The Partial Setting Aside of Israel
But the point I want to make is this, it was due to the sin of Abraham initially in going into the land of Egypt and bringing out an Egyptian handmaid that the Arab people were born who claim a right to Abrahamic inheritance to this day and are still after the Jews, not all of the Arabs, of course, feeling the same strength of animosity toward them, but they still desire or at least many of them, the elimination of the Jewish people that they may possess what they believe to be rightfully their own land.
So in spite of Israel’s sin, in spite of Israel’s disobedience, in spite of their unbelief and rejection of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, there is still a future for that nation and that people. And their enemies will not prevail against them.
I. The Purpose (vs. 11)
He introduces part two in the same way. God has not allowed them to stumble that they should totally fall. He has not set them aside that they should be totally and forever set aside. And that’s a wonderful testimony to God’s grace because if you see the end of chapter 10, in the end of chapter 10 he talks about the fact that they were a disobedient and a contrary people. And that’s sort of judgment language.
1. Gentile Salvation (vs. 11b)
B. Jewish Jealousy (vs. 11c)
So the word “jealousy” here is used in a positive sense. It has to do with admiration, or emulation, or a striving after. In other words, Israel would see the Gentile church. Israel would be drawn when they see how blessed it is and what it is to know Christ and how they have been so enriched and privileged as those who are redeemed. And then Israel in individual Jewish cases would look at itself and say, “Look what we missed, look what we have lost, look what we have forfeited.” And by seeing the glory of God given to the Gentile church, be drawn to Jesus Christ.
So the Lord has humbled His people Israel for a positive reason, by allowing their stumbling, not that they should forever be destroyed, but that Gentiles should be redeemed who become the testimony to the Jews and whose faith the Jews desire to emulate. So by blinding Jewish eyes and hardening Jewish hearts, and deafening their ears, God opens the fount of salvation to all of us. And we can say this, dear friends, we shouldn’t be proud either, we shouldn’t be proud either because it is by God’s grace and by God’s sovereign setting aside of His chosen people Israel that we have even been brought the gospel. And the lives of us who are redeemed Gentiles should be powerful, joyful, peaceful, hopeful testimonies of what God can do in a life that should be attractive to Jews who have rejected the Savior. And how we live before the Jews and how we act and how we speak and how we manifest the love of Jesus Christ in the transformed life is, I believe, the single greatest testimony we have to Israel. I’m so thrilled when I see Jews come to Christ because they’re attracted by the reality of Christ in the life of His church.
But the thing that’s in the back of your mind is, you’re so anxious to win them to Christ and the ones who are the guides and who get all the Christian groups, they’ve heard it over and over and over and over, they can sing all the songs, in fact they lead you in all the songs that we sing about Christ. I mean, they’ll start singing it on the bus and everybody sings with them. They know all the doctrine, all the theology, the whole thing. But as one of them, when I spoke with him one evening, said to me, “Look, I know what all of you believe, what I can’t handle is the way most of you live.” And he went on to tell me horror stories about the so-called Christian leaders who come up there and don’t sleep with their own wife, you understand? Or come over there and want under the table favors, or want free jewelry, or want this or want that or want the other thing and are nothing more than charlatans.