What Israel Means to God -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 093:371 (Jul 1936)
Article: What Israel Means to God
Author: Charles Lee Feinberg


What Israel Means to God

Charles Lee Feinberg

We often hear people speak of what God means to Israel, and this is eminently Scriptural. In his closing address to his people, Moses had been constrained of the Spirit of God to say: “The eternal God is thy dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut 33:27). In the prayer of Moses found in the ninetieth Psalm, we find these words: “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place In all generations” (Ps 90:1). So we could multiply Scriptures to show what God means to Israel.

But how many have ever heard what Israel means to God? Yet this is a truth which has ample proof in Scriptures also. Let us note first the inception of the nation. The failure of Adam is known to everyone who has read the Bible and to many who have not. The sin and crime of Cain is also written large on the sacred page. Nor was the generation of Noah one whit better, until God saw He must destroy the whole earth by a great deluge. The flood, however, did not put an end to the failure of the human race, for soon we find men devising plans whereby they might build a city and make a name for themselves. God in His righteous judgment confounded the language of the race and scattered His creatures over the face of the whole earth. From this great mass of human wreckage and sin God called one man, Abraham, and His first promise to him was (and most significant it is too): “I will make of thee a great nation.” Before God ever promised to bless him or make his name great, He covenanted that out of the man of His sovereign choice, there should issue a nation. But this gracious promise seemed impossible of fulfillment on the human side because of the advanced age of both Sarah and Abraham. So God performed a miracle to bring into existence the miracle nation, Israel.

God, then, had purposed to use a nation as the channel of His purposes in the earth. Nothing could be more clear than this from a study of the very structure of the Book of Genesis, the seed plot of the entire Word of God. In eleven chapters God occupies Himself with the story of the creation of the material world, the creation of man, the entrance of sin into the world, the flood, the propagation of the race, the beginning of nations, the multiplication of languages, and the diffusion of the race over the earth. In the remaining thirty-nine chapters of Genesis God is engaged in setting forth the inception, growth, and expansion of but one nation from its progenitor, Abraham. Surely there is divine wisdom here as in all His works, for God reveals that He intends to use the nation for His purposes.

When we...

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