When Abraham was 75 years old God told him to leave his home in Ur and go to a land He would show him. God unconditionally promised to make Abraham a great nation, to bless him and to make him a blessing to everyone on earth (Gen. 12:1-4). Abraham departed, but it took awhile for him to get to the Promised Land and he moved around some after he arrived. A famine struck and he moved down into Egypt. While there, he got caught in a half lie about Sarah being his sister so he eventually returned to the Promised Land. His herds multiplied and he quickly became very rich and had to separate from Lot (who moved to Sodom). All of this took a few years and Abraham still didn’t have any children, he was getting old, he couldn’t become a great nation without children and it didn’t look like he was going to have any.
Eventually, God appeared unto Abraham in a vision and the great patriarch reminded Him that he had no children and the steward of his house, a man named Eliezer, was destined to be his heir (Gen. 15:1-3). God clearly said, “This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir” (Gen. 15:4). A lot of time had passed in the life of Abraham, but God refused to change His plan. Despite, Abraham’s old age, he would still have many descendants and they would get the Promised Land.
By the time Abraham had reached his mid-80’s God was still delaying the fulfillment of His promise and Abraham still did not have the much desired heir. Sarah suggested he father one by her handmaid Hagar and Ishmael was born (Gen. 16:1, 15).
When Abraham was 99 years old God said the covenant would be with Abraham and his descendants in their generation, it would be an everlasting covenant, He would be their God, and He would give them all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession (Gen. 17:8). Abraham loved Ishmael and wanted God to make him his heir (Gen. 17:18). But once again, God refused to change His plan. He said Sarah would bear a son next year and they should name him Isaac. God said He would give Isaac many descendants and the covenant would go through him (Gen. 17:15-19).
Over the years, God’s prophets said the Jews would turn against God, but He would always restore them, if they would repent. Isaiah predicted a time when God would bring the Jews home a second time, they would repent, salvation would come to them and their enemies would be destroyed (Isa. 11:1-16). Starting with the time Isaiah said this, God returned the Jews to the land twice: once after the Babylonian captivity and a second time after the Roman dispersion.
Following the Roman dispersion, many years passed, there was no nation of Israel and it looked like God couldn’t fulfil His promises in the Bible. Some in the Church thought Jesus would come back in 1,000 years, but He didn’t, they got tired of waiting and, like Abraham, they were ready to substitute their own plan for God’s plan. But instead of saying Eliezer or Ishmael will be the heir they turned to the Church and developed a false doctrine called Replacement Theology (the idea that the Church has replaced Israelas the heir to God’s promises).
My point concerns Replacement Theology: God has delayed His plan a long time, but He has not cast away His people Israel.Israel’s blindness is temporary and God will never change His mind about Israel’s gifts and calling. In the New Testament Paul asked, “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew” (Rom. 11:1-2b). Paul added, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25). And “For the gifts (land, etc.) and calling of God are without repentance (God’s gifts and calling of Israel cannot be changed, taken back, revoked of given to the Church)” (Rom. 11:29). The Church has not, and cannot, replaceIsrael. God delayed His plan, but He will not accept a substitute plan.
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Daymond & Rachel Duck