What Happened To Israel?

Much misunderstanding within Christianity today comes because people do not have a true understanding of what happened to Israel. Many think that because Israel failed to obey God He had to find a people who would be able to do what God wanted to accomplish through the nation of Israel. In order to justify why the physical promises and blessings do not apply to us today there is a tendency to "spiritualize" the scriptures. For instance, when the verse is read in the Old Testament  that Israel is to go and possess the land; it is said that it really does not mean the physical land, but anything in which you are having difficulty in your life.

This a grave error to make, for the scriptures mean exactly what they say. Israel was told to go and possess a physical land, the covenant God made with them is for them to have their own land. God is faithful to His promises and will fulfill His covenant that was made the them.

So how do we explain what happened to Israel?

(Romans 11:11-15 KJV) I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. {12} Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? {13} For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: {14} If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. {15} For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Notice the words that are used:

  1. Stumble
  2. Fall
  3. Diminishing
  4. Casting away

Here we see a progression taking place. One can stumble but not fall down. Israel stumbled when they crucified their Messiah but they still had an opportunity to obey God. When Israel stoned Stephen is the moment they fell from the chance to be a blessing of God for the nations; at that moment Christ was standing to execute judgement.(See Acts 7) Instead of God pouring out His wrath, He chose to save, apart from any works, the leader of the rebellion, Saul of Tarsus. A new means of salvation has now come to all, to Jew and Gentile alike, with no distinction. While this new program was being established is the time of the diminishing of Israel, Israel no longer the favored nation in God's eyes. We read about this in the book of Acts which is the explaining of the fall of Israel not the beginning of the Body of Christ. 

  1. Blinding
(Romans 11:25 KJV) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

At the end of Acts, we read that Israel no longer has the opportunity to be the nation that God has intended because they chose not to believe. So Israel has been blinded for a time until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in, that is when this dispensation of grace is finished. 

God has not set aside Israel forever; it is a temporary condition. God will once again resume His program with Israel and fulfill His promises in the age to come. But now, (see Ephesians 2:11-13) we are in the dispensation of Grace, a new program, different than the program with the nation of Israel. We read about our part in God's plan and purpose in the Apostle Paul's writings, Romans through Philemon. Today, there is no difference between Jew and Gentile all have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and he is offering His mercy to all.

(Romans 11:30-32 KJV) For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: {31} Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. {32} For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

God is forming a new creature, the body of Christ, which consists of Jew and Gentile alike.  God does not intend for us, as the body of Christ,  to take over where Israel failed. God's plan and purpose for Israel has been temporarily set aside while He fulfills His purpose for the Body of Christ.

(2 Corinthians 5:17-19 KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. {18} And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; {19} To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Please see the study: Two Divisions to understand the differences between the two distinct programs.