Thursday, July 19, 2007

What Is Israel?

In my last post, I gave a brief description of what I believe the church to be. Here, I'll give what I think Israel to be. There are several ideas of Israel. One is Jacob's new name given to him by God. One is an ancient geo-political nation in the middle east. One is a geo-political state today. I'm dealing with none of these. I'm concentrating on the idea of God's covenant people.

Israel is God's people. The people under the Old Covenant were Israel. True, they were a nation, but fundamentally they are a people. God's people. In Romans 11 there is a tree, which is Israel. It consisted of God's people, the Jews, as branches. Many of the branches lived in unbelief. God cut them off from the tree. Some branches remained. Some new wild branches (these are the Gentiles) are grafted in. Grafted into the same exact tree. Then Paul says that later on, some of the old branches may be grafted back into the tree from which they came. Grafted back into the same exact tree.

The tree never changes. Israel was the people of God before Christ came. Israel is still the same tree. Israel today is the people of God. As a Gentile believer, I have been grafted into Israel. Israel today is the same Israel as before Christ, except that a few branches were pruned, and a few were grafted in, and a few pruned off will be grafted in at a later time.


  1. I really enjoy your take on the scriptures and what they say about the 'people of God' being synonomous with 'Israel' (according to Paul). I think this is very exact. I like to think I am part of those people - in the community of 'Israel'...which I am not mistaken means 'he who strives with God' (actually I checked it up)? I think we who are part of this faith 'strive with God' and try ti understand how His ways mesh with our daily lives - a constant battle. I like this take on things.

  2. This is good stuff, Steve.