Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190016A
00:01 A short meaningful piece of poem
00:03 was written in a newspaper, and it went like this,
00:06 "How odd of God to choose the Jew?"
00:11 And then somebody responded and said, "Oh, no, He's not.
00:16 He knows what's what."
00:40 Some people feel that there's a mystery
00:42 or mystique about the Jewish people,
00:45 and I'm not so sure that they're necessarily
00:46 wrong about that.
00:48 And let me add before I get into this program,
00:50 that there are many wonderful Jewish people,
00:53 and certainly people
00:54 that God loves and that we love.
00:56 But we want to understand their role in biblical history
01:01 and in the future of the world.
01:04 If there's one thing that keeps people's attention,
01:06 maybe I should say two things nowadays
01:09 that keep people's attention.
01:10 It's the papacy, the pope and what he does,
01:15 and everybody's eyes are also on
01:17 that little nation called Israel.
01:21 We might ask ourselves,
01:23 "Why is it that the Jewish people
01:24 seem to have suffered so very much?"
01:28 I mean, when you look at their sufferings,
01:30 it's heart rendering.
01:31 And today is going to be a little bit
01:32 of a history lesson,
01:34 as we move toward the future.
01:36 But I want to back up and take a look, first of all,
01:40 at the origins of the Jewish people.
01:43 And in the Book of Genesis 12:3,
01:49 Abraham is pictured there, and really as the father
01:53 of the Jewish people.
01:55 In fact, Jesus' lineage
01:56 was not only traced back to Adam,
01:58 but it was also traced back at one place to Abraham,
02:01 because He's considered
02:03 the father of the Jewish people.
02:04 In Genesis 12:3, it says, "I will bless those,
02:07 " God says to Abraham, making him a promise,
02:10 "I will bless those who bless you,
02:12 and I will curse those who curse you.
02:14 And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
02:17 Now that's quite a statement.
02:19 He's saying that all the families of the earth
02:21 will be blessed through Abraham
02:24 or through the people that he begets.
02:26 In Genesis 15:4-6,
02:29 that promised baby had not come.
02:31 Abraham had not received that new baby
02:34 that the inheritance and God's promises
02:37 were all going to come through.
02:39 And so he said to God, "Look,
02:42 I've got this wonderful servant,
02:43 Eliezer, let him be my inheritance.
02:46 And God says, "No, no,
02:48 it's going to be somebody from your own body."
02:50 Genesis 15:4-6, "And behold,
02:53 the word of the Lord came to him,
02:55 'This one shall not be your heir,
02:58 but one who comes from your own body,
03:00 shall be your heir.'
03:01 Then he brought him outside and said to Abraham,
03:05 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars
03:09 if you are able to number them.'
03:11 And he said, 'So shall your descendants be.'
03:15 And he believed the Lord, he trusted the Lord."
03:19 That's where it's always at.
03:21 At the end of the day is do we trust the Lord.
03:23 He believed the Lord, even though
03:25 he didn't have that promised baby,
03:27 even though he was getting older,
03:29 he believed the Lord, and it was counted to him
03:33 as righteousness.
03:34 Now, when Moses showed up, of course, as you know,
03:37 through Jacob and his sons, they all went down into Egypt,
03:40 and they lived down there for many years,
03:41 400 and some years,
03:43 and then the Egyptians enslaved them.
03:46 And then God talk to Moses.
03:49 And these are the promises that God made to Moses.
03:54 Exodus 3:6-8, just before
03:57 the marvelous story of the Exodus,
03:59 which is one of my most favorite stories
04:01 in all scripture, and I'll be tempted
04:03 to talk about it a little bit.
04:04 But let's go to Exodus 3:6-8.
04:07 God says to Moses at the burning bush,
04:11 "'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham,
04:14 the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.'
04:16 And Moses hid his face,
04:18 for he was afraid to look upon God.
04:20 And God said to him,
04:21 'I have surely seen the oppression of My people,'
04:24 God knows what's going on, 'who are in Egypt,
04:28 and I have heard their cry,' He's heard their prayers,
04:32 'because of their taskmasters, I know their sorrows.'
04:36 " And then He says, "
04:38 So I have come down to deliver them out
04:41 of the hands of the Egyptians.'
04:44 " So we know the story of the Exodus.
04:46 It's an amazing story.
04:48 I mean, I'm still just amazed at it.
04:50 Not only did God destroy Egypt with 10 plagues,
04:54 and some people say, "Well, how can He do that, last one,
04:57 where He destroyed all the firstborn children
05:00 of the Egyptians?"
05:01 Let me tell you that it started out this way.
05:03 God said to Pharaoh, "Israel is My firstborn."
05:07 Doesn't mean He doesn't love all the other families
05:08 of the earth, but the firstborn
05:10 always has special responsibilities,
05:13 and the privileges that go with that.
05:15 And God said to Pharaoh,
05:18 "Israel is My firstborn, let him go.
05:21 And if you don't let him go,
05:24 then I'm going to take your firstborn in exchange."
05:27 Now that was both a promise and a threat.
05:31 Pharaoh's one of most stubborn people
05:33 that ever existed on the face of the earth.
05:35 And then, of course,
05:36 there's the story of the Red Sea
05:38 where Israel walks through, and is delivered on dry ground.
05:44 Later, Moses as he gets ready to pass away
05:47 and to turn the reins over to Joshua.
05:51 In Deuteronomy, he makes some startling things about it.
05:55 He promises them both blessings and curses.
05:58 He promises some blessings and curses
06:00 based on one little tiny word,
06:02 and you can read it over and over again in Deuteronomy,
06:04 the little word, if.
06:07 If you will do what I've asked you to do,
06:10 you're going to get the blessings.
06:11 But if you don't, you're going to get the curses
06:14 and the curses included being dispersed
06:17 all over the world.
06:19 But God would promise, He says, "But I'll bring you back if,
06:23 if you keep My statutes and My laws."
06:26 Now, some people think that there's no condition
06:29 to the Jewish people going home.
06:31 Now, I want to say this, and I say it kindly,
06:33 hope I'm not misunderstood, and I'm certainly not against
06:36 the nation of Israel, have nothing negative there.
06:39 That's not my point.
06:41 But many people misunderstood and they think that Israel
06:45 going back to Palestine
06:47 is the fulfillment of these promises.
06:50 But these promises are based on an if and if.
06:54 We're going to see that if when we're going to get
06:56 into the New Testament at some point here.
06:59 So that if came into play, but God said something very
07:03 fascinating when He talked about all these promises
07:07 of blessings and curses, and the ifs,
07:09 the conditions that went along with them.
07:12 And then He said this, "For instance,
07:14 if you don't obey Me,
07:16 if you don't be faithful to Me, if you don't keep the faith,
07:19 if you don't be loyal to Me,
07:21 this is what's going to happen."
07:22 You have to understand that we are in a world
07:26 where Satan claims ownership,
07:28 'cause he claims he got it from Adam.
07:31 And our protection, Israel's protection
07:34 was based on their loyalty to God.
07:37 If they're not going to be loyal to God,
07:39 then God's going to have a very difficult time
07:42 against Satan and his accusations
07:46 that he has the right to oppress this people
07:49 and to take them out from underneath
07:50 the protection of God.
07:52 Do you need protection of God in your life?
07:54 I needed in my life.
07:55 I want God's hand over my life.
07:58 Well, coming back to ancient Israel, again,
08:01 this was what God said to them,
08:03 if they didn't go along with him,
08:06 he says in Deuteronomy 28:37, it's an amazing thing,
08:11 "And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb,
08:17 and a byword among all the nations
08:21 where the Lord send you."
08:23 Where do Jews, where are they?
08:26 The fact is, they're all over the world,
08:28 because they've been dispersed all over the world.
08:30 We'll go through a little bit of that history.
08:34 But God said, "Look, whether you obey Me,
08:37 or whether you disobey Me,
08:40 you are going to be a fulfillment of prophecy."
08:44 And people are going to look at you,
08:46 and they're going to say,
08:47 "What is really going on here?"
08:49 I want to go back to Deuteronomy
08:51 for just a moment here,
08:53 into that same place that we were at in Deuteronomy.
08:57 In Deuteronomy Chapter 30,
09:00 we were actually in 29, while ago.
09:01 But I want to go back to Deuteronomy Chapter 30,
09:04 and I want to look at this verse 19 and 20.
09:07 This is Moses, giving some of his last words to Israel.
09:13 He says, "I call heaven and earth
09:15 as witnesses today against you,
09:19 that I have set before you life and death."
09:23 And I'm going to stop right there.
09:25 What happens to Israel is an example
09:28 of what will happen to every nation.
09:31 And let me get it more personal to every person.
09:35 God says, before you and before me,
09:38 life and death.
09:42 But we have the power of choice.
09:44 We can choose to go one way or the other.
09:49 Listen to what he says, "Set before you life and death,
09:53 blessing or cursing,
09:57 therefore, choose life."
10:00 He begs them, "Choose life,
10:02 that both you and your descendants
10:05 may live forever.
10:09 That you may," and then he gives
10:10 the basis for that,
10:12 "that you may love the Lord your God,
10:14 and that you may obey His voice,
10:17 " you cannot obey God without faith, by the way,
10:20 "and that for He is your life."
10:22 I want to say that to every person listening
10:24 to me,
10:25 I say to myself, God is our life.
10:29 And the devil is in the business,
10:30 whether it's through the mark of the beast,
10:32 or through with disobedience to his God's commandments,
10:34 he's in the business of separating us
10:37 from trusting God.
10:39 But God is our life.
10:43 And then he goes on to say, "That the length of your days,
10:48 and that you may dwell
10:49 in the land which the Lord swore
10:50 to give to your father's Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
10:55 Let's go back to a little bit of the history of Israel
10:59 as we begin to trace this whole story
11:01 into the New Testament and into the end of time.
11:07 The first dispersion of the Jewish people
11:09 was under the Babylonians.
11:11 We know the story of Daniel and his three friends.
11:14 And Jeremiah said that they would be
11:16 there for about 70 years.
11:18 But Jeremiah gives the reason for that dispersion.
11:21 In Jeremiah 25:4-11,
11:25 "The Lord has sent to you all His servants
11:28 the prophets,
11:30 rising up early and sending them,
11:33 but you have not listened nor incline your ear."
11:38 There's the issue.
11:39 And that'll be the difference between eternal life for you,
11:42 and for me.
11:44 Will we incline our ear to listen to the Lord?
11:48 Will we trust Him?
11:49 Jeremiah goes on to say, "And this whole land
11:52 shall be a desolation and astonishment,
11:56 and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon
11:59 for seventy years."
12:02 Well, we know about that dispersion and, of course,
12:04 the Jewish people came back, they rebuilt the temple
12:07 and the city, Ezra, Nehemiah, we know the story of that.
12:11 But then you have the dispersion of the Romans,
12:14 as the Romans took over the land of Israel
12:17 and, of course, we know they're the ones
12:19 who crucified Christ
12:20 and persecuted the Christian Church.
12:22 But here's the dispersion and we find that dispersion
12:26 actually mentioned in the New Testament,
12:28 part of that dispersion
12:29 and the attitude of the Roman Empire.
12:31 We're going to trace the attitude
12:33 of the Roman Empire toward the Jewish people.
12:37 Now, listen to Acts 18:2, Aquila and Priscilla,
12:41 wonderful New Testament Christians
12:43 who were great witnesses for the Lord Jesus.
12:46 "And he found," Paul, "found a certain Jew named Aquila,
12:49 born in Pontus,
12:51 who had recently come from Italy,
12:54 with his wife, Priscilla."
12:56 And then he says, "Why?"
12:59 "Because Claudius, the Emperor had commanded all the Jews
13:02 to depart from Rome."
13:04 It seemed like the Roman Empire just waged war
13:08 not only against the Christians,
13:09 but also against the Jews.
13:11 I tell you, the devil not only hates Christians,
13:15 but he also hates the Jews,
13:17 because as long as the Jews exists,
13:19 whether they are faithful or unfaithful,
13:21 they are a testimony
13:23 to the power of the God of Heaven,
13:26 that He keeps His word, He keeps His covenant,
13:29 and He keeps His promises.
13:31 He will keep His promises to you.
13:33 And every time there are Jewish people,
13:36 they are a symbol of God's promise
13:40 that He keeps His promises.
13:43 Well, I want God's promises in my life.
13:46 I know you want His promises in yours,
13:48 and we're going to look at some more
13:50 of what the Jewish people have gone through.