Parashiot Nitzavim (standing) & Vayeilech (and he went)
Haftarah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9
This Shabbat we read two Parashiot; however, this article will be based only on Parashat Nitzavim. This Torah portion is one of the clearest passages that refutes Replacement Theology. More and more I am hearing in the evangelical world that the true Israel is the believers in Yeshua. There is no doubt that in the end only believers will ultimately inherit the promises that G-d made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The question is whether today the promises that involve Jewish people’s right to live in the land of Israel are still valid. Numerous Christians think such promises as a divine right to the land have been rendered null and void because of rejecting Messiah. Many Christian denominations support a creation of a Palestinian State or at least they are open to the idea. Such a perspective is outside the scope of the Scripture.
It is very interesting that in the week that the world is watching what will happen at the United Nations in regard to a Palestinian state, the Torah reading is,
“And it shall come about that all these things shall come upon you, the blessings and the curses, which I have set before you, and your heart shall return, (while you are) in all the nations where the L-rd your G-d has driven you there. And you shall return to the L-rd your G-d and you shall listen to His voice according to all which I have commanded you this day, you and your sons with all your heart and with all your soul. And the L-rd your G-d shall return your captivity and be merciful upon you and He shall return and gather you from all the peoples where the L-rd your G-d has scattered you there. If it shall be that you are driven to the ends of the heavens from there the L-rd your G-d shall gather you and from there He shall take you and the L-rd your G-d shall bring you to the Land which your fathers inherited and you shall inherit it and it shall be good for you and you shall multiply more than your fathers. And the L-rd your G-d shall circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring to love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul that you may live.”
There are several aspects in this passage that makes it clear that this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, nor is the believing community the ones that fulfill the intent of this prophecy. First of all this prophecy was given to the Jewish people. It was the descendants of Jacob who were scattered throughout the world and not believers. Second, for those who say that this prophecy was fulfilled when the Jewish exiles returned from Babylon, there is a serious flaw. When HaShem brought the people back from Babylon He did not circumcise their hearts as this passage demands. Rather it is most obvious that this prophecy is for the last days and anticipates a great day of salvation for the Jewish people when they will accept Yeshua in masses in the Land of Israel.
Recently I was at a conference in Europe and had a discussion with one who embraces Replacement Theology. When I shared with him this passage, he first said it was the Church who was the subject of this prophecy. After closer examination, he said it was speaking about those who returned from Babylon. When I pointed out the part about the hearts being circumcised he finally said that this passage must be interpreted allegorically, rather than literally applying it to the Jewish people today. I asked him why? His answer, G-d has rejected the Jews, because they rejected Jesus.
I pressed him and said, “Is not G-d free to return the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and demonstrate His faithfulness to His word and in the end have a great day of salvation for the Jewish people when Messiah returns? His response, “Jewish people, like any other, can receive Yeshua, but they have lost their right to the Land, and mercy and justice demands that there be a Palestinian State”.
How sad it is when one’s theology is based upon preconceived ideas against the Jewish people, rather than the Word of Scripture. Sadly, such a view is more and more frequent today. What should be our response? We need to educate others in the prophetic truths of Scripture.
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