#DailyDevotion God’s Israel Is Those Who Have The Faith Of Abraham-Those Who Trust In Jesus of Nazareth.
Read Rom 9:1–18
Rom 9:6-8 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, (7) and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” (8) This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.Rom 9:15-16 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (16) So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
There are two things we should pay attention to in this reading: 1. Who is Israel and 2. That God is merciful at all.
Despite Washington D.C., conservative Neo-cons and fundamentalist millennialist, the country of Israel over on the eastern side of the Mediterranean is not the true Israel whom the promises of God to Abraham apply. There may be some there it applies to but for the most part, no. Who does St. Paul say the name Israel belongs to? It belongs to those who have the faith of Abraham. True, to the physical descendents of Abraham had the Law, the Prophets, the writings and the promises but they didn’t believe them. Note they, for the most part, rejected Jesus who is the promised one to come. Israel falls into idolatry in the time of Jesus by rejecting him hence the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple 40 later after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God.
We who trust in the promises given Abraham are Abraham’s seed. We are currently 1/3 at least in name the population of the earth. Of course if that third doesn’t actually believe and trust only in Jesus for their salvation they’re just as much not Israel as the unbelieving Jews are today. But all who are baptized and believe are Israel and every promise to Abraham and to his descendents applies to them.
Of most importance to us is that God has had mercy on any of us. Much to the dismay who despair of how God does stuff, usually in disagreement with God about him having mercy on these people but not delivering the good news to other places, God has not asked their opinion and he has mercy on whom he has mercy. But it of huge importance that he has had mercy on anyone.
Most importantly he has had mercy on you. He has had you born into a time and place in which the good news of the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ has been given to you. He has forgiven you in Christ Jesus. He has made baptism in Jesus available to you. He has made his son’s body and blood available to you. He has made his Word available to you. In short, God has had mercy on you and he didn’t have to do it. So thank God and be his instrument in bringing this mercy to others.
Lord God, Heavenly Father, we do thank you that you have had mercy on us, delivering your Son Jesus to us in the Word, in Baptism and in the Lord’s Supper. Ever give us this mercy that we may believe it and be Abraham’s children. Amen.