Parashat Bo (Come) Exodus 10:1-13:16
Haftarah: Jeremiah 46:13-28
More and more Christian leaders are embracing a theology that forces one to say that a great deal of prophecy will not be fulfilled. Their explanation is that these prophecies were given to Israel and because Israel by and large rejected the Messiah these promises are canceled. This sounds logical, but such a view is not compatible with Scripture. Most of the time what these Christian leaders say is that the Jewish people have lost their right to the Land of Israel. Before going any further, I want to thank and acknowledge the many other Christian leaders that stand firm for Scripture and reject this view.
This week’s prophetic reading focuses on G-d’s judgment of Egypt. Although one needs to interpret in a literal sense, also one can understand Egypt as referring to the enemies of HaShem’s covenant people. What also corresponds to the judgment of Israel’s enemies is the deliverance of the Jewish people that will occur in the last days. Jeremiah writes,
“And you do not be afraid O My servant Jacob and do not be dismayed O Israel, because behold Me, I am saving you from afar, and your seed from the land of captivity and Jacob shall return and (there will be) quietness and tranquility and there is none to cause him to fear. You shall not fear O My Servant Jacob, says the L-rd for I am with you and I will make an end among the nations which I scattered you there and you I will not make an end. I will punish you with justice but will not utterly destroy you.” Jeremiah 46:27-28
In one sense this passage was placed within the context of the Babylonian captivity, but there are strong indications from the text itself that the full implications of the passage will not be realized until the last days. The fact that the word Israel is used instead of Judah is most significant. It was Judah who was taken into exile by the Babylonians not Israel (the northern kingdom). Israel fell nearly 150 years earlier. Also the reader is told about the end of all nations. Such an event will not occur until the Coming of Messiah to establish His Kingdom.
This passage is yet another example that G-d will bring back the physical descendants of Jacob to the Land of Israel. This is an absolutely necessary event in order for the Kingdom to come. Those who fail to acknowledge this when it is so often referred to in the Scripture must read the Bible with a predisposition against Israel. Those who cite the current blindness that has fallen upon the Jewish people as the justification for not acknowledging the divine right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel should take a serious look at Deuteronomy 9. In this passage HaShem points out that it was not due to Israel’s merit that she will inherit the land, but rather because He would establish the word He promised to the patriarchs. One may argue that this was only true for Israel’s first entrance into the Land, but not for the present day. The problem with this view is what the Prophet Ezekiel says in chapter 37. In verses 21-28 one reads clearly a last day prophecy when HaShem will take the people from the nations where they have been scattered and purify them, redeem them, and then they will follow their King. Who is this King? Even though the text say David, once again it is clear that the reference is to the Son of David, i.e. the Messiah- Yeshua. It was not due to their faith in Messiah that G-d brought the Jewish people back to the land, but rather to come to faith.
What is the reason that HaShem does this gracious act? Please note that this section is introduced by verse 14 which says,
“And I will set My Spirit in you and you shall live and I will set you upon your land and you shall know that I am the L-rd, I spoke and I did, declares the L-rd.”
In other words it is because of Who G-d is that He keeps covenant with His people, not because of our merit. I call this grace. The same grace that saved the Gentile through the Gospel and in the last days this same grace will bring the Jewish people back to the land and will be poured out upon the masses of Jewish individuals that will be living in the land and they too will receive the Gospel. For there is only one message that saves, this message is necessary for both the Jew and the Gentile.
The fact that in the last days many Jews will come to faith does not speak to the Jews and Gentiles which did not receive the Gospel before they died, sadly they are lost. Nor should this truth cause one to be lax in one’s responsibility to share the Gospel, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile (See Romans 1:16)
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