Israel's Inalienable Possesions - The Gifts and the Calling of God Which are Without Repentance/Chapter 08
WHOSE ARE THE FATHERS, AND OF WHOM IS CHRIST
"As touching the election they are be- loved for the fathers' sakes "
"Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham"
A~I 7"E are now approaching the climax in the gradation of the great " gifts " and high privi- leges which are parts of Israel's calling, The next step is " Whose are the fathers" Oh, my friends, whenever you want to have your hearts stirred afresh with love and interest for Israel, think of "the fathers." Think of Abra- ham, " the friend of God," who
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was strong in faith and staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, and so became a pattern of faith and obedience to all the family of God ; think of Isaac, who was willing to be put on the altar of burnt - offering, and so became a type of Christ, ' ; the Lamb of God"; think of Jacob, who became " Israel " ; of Joseph, the beautiful type of our Lord Jesus in His purity of life and in His sufferings and exaltation ; of Moses, the great law -giver, who was willing to sacrifice him- self for his nation.
Think of the company of Israel's prophets and psalmists, whose words you continually use as the expressions of your deep- est feelings of penitence, faith,
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devotion, and praise. Think of those " elders " who, " through faith obtained a good report," and whose paintings are hung up in God's picture gallery of his heroes, for the admiration and imitation of all ages, in that wonderful eleventh chapter to the Hebrews. No wonder that we read that they are still beloved of God for their fathers' sakes (Rom. xi. 28). Christendom has forgotten the relation between these poor wandering Jews in their midst and their noble fathers who form the true aristocracy of all times.
I am reminded of an amusing incident which happened a few years ago. A clergyman who was much interested in the Jews
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was spending his summer holiday in a small out-of-the-way place in Schleswig- Holstein. Being anxious to create an interest in God's people, he gathered a num- ber of the peasants together one day and gave them an address, in the course of which he reminded them of their obligations as Christians to the Jewish people. He spoke of Israel's past history, and how through them were given to us the oracles of God. Then he proceeded to speak of the " fathers " and the prophets ; and finally came to the New Testament, and observed that the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, too, were all Jews.
At this point he was inter- rupted by one of the peasants,
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who stood up at the end of the room and said, " I beg your par- don, sir, this is a mistake ; Jesus Christ had twelve apostles, but only one was a Jew, and that was Judas." I fear that poor ignorant peasant gave expression to the practical thought of multitudes in Christendom. They remember Judas, and readily associate him with the Jewish people ; but they forget that Peter and Andrew, and James and John, and Philip and Bartholomew, and Paul and Nathanael, and all the other apostles were also men of Israel. Alas ! there are still Judases among the Jews as there are among the Gentiles, and they are sometimes to be found even among the professed followers
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and " apostles " of Christ ; but, blessed be God, there are also still those who answer to John- disciples whom Jesus loves, and Nathanaels to whom He Him- self bears witness : " Behold Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile " ; and Pauls and Apollos men " mighty in the Scriptures," and faithful ministers of the truth, who have instructed many, not only of their own nation, but among the Gentiles. We now reach the climax of this wonderful gradation. All the previous steps have linked Israel with everything that is sacred and holy in the history of the world and of humanity ; but this last step connects Israel, not with earth only, but with
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heaven li And of whom as con- cerning the flesh is Christ, who is over all God blessed for ever" Oh, my friends, every time you approach the Throne of Grace, every time you seek to draw near to God, remember that the "Man at His right hand" our one Mediator with God and Ad- vocate with the Father is, as far as His blessed humanity is concerned, for ever linked with that nation ; for when, " for us men and our salvation," the Eter- nal Word was made flesh, so that He might have a sacrifice to offer " for the life of the world " (John vi. 51), He took not upon Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham (Heb. ii. 16), and was born of a
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Jewish virgin named Mary, who was of the family of David, and of the tribe of Judah.
I do not expect love or interest for the Jewish people from those who know not and love not Christ. I am not surprised at the anti-Semitism which is to be found among so-called Christian nations who have become apos- tate from the truth, and who have turned the grace of God into lasciviousness ; but I do wonder that there should be true Christians without any love or sympathy for Israel.
" Of whom, as concerning the flesh, is Christ," but the Babe which was born in Bethlehem is none other than He " whose goings forth are from of old,
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even from the days of eternity " (Mic. v. 2), and the " Son of Man " and " Son of David " is none other than the eternal Son of God the Wonderful Coun- sellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Jehovah-Tsidkenu, who, according to His Divine nature, is " God over all, blessed for ever." To Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory everlasting. Amen.
LONDON : MORGAN AND SCOTT