God chose Israel as the nation which would be his special possession. This started with God’s promises to Abraham and the blessing over his descendants (through Isaac and Jacob) that he would be forever in a covenant with them. Through that covenant relationship, God rescued them from Egyptian slavery, he gave them the Law at Sinai, and he established them in the land which we know today as Israel. In doing this, God’s purpose was that as a nation they would make known the Lord and his ways to the neighbouring nations. (Exodus 19:4-6) However, from the very beginning, much of Israel’s history has been one of rebelling against God and resisting his call and where he often has to punish them and discipline for their rebellion. Many of the prophetic books are written with the purpose of calling the Israelites back to the Lord and to repent, which for the most part, they did not. The book of Hosea vividly portrays God is a faithful husband and Israel as an unfaithful, adulterous wife. Nevertheless, God promises that he will never take his love away from them.

As we get to the NT, we see that for the most part, the nation of Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah (John 1:11). Though the very early church consisted mostly of Jews who did in fact put their faith in Jesus, as the church began to spread, it has become mostly a Gentile (that is, non-Jew) church and that historically Jews have been hostile to the revelation that Jesus is their Messiah. And still, God’s love for them remains. Furthermore, Romans 11:29 promises that the gifts and calling of God are “irrevocable.” So God still has a plan and a purpose for Israel, and it is clear that intends to purify and save a remnant, that as a nation they will one day see and recognize Jesus as their Messiah, and that they will exist as a nation when Jesus’ reign is established on earth.  Paul, in Romans 9 also shows that as Gentiles we are to have a debt of gratitude to the them, as it is from the people of Israel that we have gained: the covenants, the Old Testament, the promises of God, and that from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah. (Romans 9:4-5) Finally, I believe that the blessing that God spoke to Abraham remains on them, that those who bless them, God will bless, and that those who curse them, God will curse. (Genesis 12:3)

Scriptures on God’s special relationship with Israel and their unique call

Deuteronomy 14:2, 2 Samuel 7:23-24, 1 Kings 8:53, Psalm 105:8-11, Psalm 134:5, Isaiah 41:8-10, Isaiah 43:1, Romans 11 :29

Scriptures summarizing Israel’s Rebellious History

Exodus 32:9, Nehemiah 9:16-18, Psalm 78:40-41, Psalm 106, Isaiah 1:2-5, Ezekiel 2:5-8, Acts 7:51-53, 1 Corinthians 10:1-5, Hebrews 3:15-19

Scriptures on God’s enduring love for Israel and his everlasting covenant with them, in spite of their rebellion

1 Kings 10:9, Hosea 3:11, Psalm 105:8-11, Isaiah 44:21, Jeremiah 50:20, Ezekiel 37:26-28,

Romans 11:1-5, Romans 11:29,

Scriptures relating to the end times re-gathering of Israel

Ezekiel 11:17, Ezekiel 36:24-28, Ezekiel 37:21-22, Micah 2:12, Zephaniah 3:20, Isaiah 27:12, Jeremiah 31:10,

Scriptures related to the End Times climax occurring in Israel and at Jerusalem

Psalm 83:1-8, Ezekiel 38:1-6, 15-16, Zechariah 12:2-3, Zechariah 14:1-5, 12-15, Revelation 16:13-16,

The Lord’s intervention into the battle: Ezekiel 39, Zechariah 12:7-9, 14:3.