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Summary: God's promises should cause us to praise Him.

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Saved to Sing

Romans 15:8-13

Rev. Brian Bill

3/13/11

Let’s think about some words that don’t go together very well. I’ll say one phrase and then you give me the exact opposite.

Toothpaste Orange Juice

Fox News MSNBC

Sauerkraut Ice Cream

Republicans Democrats

Michigan Promised Land

Oil Water

Cheese Everything Else

Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champs

Jews Gentiles

These last two groups have experienced a ton of animosity for thousands of years, much of which continues today. The Jew/Gentile divide is more pronounced than anything most of us can relate to.

The Jews were God’s chosen people, also known as the nation of Israel. The term “Gentile” refers to all those outside of the Jewish faith and is sometimes translated as “nations.” From a biblical point of view, the human race is divided into two distinct groups—the Jews and everyone else. Since there are approximately 15 million Jews today amid a total world population of over 6 billion, nearly everyone falls into the Gentile grouping.

Israel was chosen to reflect the will and character of God in a unique way and yet they were often led astray by the surrounding nations. As such, great animosity developed over the years between the Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles hated the Jews (Esth. 9:1,5; Ps. 44:13,14), often ravaged and defiled the holy land (Ps. 79:1) and were rebellious against God (Rom. 1:28). The Jews on the other hand, tried to stay away from the Gentiles (Acts 10:28). The daily prayer of a strict Jewish male involved thanking God that he was not a Gentile. Even after becoming Christ-followers, the tendency of some Jewish background believers was to doubt whether the Gentiles were really on an equal spiritual plane with them. No doubt, there was plenty of dirty laundry on both sides.

That reminds me of the story about a young couple that had just moved into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they were eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the wash outside (back when people still did this). “That laundry is not very clean,” she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, she would make the same disparaging comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see some lily white laundry on the line and said to her husband: “Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her how to do it?” To which the husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

There were some pretty dirty windows between Jews and Gentiles. Have you ever been on the receiving end of being judged or having someone say things about you that just aren’t true? This happened to me this week when I went to the Dance Center to pick Megan up from her ballet class. One of the adults wished me a belated Happy Birthday and then a young girl who I had never met before asked me how old I was. I decided to fish for a compliment so I asked her how old she thought I was. Thinking she was going to say “30-something,” I wasn’t prepared for her answer: “You look like you’re 67!”


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