Has God forsaken Israel?
“Arguments against “Replacement Theology”
The Bible presents the story of God’s eternal purposes and plan. It is obvious to the Bible student who examines the entire Bible that this God has invested a testimony of who He is in His chosen people, Israel. In the Bible, God repeatedly calls Himself “The Holy One of Israel,” “The God of Israel,” “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” and “The God of Jacob.” God has invested His glory in His eternal plans for Israel. (Isaiah 46:13) God has declared that He will not rest until the entire living nation of Jewish people is saved (Romans 11:26), and becomes a spiritual light unto all of the nations. (Isaiah 62:1) The same God who has disciplined Israel and scattered them across the face of the earth, will cause them to return, and complete an incredible process of the redemption of the entire living nation. (Deuteronomy 30:1-6; Ezekiel 36:21-32)
Those who think and teach that the church has replaced Israel, called “Replacement Theology,” cannot have a true Biblical view of God. God has established an unconditional covenant with His people. (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-15; Psalm 89:27-37; Jeremiah 31:35-37) This means that the future of Israel is not tied to the nation’s performance. Israel’s future is directly linked to the unchangeable nature of the eternal God of the universe. He has said:“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6) This does not mean that the Jewish people will not suffer the consequences of their sin and temporary rejection of their Messiah, Jesus. God has promised that He will discipline Israel for their rebellion and rejection. (Psalm 89:31-32; Jeremiah 30:11) However, He has proclaimed that He will never forget His eternal covenant He has made with His people. (Psalm 89:34-37; Romans 11:26-29)
In the great chapter on the greatness of God, Isaiah 40, the ancient prophet Isaiah was directed by the Spirit of God to directly connect the greatness of God with His promises to “His flock”(verse 11), Israel. Read Isaiah 40. When we look at Israel, we must not judge the Jewish people in light of their past or current failures. God is not finished with them yet. The big picture of God’s eternal work in Israel is summarized in Isaiah 40:1-2: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people saith your God. Speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.” In this text, the Spirit of God speaks in the present tense as if Israel’s days of war are over, and her sins as a nation have be pardoned. However, we all know this has not yet been fulfilled. It is still in the future. God says He is “the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy.”(Isaiah 57:15) He is the One who sees everything from His “eternal now.” He sees everything that is in the future as having already been accomplished. From our human perspective, as finite creatures of time, space, and matter, we cannot rely on our human reasoning to know the plan and purposes of the Holy One of Israel. Our frail and twisted human reasoning has been anchored in a distorted view of reality since mankind was alienated from God with the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. (1 Corinthians 2:9-14) We do not think like God! (Read Isaiah 55:6-11) We must rely upon the written revelation of God (the Bible) to correct and formulate what is true. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) I have discovered that the real problem with Replacement Theology is that is has been crafted, influenced, and perpetuated by a twisted and distorted interpretation of the Scriptures. At the heart of all of this is an unbiblical view of God!
In Romans 11:25-34, the Apostle Paul concludes three great chapters in the book of Romans (chapters 9-11) that are focused upon God’s salvation of mankind. In this great declaration, the Spirit of God caused the Apostle Paul to illustrate the assurance of salvation of those who have called upon the Lord and are saved. In essence, he states that God has not forsaken Israel. He repeatedly illustrates from references to Old Testament history that the Lord chose Israel and He will complete His eternal covenant with them. In the closing verses of this declaration, he reminds the church that God’s promises to the church and Israel are bound up in “the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor?”(Romans 11:33-34) The same God who guarantees the salvation of the New Testament believer, is the One who has guaranteed His future plans for Israel. Both of these promises are anchored in the unchangeable nature of our eternal God!