Summary: Continuation of the study of the Book of Romans
Book of Romans
By Rev. James May
Israel had rejected God so many times. They had been an unfaithful people, always running off in search of another love besides that which God offered to them.
Israel was God’s chosen nation and his spiritual wife of the Old Testament. God had chosen her, caused her to grow from the seed of Abraham, and provided for her throughout all of her history. Though Israel was unfaithful; God was faithful!
In a natural sense, it was as though God, being the husband, would walk in the front door of the house while his wife, Israel, was sneaking out the back door or a window to go and meet another lover. She was ever seeking after and serving idols, and always provoking God to bring a loving hand of chastisement and correction upon her. It was not God’s choice from the beginning to bring so many enemies against Israel, but the Jews kept being unfaithful and that was God’s way of trying to make them return and be faithful.
If you read the Book of Hosea, you will find that God commissioned Hosea to find a harlot and to love her and marry her, making her his wife. Yet the wife that Hosea would choose would not be faithful to him. Hosea was to live out in a natural sense, what God felt in a spiritual sense.
God loved Israel with all his heart; but Israel didn’t love God in return. In time God had enough of Israel’s unfaithfulness and finally had to allow them to the scattered to the winds and the nation of Israel ceased to exist for nearly 2000 years.
But even though God allowed them to run and be unfaithful; he wasn’t through Israel yet! God’s love never fails! He would make a way for Israel to return to him and be faithful as they should have been all along!
When it seemed that all hope for Israel was lost and that God had given up on them, Paul says that God had only just begun. God’s love would cause him to raise Israel once again from the ash heap of history!
Romans 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Paul himself was living proof that God had not forgotten Israel! He was a man of God, filled with the Spirit of God; called and anointed in the high office of the kingdom of God as an Apostle! Yet he was also a Jew, born under the covenant of Abraham, and was a member of the Tribe of Benjamin!
Romans 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
Romans 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
Though God allowed the Jews to be dispersed, conquered and carried away into slavery as a form of correction, he never gave up on them as his chosen people. That should give us so much to shout about! If God wouldn’t give up on Israel; then he won’t give up on us either when we fail!
In the Old Testament, the prophet Elijah had given up on Israel. His prayer to the Lord was that he alone was left to serve God and that every other member of the nation of Israel had turned their back on God and now refused to serve him. The Jews were killing the prophets because they didn’t want to hear the truth. Elijah was on the run for his very life and it seemed that he alone was left to stand for God and his righteousness.
Israel, much as we are today, attempted to rid their national consciousness of the knowledge of God. They wanted to erase the Law, do away with the covenant of Abraham and declare themselves as their own gods. They didn’t want to be accountable to a God! They wanted to believe as it pleased them and act upon their own beliefs no matter what the consequences.
Sometimes I feel like Elijah and I begin to think, “Lord, what’s the use in continuing to fight this battle? Why should we work so hard to preach the gospel when the world just won’t listen and our nation turns a deaf ear? Why continue to fight the spiritual warfare against the devil only to see our efforts fail? Is there a point when we should just throw in the towel and forget the whole thing, then hunker down, hold on and just wait for the Rapture while we hide in a cave somewhere?”