31/7/2016 LESSON 9
ISRAEL’S REJECTION OF GOD
Quarter’s Theme: BASIC CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES
Unit 2 – The Believers’ Justification And Admonition To Sinners (Lessons 5-9)
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 243, 349
Devotional Reading: EXO. 19:3-8
Topic For Adults
RISE ABOVE THE STUMBLING BLOCK THE ENEMY HAS PUT IN YOUR PATH
Topic For Youths
DON’T MISS GOD’S PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE
Topic For Intermediates
WRONG ZEAL CANNOT PLEASE GOD
ROM. 9:4-5; EXO. 19:5-6; 1 COR. 1:21-24; ACTS 13:14-21
For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion” (Rom. 9: 15) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Faith Comes By Hearing
The process of getting saved through Jesus Christ is simple and in no way complicated or arduous. Before people can take the simple step of putting their faith in the Lord Jesus, they need to hear the gospel message. This is the reason why Jesus Christ has commissioned us, His followers, to carry the message of salvation to all the people around us. The work of preaching the message of salvation is not left to the Evangelists and Pastors – it involves all those who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour. Are you playing your part in this commission? In the case of the Jews, they have had the message preached to them. Yet they find it difficult to accept that Jesus, the carpenter’s son, can be the Messiah. They were expecting a conquering Messiah who would overthrow the Roman Emperor. They, therefore, rejected the offer of salvation through faith in the atoning death of Jesus.
Point of Emphasis: People need to hear the gospel message to put their faith in Jesus.
Prayer Point: Grant us the diligent spirit to preach the message of salvation without ceasing.
God chose to execute His agenda of salvation through the descendants of
Abraham. Much of the revelation of who He is came through them, but they
have not been able to attain the righteousness which God is offering because they refuse to believe. Their failure to believe has given room for non-Jews to be grafted into the family of God by believing in Jesus as their Saviour. Few of the present day Jews are also turning to Jesus as their Saviour.
NOTE ON THE TEXTS
PART 1: ISRAEL’S STRATEGIC POSITION IN GOD’S PLAN (ROM. 9: 4-5; EXO. 19:5-6)
Right from the time Adam fell in the Garden of Eden, God already announced He will send a Saviour to redeem man from the consequences of the fall. To prepare the way for the Saviour, God chose Abraham and his descendants as the human channel through whom the Saviour would come. As long as the descendants obey His commands and keep His covenant, they would be God’s peculiar possession and treasure. Through them, He revealed the laws that would regulate God-man and man-man relationships. He instituted a form of worship that is acceptable to Him, revealed Himself to them, and delivered them from their enemies by a strong and mighty hand. Till today they retain their peculiar identity as God’s people.
The uncommon advantage which the Jews have should have made them key into God’s plan for the salvation of man. Unfortunately, they missed the cue. Instead they rose against the Saviour. They still believe that God is yet to send the Messiah; they are still waiting for His coming.
PART 2: SALVATION MESSAGE – A STUMBLING BLOCK (1 COR. 1:21-24)
For centuries before the advent of Jesus, the Jews had followed a way of worshipping God and had been taught to be proud of their ancestral lineage as Abraham’s descendants – a peculiar people to God. By the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, the nation of Israel was being oppressed by the Roman army. The people were expecting the Messiah which God had promised through various prophets, to come and deliver them from the Roman occupation. Instead of Jesus overthrowing the Roman army, He was crucified by the same army. To the Jews, He could not have been the Messiah He claimed to be. The humble life Jesus lived did not meet their expectations; and they therefore rejected Him.
The greatest oppression that may be tormenting a man comes from sin. The Jews could not see that Jesus came to liberate them from the greatest oppressor – sin. Their desire for liberation from the temporal oppressor blinded their eyes, they could not see the offer of liberation from the greatest oppressor of man. What are the challenges you are going through that are making it difficult for you to see and accept the work of salvation which Jesus is offering you?
PART 3: ISRAEL’S REJECTION OF SALVATION OFFER (ACTS 13:38-46)
Jesus instructed His disciples to start their mission among the Jews. The Early Church focused more on getting the Jews to put their faith in Jesus; wherever Paul went to preach, he started first in the synagogue of the Jews. The Jews however would not listen to the gospel being preached to them. They trusted in their own efforts to reach God and satisfy Him with the righteousness they achieve by following the laws. They considered the gospel of salvation through Jesus as a destructive heresy that must be stamped out. They not only rejected the gospel, but like Saul before he was converted, did all in their power to oppose and to destroy the gospel as well as those who preached it. Till today only few Jews have seen the light that Jesus is the Messiah. Most Jews are still expecting God to send the Messiah, which He promised.
Many still reject the salvation offer today for one reason or the other. Even within the church, many put trust in their being good, in their church membership and activities, and in other things. The offer of salvation through simply believing in Jesus Christ appears too simple to be acceptable.
Man-made channels of being righ-teous before God cannot meet God’s standard. It is the only channel of righteousness through the atoning death of Jesus on the cross that will suffice. Though the Jews are descendants of Abraham physically, by rejecting Jesus, they forfeit access to eternal life, notwithstanding that they are zealous in practising the religious rites Moses laid down for them.
- Explain the position of the Israelites in God’s Agenda of salvation.
- How did the Israelites lose their strategic position in God’s plan?
- What lesson can non Jewish Christian derive from today’s lesson?
- Is there any more hope for Israel?
- What are the dangers of apostacy and how can Christians guard against it?