Samaria, the capital of Israel “fell, and the people of Israel were exiled to Assyria” (II Kings 17:6a, NLT). When God allowed the Israelites to be removed from the Promised Land, did He cast them aside as His chosen people? I’ll let Paul answer that question.
As the Good News of Jesus was being shared with the Gentiles (non-Jews), gossipmongers spread a different word: God has rejected the Hebrews. In Romans 11, Paul grabs the bull by the horns and addresses this issue head-on:
“I ask, then, has God rejected His own people, the nation of Israel? Of course not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin. No, God has not rejected His own people, whom He chose from the very beginning.
Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But He wanted His own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.
Many of the people of Israel are now enemies of the Good News, and this benefits you Gentiles. Yet they are still the people He loves because He chose their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Romans 11:1-2a, 11-12, 28).
Was God’s original plan to exclude everyone but the Jews from His salvation? Nope. Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord foretold the coming of the Messiah and His purpose: “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to Me. I will make You a Light to the Gentiles, and You will bring My salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). The whole world was and is the target of God’s Great Love.
So even though at this point in our study of the kings of Israel and Judah we see Israel completely destroyed as a nation, we also see the remnant of Judah remaining. And even though we see Israel cast away from the Promised Land into exile, the Lord has not and never will forsake His covenant people.
If you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you are one of His covenant people.
“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The Gospel says God will change us because He loves us.” (Tullian Tchividjian)
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates