Scandal of Particularity
The Continuing Form of Israel
Tag Archives: Israel
“Greater Israel” and a covenant of the law
Judgement, personal holiness vs. group identity, theological candy
Typology, Samson’s typology of death, Hagar’s typology of Israel, the typology of life
Text: Deuteronomy 4:25-31
Dangerous territory the later days. Especially when you ponder the Jewish people. Over and over again in history Christians have looked for the wholesale “return” of the Jews to belief. It is one of those thoughts that is just too tantalizing. And when it doesn’t happen in a person’s lifetime the results are not often pretty (see Martin Luther’s late writings on the Jews). There it is in today’s text – “in later days, you will return to the Lord your God and hear his voice…” Paul in Romans ponders the question and answers “all Israel will be saved.” (Romans 11:26) What both this text and Paul have in common is disobeidience. Moses says, “that the people will be few in number amoung the nations and there you will serce other gods of wood and stone….” Paul writes (romans 11:32), “God has bound all men over to disobeidience so that he many have mercy on them all.”
Becoming infatuated with the hereditary Jews misses Paul’s and Moses’ distinction. All Israel will be saved. The elect, the chosen, Israel – not the hereditary line, but the line of faith. “When you are in tribulation and all these things come upon you in the later days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice, for the Lord your God is a merciful God.” The disobeidient will hear the voice and repent. All have fallen short. All have been disobeidient. All have been called by the Gospel. All Israel hears the Good Shepherd’s voice. (John 10:5, John 10:27)
And how is Israel chosen? “Oh the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out… (Romans 11:33-36)”
The OT text for the day was Isaiah 6:1-8 but I lengthened it to Isaiah 6:1-13. Anything less felt like taking stuff out of context.
When you read the rest of that passage the first reaction is, “How did that get in there?” But without the rest you don’t get the gospel. Without the failure of the law, without the reduction of Israel to one, the seed in the stump, Jesus Christ, you don’t get the gospel. Sitting on the other side of Jesus we have something similar. Our call by Jesus is to pick up the cross and follow him. The call is not to victory and glory in this world. Salvation is free and clear – by grace through faith. What God is asking is for those who will jump up and down saying Here I am, send me! because they trust the one who saved them. Trust Him freely, even though crosses come first. Trust him knowing that placing your life into those nail marked hands is the only sure thing in this world.