Scriptural choice is the active exercise of picking and choosing verses that can be received with the least amount of resistance. In other words, Bible passages that can be digested with little or no discomfort are the accepted norm. When Scriptures expose weaknesses and flaws of the reader, they are quickly ignored or overlooked. If a Scripture seems too difficult to understand, it is passed over. Trying to understand why God would cause a “spirit of slumber” to come upon the Jewish people has caused many Christians to misunderstand God’s intent. (Romans 11:8) Why would God block His own people from receiving the “Gospel?” (Note: The Word WHY should never be part of the Believers vocabulary, especially when it comes to questioning God’s actions.) Looking at this subject let us simply see what God’s intended purpose was in blocking the truth from His people.
Almost immediately following their exile from Egypt, the Jews developed a rebellious attitude toward God. Isaiah would look back over the past generations and proclaim how their hearts, eyes, and ears were closed. (Isaiah 6: 9, 10) Jesus reinforced Isaiah’s words in Matthew 13:15. Paul elaborated the same in Romans 11:7-10. The problem was that God’s chosen people could not accept the concept of Faith. Generation after generation lived by emotions and self-desires, instead of simply following God’s directions evidenced by Faith. They turned their hearts from obeying the Gospel (Romans 10:16). For generations, God stretched out His hands to His rebellious children, but they would not listen. (Romans 10: 21) Abraham was the Father of Faith, yet they rejected his way and pursued a life of independence. What was God to do?
God used heathen countries to bring judgment against Israel, but they continued to resist His commandments. What God did next was a shocking display as to the lengths He would take to fulfill His promises to Abraham. He blocked the Gospel message from His chosen and offered the Gospel to the Gentiles. His purpose was to bestow upon the non-Jewish people all the benefits that would have been available to the Jews if they had only been obedient. When the Jews would see God’s favor upon non-Jewish people, they would be provoked into jealousy. (Romans 11: 11)
The fullness of God’s love was shone through the expansion of His love for all mankind by the sending of His Son. If only the Jews had obeyed God’s invitation to walk by faith, they would have recognized the Messiah when He came. If the Jews had only seen beyond their self-willed rebellion against God, they would have experienced a “favored nation” status in the world. If the Jews had received the Messiah, they would have received forgiveness of sins and a place in eternity. It all starts with obedience fortified by faith. The Hope is that Israel would accept God’s outstretched arms and return to the faith of Abraham. By walking in faith, they would be able to see and hear Jesus the Messiah. Sadly, today many Jews are determined to force a “cultural change,” which separates them from the founding fathers of their faith.
May the Church never forget its Biblical history or the Disciples of Faith. May we never pull down our “statutes of faith.” The Church is the visible and audible display of God and His love for all mankind. Have we provoked others to the point of action?
(Reference Romans chapters 10 through 12)
NOTE: Have we overlooked Israel’s role in the timeline of Jesus’s return? (Romans 11:26)