
You were hoping that God would just get you a little better but the God of Israel wants to get you totally healed.
You were hoping that God would just re-ignite a little bit of the romantic flame in your marriage but the God of Israel wants to turn into the Song of Songs.
Every Single Year at Passover we remind ourselves that the God of Israel well exceed our expectations when we sing, “Dayenu.”
the God of Israel will exceed your greatest dreams.

God of Israel exceeded Hannah’s dream for a child to get a testimony for His Name

Text: The God of Israel got a testimony by exceeding Hannah’s dreams.
Hannah and the birth of Samuel and the nursing for three to four years.
On Screen Bible 1 Samuel 1:25-28 The Point: Eli worshiped because of the God of Israel who did a wonder for Hannah.
Exhortation: People in your life are going to be in awe of what God is going to do for you. They will wonder...
How did you get well? when the report said otherwise.
How did you get that guy that gal to marry you.
How did you get that financial blessing?
How did you get that strong? that healthy?
Illustrate-Personally:
God exceeded my expectations and got a testimony through my Bride.
God Exceeded My Expectations When I Prayed for a Wife
God Glorified Himself Through My Bride.
God exceeded all of our expectations for over 36 years here at CBM.
From a Living Room to a Synagogue like this on 11 acres of land and still building and growing and carrying 0 debt.
From One Person to now having a staff over 12 people on full time and part time staff and an army of amazing volunteers.
Kevin Solomon: I can’t believe John Ross and Becky Ross stayed with you.

The God of Israel exceeded Hannah’s dream at the right time.

Text: For years Hannah’s dream seemed not only dead but it was a laughingstock to Peninnah
On Screen Bible: 1 Sam 1:1-8
The rabbis say Peninah had 10 children. Their guess is as good as ours. Could have been ten but it at least had to be four years for sons and daughters plural. However many years, one year of this kind of grief would be enough to break the strongest of women.
At the right time, God was going to exceed her dreams.
There is always a timing with God, a time when He exceeds and gets glory to the extreme.
Illustrate: In the film version of the Iliad called Troy, Achilles and Hector are locked in an epic duel to the death. Then Hector trips over a stone and falls to the ground giving Achilles the easy advantage and easy kill. Achilles says to Hector, “Get up, I will not let a stone get my glory!”
God likes to wait until an expected time so that He will get all the glory.
400 Years of Egyptian Slavery
Lazarus (John 12).
Rabbi Paul (1 Cor 15:1-5).
Validate-Exhortation: Maybe today you are saying, “Everything is going wrong. Things have not changed for some time.” Don’t let go of your hope in the God of Israel. At an expected time, He will exceed your expectation.
In life we’re always waiting for something - waiting for that acceptance letter into college, waiting for that call back from an interview, waiting to meet Mr. Wonderful, waiting for a problem to turn around.
When it is not happening as fast as you would like it is easy to give up, throw in your tow, walk around and give everyone a negative report.
When you realize there is an expected time, it should take the pressure off of you.
I know we would all like it if we got a heavenly text message that said, “Next Monday at 12:00 pm is your appointed time. Your going to see God exceed your wildest dreams.” That does not take faith, that does not build your confidence nor give God the glory.
God wants you to have faith that at the expected time He will exceed your expectations.
Two Illustrations: My Mom praying for almost 21 years and the appointed time for me to come to CBM
Illustrate: My mom’s appointed time came almost ten years, a decade as she began praying for my deliverance.
Illustrate: I believe God had an expected time for me to be at CBM. Do you know that my wife and I visited CBM 18 years ago. It was not our expected time. Do you know that I talked with Rabbi Freeman over the phone in 2002 but it was not my expected time. Then in 2011, the expected time had come.
The prophet Habbakuk said in Habakkuk 2:3
Habakkuk 2:3 TLV
For the vision is yet for an appointed time. It hastens to the end and will not fail. If it should be slow in coming, wait for it, For it will surely come—it will not delay.”
There was an appointed time for Hannah, for Israel and for you. There is always an appointed time for the God of Israel because He is working out His covenant blessings at just the right time. You have to “wait for it” and trust “surely it will come.”
Exhortation: Here is what I am trying to say, “ I believe the God of Israel sooner rather than later is going to exceed your dreams, is going to do wonders, is going to do beyond what you can ask or think.”
You need to trust that there is an appointed time. Wait for it, wait for it, it will surely come.
When you wait in the Bible that means you can live with peace until comes. You can live with hope until it comes.
According to Hebrews 6:12
Hebrews 6:12 TLV
so you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those inheriting the promises through trust and perseverance.
It may not be on your timetable but that does not mean it is off of God’s timetable.
You are just trying to get my hopes up, yes I am.

Have great confidence in the God of Israel to exceed your dreams.

I want you to have so much hope and confidence in the God of Israel that you will believe Him to the uttermost that He can exceed your dreams. He can do more than you ask or think. He is the God of Israel who does great wonders.
Don’t talk yourself out of believing God can exceed your expectations (2 Kings 13:14-19).
2 Kings 13:14–19 TLV
When Elisha got sick with his illness from which he would die, King Joash of Israel came down to him, wept over him and cried, “Avi, avi, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” Then Elisha said to him, “Take bow and arrows.” So he took bow and arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel, “Mount your hand on the bow!” So he mounted his hand on it. Elisha then laid his hands on the king’s hands, and said, “Open the window to the east,” and then Elisha said, “Shoot!” and he shot. Then he said, “Adonai’s arrow of deliverance! Yes, an arrow of victory over Aram! You will strike down the Arameans in Aphek until they are demolished.” Then he said, “Take the arrows!” and he took them. Then he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground!” and he struck it three times, then stopped. But the man of God was upset with him and said, “If only you had struck five or six times, then you would have annihilated Aram till you had consumed it. But now you will strike Aram only three times.”
Tell the Story
On Screen Bible 2 Kings 13:18-19 The Point: Don’t talk yourself out of believing God can exceed your expectations
Don’t get talked out of believing that God can exceed your dreams and do wonders.
Personally: Tear down the strongholds of unbelief and like Hannah and Habbakuk declare the vision will come to pass.
Believers: Be ready for your strongest opposition to be believers, cf. Joshua, Caleb and the spies.
There is great reasons to trust that the God of Israel is still exceeding dreams.
God re-birthed Israel in May of 1948. We returned back to our ancient homeland.
In 1973, while the entire country of Israel fasted for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), one hundred thousand Egyptians invaded Israel from the south and over 1,400 Syrian tanks invaded Israel from the north. Although one can say that every war is a miracle, Israel surviving, let alone winning this war, is arguably more miraculous than most of her other war victories. With a significant portion of the Israeli military either in their homes or synagogues, Israel was nearly defenseless. Not only was Israel caught completely off guard and outnumbered, now the vast majority of her soldiers were at their weakest. Initially Syria was gaining territory and logic dictates that Israel should have lost this war, but by the end of the the Yom Kippur War, Israel somehow managed to come out on top and her weakened troops managed to reach 20 kilometers into Syria!
Almost two weeks ago A $15 billion deal to export Israeli gas to Egypt is now moving forward after months of talks, bringing the Jewish state a step closer to becoming an energy exporter to the most populous Arab country. People said Israel would never find oil. That is right, they found gas and oil. People said they would never be an exporter, now they are set to become a leading exporter.
The God of Israel is still exceeding Israel’s dreams, that means He can still exceed yours.
My challenge to you is to let this Name of God, the God of Israel take deep root in your spirit.
Hannah believed that the God of Israel was going to give her a child and then she declared he could do even more before He had done it. King Joash shot the arrow with all his might but stopped short of having confidence in the next victory. It is like something got in his spirit and said, “this is foolish” doing this stuff, believing this way. Don’t let that be you today.
Our attitude should be “I know the God of Israel did mighty wonders yesterday, the God of Israel will do them today and the God of Israel will do them tomorrow! The God of Israel will exceed your dreams.”

Conclusion

The Jewish philosopher Michael Wyschogrod, may His name remain a blessing, died Dec. 17, 2015 at the age of 87, after a long illness. Born in Germany in 1928, he was old enough to have stood with his father across the street from Berlin’s main synagogue as it burned on Kristallnacht, when the Brownshirts unrolled a Torah scroll in the street and charged passersby the equivalent of a dime to trample the length of it.
Michael Wyschogrod is a very respected Torah Scholar and has contributed much to the ongoing discussion about the place of Yeshua in Judaism. You might think that after everything this man had seen in his life he would not have much positive to say about Yeshua but that is not the case.
He was asked one time about the incarnation of Yeshua and if it meant the abrogation, the end, of the God of Israel. Wyschogrod responded and said, “No, I don’t believe so.” Rather he said, “the incarnation of Yeshua is an intensification of who the God of Israel is and of the covenant promises and blessings God gave to Israel (see Soulen, The God of Israel, p. 9).
I agree with Wyschogord that Yeshua intensifies our understanding of the God of Israel. Not just because Wyschogrod says so, though that is spectacular but because when the announcement of Yeshua’s birth was made to Miriam do you remember the Bracha he offered: Luke 1:68-69
Luke 1:68–69 TLV
“Blessed be Adonai, God of Israel, for He has looked after His people and brought them redemption. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,
It was the God of Israel, not a nameless God, not God in general but the God of Israel that Gabriel offered this Bracha. With boldness Rabbi Paul some 10 years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua in the synagogue of Antioch declared:
Acts 13:17 TLV
The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an outstretched arm He led them out of there.
And then concludes, Acts 13:32-33
Acts 13:32–33 TLV
“And we proclaim to you Good News—the promise to the fathers has arrived! For God has fulfilled this promise to the children—to us—by raising up Yeshua, as it is also written in the second psalm: ‘You are My Son. Today I have become Your Father.’
The God of Israel gave us the Messiah and the Messiah yearns to bring us back to the God of Israel.
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