Word for Wednesday

Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God and David their king, and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days. Hosea 3:5

Let’s play a little game of imagination, and pretend that someone from a thousand years ago, who lived where I live now, were suddenly transported through time, and appeared in my living room. Such a person would never have heard of white people, and could never have imagined a house like mine in his wildest thoughts. Setting aside the language barrier, this Malecite brave would have no reference for the laws that now govern our province, the customs that guide our society, the foods that sustain us, the clothing that we wear, or the technologies that enable us to function as we do. Even if he could understand English, very little of our conversation would make any sense to him. He could just as well have appeared on another planet as in a different time. This time traveller would be like us, if we were to suddenly appear in the circumstances described in today’s text.

The latter days tell of a time when the children of Israel will be fully restored to God, as they wholeheartedly welcome the reign of great David’s greater Son. They have a long ways to go before they reach that point, and it is difficult for us to imagine that. Today, Israel struggles to survive amid fierce and unreasonable enemies, and with diminishing support among her few friends. Despite assurances of God’s protection and aid, Israel seeks safety in conciliation and negotiation, offering to give up what is rightfully hers to appease the ravening wolves about her. Those wolves cry for Israel’s extermination, sealing their own doom thereby, but causing fear and pain on God’s chosen people until that certain doom appears. Israel is the target of hatred and lies like no other nation on earth. Despite strong leadership, valiant security and defense forces, and the aid of good allies, Israel remains in existence only through God’s provision. God sustains a nation that has yet to accept its true King, and will someday bring it into the glory described in our text. But today, as Israel struggles, God is blessing you and me.

Many Jewish people have turned to Christ, and rejoice in His salvation. But they have received Him as individuals, just as you and I have, not as a nation. As individuals, they have come into the blessing of the Gentiles. They take their places within the body of Christ and face the glorious prospect of the rapture at His coming, and the joy of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The blessings that delight us are their delight too. But the blessings that God has promised for their nation must wait a different dispensation.

Our instructions are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), our desire is for the salvation of the Jewish people, and our joy is to know that God’s great program includes a time of Jacob’s blessing. -Jim MacIntosh

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