April 27, 2021

God's Faithfulness

You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off.
Isaiah 41:9
This past Sunday, the appointed gospel reading was Jesus' claim in John 10 to be the Good Shepherd. As my preaching text, I used the 16th verse: I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. Christians these days seem to think of themselves as the known, established fold, and often include Jews among the "other sheep." This, of course, is very bad biblical interpretation, for "this fold" referred to Jews, and those others were Gentiles. Any Christian understanding of God's relationship with Israel must include the central claim that God has chosen them and not cast them off.

Paul—the apostle to the Gentiles—reaffirms this multiple times, including in the first verse of Romans 11:

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means!

The antisemitism that has long been common in some Christians groups has no basis in biblical theology. And when we affirm God's faithfulness to Israel, we also strengthen our own relationship with God. To truly trust God is to believe deep within our hearts that God is faithful to all whom God loves. And that includes all people for whom Christ died on the cross. 
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Thank you, God, for your love and faithfulness. Just as I believe you are true to Israel, may I believe in my heart that I can trust in your love for me; in Jesus' Name.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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