This week I want to take a look at who Israel actually is from a Biblical standpoint.
What God created was good, and his plan from the beginning was that the whole world would “walk” with him in his earthly kingdom.
Gen 6: 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Gen 17: 1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
Deut 5: 33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.
Col 2: 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
To “walk” with God means that we are to obey his commands, and to do what is good.
Isa 30: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Psalm 119: 105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Prov 3: 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Micah 6: 8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
1Pet 2: 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Thes 4: 1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
1John 2: 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Because man chose evil over good, God chose certain faithful “elect” like Noah to be a light – or example – to the world in order that the whole world might choose good, and walk with him.
Gen 6: 5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
After Noah came Abraham. Abraham was given the promise of a kingdom.
Gen 12: 1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Abraham’s son Jacob was called “Israel” by God, whose descendants eventually became the nation of Israel.
Gen 32: 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Because Jacob – whose name was changed to Israel – was the son of Abraham to whom the promise was given, God’s chosen people – or the “seed of Abraham” are now called Israel.
The Hebrew nation – being a shadow of the Israel to come – was called by God a nation of priests and a holy nation.
Ex 19: 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Now he calls us, his church – being the present day fulfillment of Israel – a nation of priests and a holy nation.
1Pet 2: 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Israel was a type of “light to the world” before Jesus, the true light came.
Gal 3: 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
John 8: 12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
2Cor 4: 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The Jewish nation of Israel rejected the Lordship of the Son of God, but all those who now do accept and follow Jesus Christ, walk with God through this “light of the world”, and will inherit his kingdom, being the Israel of God.
Mat 21: 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
John 1: 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Eph 2: 11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Gal 3: 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Gal 6: 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Jesus now calls US to be a light to the world.
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Mat 5: 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
From looking at all of the verses here, it’s clear that we, the followers of Jesus Christ, are God’s true Israel. Now we need to live a life that’s worthy to walk with him, and let his light shine in us throughout the whole world!