Sunday, May 29, 2005It's all about Israel...
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37)
This is another verse misused by those who reject the Doctrines of Grace. The objection goes something like this: "This verse clearly says God wanted to gather the people of Jerusalem as a hen with her chickens, and THEY WOULD NOT!"
The problem with this objection is that it ignores who this verse is written to. This verse is not to be viewed as God's inability to save the people of Jerusalem, but rather it is a LAMENT over the sins of Israel, His ELECT NATION! Now what do I mean by elect nation? That all Jews (past, present and future) are the elect of God and therefore are going to Heaven? No. The Bible says:
"Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." (Romans 9:6)
Not every individual Jew is elect, but the nation of Israel has been chosen unto a future, and total, salvation:
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the ELECTION, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. FOR THE GIFTS AND CALLING OF GOD ARE WITHOUT REPENTANCE." (Romans 11: 25-29)
The Lord Jesus Christ, in Matthew 23:37, laments over the state of His chosen nation at that particular time. There are times in my life I believe the Lord laments over my state; the same applies for Israel here. You will find other such laments in Scripture, and always towards His elect nation. For example:
"O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" (Deuteronomy 5:29)
"O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea." (Isaiah 48:18)
Israel! God's elect nation! And the day is coming in which the Lord will indeed gather up His Jewish elect as a hen gathers her chicks.