Skip to comments.Why do we do this? (Vanity? Perhaps...)
Posted on 02/25/2014 7:39:30 AM PST by hoagy62
After this last Sunday's sermon at the church I attend, I got to thinking about something.
My pastor has started a series on the book of Philippians, focusing on the joy of the Lord. During one of his points, he spoke of how some people get discouraged and do not think that the Lord cares about them. He referenced Isaiah 40: 26-29 which reads...
Isaiah 40:26-29 (NLT) 26 Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. 27 O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? 28 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. 29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Now, that would be encouraging to someone who doesn't think the Lord sees them or even knows they exist.
HOWEVER....there was one thing I noticed that has always made me go 'waitaminit...'. Look who the verse is addressing: Jacob, or rather, Israel. The prophet Isaiah is saying this to Israel to encourage them.
Why is it we use Scripture that is specifically meant for someone else and claim it as our own?
Another one...a BIG one, I might add...is Jer. 29:11...
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) 11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
People have been using this one as assurance that the Lord will be taking care of them and that they should have hope that He will be there for them down the road. This is a good thing...except when we take a look at the verse BEFORE this one. Verse 10 is speaking specifically to Israel, letting them know that they're going to be in Babylon for 70 years, but that after that time has passed, He was going to do all the good things that He had promised to do for them.
I guess my question is: How is it that we, who are NOT Israel, can claim these verses have any use for us? The Lord is speaking to THEM, not US. How can we expect to claim the things He was speaking of if they are NOT meant for us? Isn't that being a little presumptuous?
As we go through the same issues/problems/troubles as the original audience, the solutions would also be appropriate to us.
Why do WE do this?
You’ve probably heard the story about the guy who decided he needed to get back to the Bible, so he purposed to close his eyes, open his Bible, poke his finger onto a verse, open his eyes, and do what it said.
On his first attempt, he read, “and Judas went away and hanged himself.” Surprised and discouraged, he tried again. This time, he came up with, “Go thou and do likewise.” He decided he would try it one more time, where he came to “What thou doest, do quickly.”
Of course, the fellow was ignoring the context of each passage, not paying attention to whom the teaching was addressed.
So in your examples.
Here are two more: Why do WE think the ten commandments, including the sabbath, were given to us?
Or the command to tithe. Where was it ever addressed to Christians?
It is ALSO true that ALL scripture is given
by inspiration of God
that WE may profit by it.
So it is equally apropos to appropriate doctrine from ... saayyyy ... Proverbs as it is in Revelation
Simple. The Bible was not written to us, but the Bible WAS written for us. God simply used a group of people (Jews/Israel) to fit our context of space and time. What the Bible reveals is the character of God. It is revealed through writings to the Jews, but God is unchangable and it is written for us, for our benefit.
So yes, promises were made to Israel, but I can claim them because of who God is and I know His unchanging character and His view towards me (as one redeemed by Him) is the same as His view towards Israel.
Suppose you have two children. In the presence of the younger, you give instruction to the older - such as, how to be polite, how to keep his room clean, etc. Do you also have to tell the younger? Wouldn’t it be nice if the younger learned from observing the experience of the elder? That’s how I think of it. The instructions in the Bible are to my elder relatives. If I can learn from them, I may avoid the occasion to sin. At least, once in a while!
We who believe are now part of Israel. So the passages you mention above belong to Christians too.
Romans 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,
The Olive Tree is Israel and we were in-grafted.
In Matt 10 Jesus says
Are you not worth many sparrows? when assuring the people that God cares for them -- this transfers outside of the intimidate audience to all of humanity because we are all made in God's own image, as [re]affirmed in the Noahic covenant.
As to the verses you mention: these words are certainly meant for all Christians, though perhaps not directed at them, because all the law and prophets testify of Him. Moreover, if the Comforter [Holy Spirit] is to lead to knowledge/understanding, then why wouldn't it use the bible-texts to give reassurance and, well, comfort?
I am one of God’s people. It was written for me too. :o)
25 As He says also in Hosea, I will call those who were not My people, My people, And her who was not beloved, beloved. 26 And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, you are not My people, There they shall be called sons of the living God.
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32
Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed. 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted [d]us to the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, 9 and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, Therefore I will [e]give praise to You among the Gentiles, And I will sing to Your name. 10 Again he says, Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, And let all the peoples praise Him. 12 Again Isaiah says, There shall come the root of Jesse, And He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, In Him shall the Gentiles hope.
It would benefit you to count yourself as claimed, If that is what you are wondering.
You answered your own question. CONTEXT. Sometimes He is speaking only to the people He is addressing, other times, in addition, it is a lesson for us all, or just for you.
Context and the Holy Spirit will give you your answers.
“Why is it we use Scripture that is specifically meant for someone else and claim it as our own?....any thoughts?”
YES. See my screen name.
Son of Joseph and Son of David are one in Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus of Nazareth is one Person with one identity yesterday, today and forever. The Suffering Servant of Isaiah and the glorious triumphant Royal Davidic King are two descriptions of the same Person. This is a primary theme of the Gospel.
Like others have said, we have now been grafted into the olive tree, and we are a part of Israel. We have to depend on the Lord’s leading, though, on how we are take what’s in the Bible. We have become part of Israel, then, but not through the Old Covenant, but the New, although, again, the Law is like a schoolmaster that brings us to Christ.
Are you interpreting Israel as a small country or as multiple scattered, "lost," tribes?