Who Is Israel?

Have you been asking yourself, “Who is Israel?” It seems to be a pretty hot topic, these days. Of course, there are countless verses within Scripture that tell us who Israel is. Sometimes, though, YHWH will emphasize to me just a select few verses on any given subject so that my brain can wrap itself around what He is trying to teach me.

Just the other day, He made it clear to me just how simple it can be to figure out who He defines Israel as being. There are only two verses that He brought to my mind. One verse is from the Prophets, and one verse is from the Apostles. Let’s begin with the first verse I was reading…

Isaiah 41:8
But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

In Isaiah 41, YHWH defines Israel as “the seed of Abraham”. Other versions render this “descendent of Abraham”, or “offspring of Abraham”. You get the idea. Basically, according to this verse, Israel consists of the children of Abraham.

Israel = Seed of Abraham

Well, you may be thinking “this seems obvious”. Anyone descended from Abraham, by blood, would be considered Israel, right? Let’s look a little deeper. Before we make that assumption, we must look at the Apostolic verse in order to further define who the children of Abraham really are.

Galatians 3:7
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Ahh. Here we see that being a descendant, or child of Abraham involves this thing called Faith. In other words, Abraham’s seed consists of those who are of Faith.

Seed of Abraham = They which are of Faith

Therefore, using the law of syllogism, we can see, 1) If Israel is the seed of Abraham, and 2) the seed of Abraham are those which are of faith, then 3) Israel consists of those which are of faith. So, who is Israel? Israel is the faithful.

Israel = They which are of Faith

Can we then safely deduce from this that anyone who is NOT of Faith is, therefore, NOT considered Israel? This is a very interesting question to ponder! It would be imperative to understand what exactly Faith is, according to the Scriptures, in order to not get into trouble on this one. 😉

Who Is Israel

There are always two sides to any issue. Many people, on both sides of this issue, do not like the simple truth that Israel are those which are of Faith. They, therefore, try to twist the Scriptures to mean something else. I believe that heretical doctrines, such as, Replacement Theology and many other doctrines of exclusivity, have come out of this misunderstanding of who Israel really is.

We know that Paul was trying to right the wrong views of his day when he wrote in the book of Romans “they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel, nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s seed”.

Apparently, there were people in his day who believed that just because they were from Abraham’s blood line that they were considered Israel. I think this same view is alive and well within many Messianic and Jewish circles today, unfortunately. In my opinion, this is just as divisive as the supersessionists’ idea that the Church has replaced Israel. Both opinions create only division among the body of Messiah.

It’s about time we read the Scriptures just as they are written, without trying to make them fit into our finite understanding. G-d is smarter than we are. We can only humble ourselves and ask for the spirit of YHWH to provide the understanding we so desperately need, if we ever expect to be restored with our brother, Judah.

May YHWH lead you by His outstretched hand as you seek His will in all things. Amen.

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