“Ah, Lord God! Will you make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?” (Ezekiel 11:13)
Periodically throughout Israel’s history the question of the nation’s survival has arisen. The first occasion is recorded in Exodus 32 when Israel tested the Lord by making a molded calf to represent the Lord. This was in violation of the second commandment.
In response the Lord threatened to consume the nation and begin again with Moses. Moses was a descendant of Abraham so the Covenant God made with Abraham could still have been fulfilled; but what about the covenants, promises and prophecies concerning Jacob’s twelve sons (Genesis 49)?
It would seem that the Lord had no intention of carrying this out but was testing Moses as to his fitness to lead God’s people. In Moses’ prayer he says that beginning again would give the Gentile nations opportunity to blaspheme the Lord by saying He could not do what He promised.
We live in what Jesus and Paul call “the last days” and again the question of the Lord fulfilling His promises and covenant with Israel is in question. Some are saying that God has dispensed with Israel and the church has replaced it, but what of the Lord’s very specific and detailed promises concerning Israel? Is He not able to deliver? Moses believed He could.
The Lord is emphatic in Ezekiel saying, “I will gather you …” and “I will give you the land of Israel” (11:17); “I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them” and “they shall be My people and I will be their God” (vv 19, 20).
If we believe that the Lord God of Israel will renege on His covenant with Abraham, David and Israel, what assurance do we have that He will not renege on His word regarding us? Can there be any assurance of salvation if the Lord is a covenant breaker?
The Bible tells us from cover to cover that our God is a covenant and promise keeper. If not, the seventh commandment would be nonsense.
In Romans 11 Paul makes it clear that Israel has a primary role in this world’s future in the plan of God. The apostle John, in recording the word of the Lord in Revelation 7, also makes it clear that Israel will preach the Gospel to all gentile nations at a future time.
The church has not replaced Israel with regard to the Covenant and promises of God to Israel. The Lord will do just as He has said with Israel and with the church, but they are quite separate entities.
This has implications to all of us who have trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. It is the fact that God keeps His word without fail that provides us with assurance of salvation.