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The Partial Setting Aside of Israel

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Introduction:

Modern Israel is situated in a place of constant danger.
They have enemies of three borders; the southern border, the eastern border and the norther border are basically hostile as far as they are concerned.
Throughout history these Arab nations that have surrounded the land of Israel have posed for them some severe problems in terms of security.
And that is why at all times their borders are guarded; at all times their borders are patrolled by jet aircraft.
The threat is ever present and basically the threat that Israel has from its Arab neighbors goes way back in history to Abraham.
Because Abraham also fathered the Arab nations and when God brought into the land of Canaan, during the life of Abraham, a great food shortage, a great famine, it presented a very tragic situation.
Abraham who was promised by God that he would have a great nation out of his loins, Abraham who was promised by God that his needs would be met, that he would give Abraham the fulfillment of His promise, entered into this time of food shortage and I believe rather than trusting God decided to escape to Egypt and to go into Egypt and found food that was unavailable in the land of Canaan.
Even though God had said to him, “Unto thy seed will I give this land”, he abandoned the land and went into Egypt.
And when he got into Egypt, and I believe had stepped out of the plan and the purpose of God, he then had to lie, at least he thought he had to lie, which compounded his problem.
You remember that he lied about the fact that his wife Sarah was his sister?
He was afraid to tell the truth because he thought Pharaoh was attracted to her.
And so now he is not only in a wrong place but he is in a wrong position, having lied about his own wife.
It is a good thing to keep in mind that when you step out of the place of God’s will, you compound your problems; and that is exactly what happened to Abraham.
Well, when Pharaoh found out that Abraham was indeed the husband of Sarah, he was upset at Abraham doing that and threw Abraham out of Egypt.
Abraham had gone there to be able to provide for his family ostensibly, and now he was thrown out of Egypt.
When he left Egypt he did not leave alone; he had triply compounded his problem because while he was in Egypt he had taken on a servant by the name of Hagar who was an Egyptian, aEgyptian woman.
So when he went back into the land of Canaan he took his handmaid Hagar, and you all know the story from there.
When he was again given the promise of God of a seed, he disbelieved that God could produce that seed through his wife Sarah who was barren and who was in her nineties.
And so he went under the advice of Sarah in unto Hagar this Egyptian maid that he had picked up while disobedient to God and living in Egypt.
And out of the loins of Abraham, born through Hagar came a child by the name of Ishmael.
And you can read about it in , but Ishmael was not the child of promise.
Ishmael was not the covenant child.
Ishmael was not to be the son through whom God would bring out His Jewish people and His Messiah and His plan of redemption.
And Sarah said:
Genesis 21:10 NASB95
Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.”
By Isaac had been born of Abraham and Sarah.
But now a conflict had been set up because Abraham was disobedient and left Canaan, because Abraham was disobedient and lied to Pharaoh, because he was thrown out of the land of Egypt, took with him an Egyptian handmaid, go that Egyptian handmaid pregnant trying to help God produce His promise and produced Ishmael and then when God gave him Isaac there was a conflict because Ishmael was actually Abraham’s older son, he set up a conflict that still goes on to this very day.
For Ishmael produced much of the Aran people.
Now, the promise of is that out of the loins of Ishmael would come a great people, but not the covenant people.
But both and 17 indicate to us that Ishmael was not the covenant people but would become the persecutor of the the covenant people.
Now, Paul picks up this story and notice what he says:
Galatians 3:16 NASB95
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.
Now Abraham initially had two seeds but only one of them would be the line through whom the ultimate one seed, Christ, would come.
Galatians 4:23 NASB95
But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.
In other words, the child of the bondwoman was an act of the flesh, not fulfilling the promise of God.
Galatians 4:28 NASB95
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.
Galatians 4:29 NASB95
But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.
The children of Ishmael still persecute the children of Isaac.
Galatians 4:30 NASB95
But what does the Scripture say? Cast out the bondwoman and her son, For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.”
John MacArthur Sermon Archive Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 4

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.

It is also very interesting that later on in the patriarchal line there were two sons born by the name of Jacob and Esau.
Jacob was the son of promise, Esau was not.
Out of Esau’s loins came the Edomites; again a people that we know today as an Arab people.
And if fascinates me that in it says, when it lists Esau’s wives, it lists Bashemath, the daughter if Ishmael.
So the line of Ishmael, not the the children of promise but from the loins of Abraham, and the line of Esau, not the children of promise but also from the loins of Abraham, united to produce these people.
And so, all throughout history they have lived with this incessant conflict with their neighbors.
And we can add to the fact that the Nazis wanted to eliminate Israel, the Communists and the Russians.
And we ask ourselves: will any of them ever succeed at doing that?
Jeremiah 31:37 NASB95
Thus says the Lord, “If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done,” declares the Lord.
In other words, they have no more hope of doing that than they do of measuring the infinite heaven; it is impossible.
Deuteronomy 14:2 NASB95
“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
John MacArthur Sermon Archive Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 4

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.

The present time, as we have been learning, however, is a time when God is chastening the nation for their unbelief.
It is not that He is putting them out of existence, it is that He is chastening them.
And that is the message of Paul in this chapter.
Though Israel is in unbelief and though Israel is going through a time of chastening, they will not be utterly destroyed.
They are set aside for the time in terms of the nation of blessing; they are no longer the recipients of God’s blessing, they are no longer that special channel through which he blesses the world.
They have been set aside as the nation of privilege and blessing.
And we saw that in Chapters 9-10; they have been set aside because of God’s sovereignty and because of their sin.
But we are learning in Chapter 11 that their setting aside if three fold.
It is partial, only some of them are set aside. It is passing, that is it is only for a period of time. And that it is purposeful and we will see that in the final part of this eleventh chapter.
We have seen that the setting aside of Israel is only partial because Paul says in the first 10 verses of chapter 11 that God will also have his people.
That the election obtain the righteousness that the self-righteous Israel was trying to obtain, but the rest were hardened.
But God has always ensured that he had His people.
But the setting aside is not only partial, but it is also passing; and we want to look at this in the next few verses.
Remember saw as a result of the partial setting aside that God’s Grace is Steadfast, God’s Grace is Sovereign, God’s Grace is Simple and God’s Grace is Specific.
Now, in the next few verses we want to introduce to you that the setting aside of Israel is passing as seen in the fact that it has a definite purpose, premonition and promise.

I. The Purpose (vs. 11)

First of all, the Purpose in verse 11.
Romans 11:11 AV
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
John MacArthur Sermon Archive Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 4

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.

And if you remember the first 10 verses of Chapter 11, they are a disobedient people, a contrary people, a blind people, a deaf people.
Their own table, that thing that they depended on, becomes for them a snare and a trap, that the things religiously that they think they are feasting on are going to consume them in reality.
Yet with all that judgment talk in verses 8-10, he comes right back in verse 11 and says:
Romans 11:11 AV
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
And the answer is no!
The verb “stumble” is an interesting verb; it is the Greek word “πταίω” and then verb means to fall in a situation where you could never get back up again.
It is one thing to stumble, it is something else to hit with such a crash that you are totally debilitated and can never get up again.
Did they fall in order that they would never be able to come back? Is their stumbling complete and irreversible? Is it a permanent falling from which no recovery is ever possible? Is national Israel dead? Are they never to receive the promises?
And the answer is God forbid.
But notice the next part of verse 11.

1. Gentile Salvation (vs. 11b)

The first element in the purpose for Israel’s fall is Gentile salvation.
In other words, in the fall of Israel there is even a gracious purpose, a far-reaching aim, the salvation of non-Jews.
When Israel fell away, the gospel was taken to the Gentiles, it was taken to the world.
And so in their falling the world was incredibly enriched with the Gospel.
Matthew 8:11–12 NASB95
“I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Of course, the people from the east and west are speaking about the Gentiles.
But the very people for whom the kingdom was intended and to whom it was offered are going to be shut out of it and people are going to be gathered from the east and the west and brought into the kingdom.
So the falling away leads to the introduction of Gentiles to salvation.
Matthew 21:43 NASB95
“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.
Because you refused it, it will be opened up to the Gentiles.
Chapter 22 gives us another parable.
You will remember there is a king who made a feast for his sone, it God calling people to His Son’s celebration.
He calls them to the fact that Messiah has come, it is a feast in honor of Messiah.
Matthew 22:3 NASB95
“And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.
Matthew 22:6 NASB95
and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.
And then comes the judgment:
Matthew 22:8 NASB95
“Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
Matthew 22:8–10 NASB95
“Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ “Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.
Matthew 22:8–9 NASB95
“Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’
The salvation of Gentiles came about on a wide scale because of the fall of Israel and the reaching out of the gospel to the Gentiles.
Now it wasn’t that saving the Gentiles was an afterthought.
God desired to reach them through Israel, but when Israel rejected that calling, God moved right out to reach the Gentiles.
Acts 13:46 NASB95
Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.
Acts 18:6 NASB95
But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
Acts 28:23 NASB95
When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.
So we see from several illustration where the blindness, the deafness, the obstinacy of Israel works to the salvation of the Gentiles.
And you remember when Paul went on his missionary journey and he went into a new city, where did he go first? To the synagogue.
And when he found that they would not respond, he turned to the Gentiles.
And so this is what Paul want us to understand, that the setting aside of Israel has very definite purpose.
It is that God may then take the gospel to the Gentiles that they may see and believe.
God did not reach the world through the Jews, but through their being set aside.
We then are redeemed as a direct result of the blindness of Israel.
Has God allowed them to stumble that they should forever fall? No. But notice:
Romans 11:11 AV
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
The word “fall” there is the Greek word “παράπτωμα” and could be better translated “trespass”.
And it talks about there sin.
Through their sin of rejecting Christ salvation is come to the Gentiles, or to the other nations.
So that is the first element of the definite purpose.
The first element of the definite purpose was Gentile Salvation.

B. Jewish Jealousy (vs. 11c)

Romans 11:11 AV
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Now, you have to understand this or you will never understand the mind of Paul.
This is a very critical passage in understanding Paul.
He says that when the Jews stumbled the purpose in God allowing them to stumble was not to destroy them forever, but to bring about Gentile salvation which would in turn provoke them to Jealousy that they too might be saved.
So the purpose in God allowing them to stumble was not to destroy them, do you see that?
The word “jealousy” is the Greek word “παραζηλόω” and it comes from the Greek root “ζεω” which means to be excited or enthusiastic.
John MacArthur Sermon Archive Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 4

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.

What a wonderful paradox.
It is the most humbling thing you can imagine because to be honest with you we despise and we hate anti-Semitism.
But as Gentiles have been guilty of hating Jews through the years, Jews for many centuries have been guilty of looking down of Gentiles.
There is little question about that historically.
And I am not so much speaking of every Jew feeling that way, of course.
But there have been many that have looked down on the Gentiles.
And God has humbled them in a most remarkable way.
God allowed them to stumble and then they have to endure the conversion of Gentiles which they must become jealous of to come back to the Savior.
A very humbling thing that Hews become jealous of Gentiles and very much contrary to the their mindset historically.
John MacArthur Sermon Archive Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 4

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.

The most humbling testimony that I have heard is from a fellow Pastor who went to Israel and he said this to me:
John MacArthur Sermon Archive Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 4

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.

Now notice a third element in this great and definite purpose.
First was Gentile Salvation.
Second was Jewish Jealousy.

C. World Blessing (vs. 12)

Third is world blessing.
Romans 11:12 AV
Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
Man, this is so tremendous, you have to come back to see these things for yourselves.
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