Summary: God does not grudgingly exalt His people, nor does he do so mechanically. God is extremely delighted to exalt His people — at the right time. [in spite of all the negative baggage we associate with Israel’s past]
When God Delights in His People
1. A Swiss guy, looking for directions, pulls up at a bus stop where two Americans are waiting. "Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?" he asks.
The two Americans just stare at him.
"Excusez-moi, parlez vous Francais?" he tries. The two continue to stare.
"Parlare Italiano?" No response. "Hablan ustedes Espanol?"
Still nothing. The Swiss guy drives off, extremely disgusted.
The first American turns to the second and says, "Y'know, maybe we should learn a foreign language."
"Why?" says the other. "That guy knew four languages, and it didn't do him any good." [source: http://www.jokebuddha.com/Swiss#ixzz3eBPAxHXG]
2. That same logic leads people to do foolish things, like bite the hand that feeds them, or allow spite and bitterness to ruin their relationships.
3. God is not like that. Even though Israel rejected Him by turning to idols in the OT and by rejecting Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus in NT, He still plans to enjoy their fellowship and fulfill His promises to them when they finally turn to Him in the End Times. Rather than writing them off, He waits. God demonstrates GRACE, not GRUDGE.
Main Idea: God does not grudgingly exalt His people, nor does he do so mechanically. God is extremely delighted to exalt His people — at the right time. [in spite of all the negative baggage we associate with Israel’s past]
I. God Takes PLEASURE in Exalting His People (1-3)
A. This is true of redeemed ISRAEL
B. This is true of genuine believers in JESUS
He delights in us!
1. Promise God made to Israel will be fulfilled to Israel; secondary implication: to all New Covenant believers via midrash in NT (mystery from of kingdom)
2. God wants us to humble ourselves so that he can exalt us; pride and its attendant craving to control is at the heart of sin & our struggles with sin
3. If we are defiant and entrenched in pride, God will bring us down, just as he did Israel. We need to remind ourselves of the need to humble ourselves; pride directs this criticism at others…church…America…but not self
C. God’s motivation: LOVE for his people and Jerusalem
1. Sometimes it is hard to reconcile God’s love with what happens in life; we hear about God’s glory and how He is glorified by all sorts of things, and we wonder if His love motivates Him to do anything at all… nothing can separate
2. Especially true when we have horrid, traumatic tragedies…
3. Our choice: Go thru it with God or without; God does love you, even though…
D. The right time: God awaits righteousness and SALVATION
1. Because of Israel’s unbelief, according to Romans 11, salvation has come predominantly to the gentiles until the end times; but end time Israel & all believers today are part of God’s kingdom thru righteousness & salvation.
2. Modern Jews are urged to be busy doing good works to atone for their sins, rather than receiving the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus
3. So many religious people, supposedly Christians, have never repented/rested