FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK. PART 28
Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
Man is a responsible agent, held to a moral standard.
Sin originates within a person, separating us from God.
God declares one righteous by faith alone, apart from works.
Exodus 3:7-10. YHWH claims ownership of the “sons of Israel,” calling them “My people.” Why would the Creator of all things hold a tiny and insignificant people so near to Him?
Israel is YHWH’s Firstborn Son
Exodus 4:18-23. Israel is declared to be YHWH’s son, “My firstborn.” This name has great implications. As the firstborn son, Israel has special rights and privileges, which is often understood as a “double-inheritance” in a familial situation. The firstborn was also the head of all others; with Israel being the chief of the nations (Jer 31:7-9).
Many get caught up in the notion that YHWH would harden Pharaoh’s heart. We should understand that YHWH would never do such a thing unless Pharaoh had rejected the revelation of God given to him. God does not make people stubborn if they are not already stubborn while at the same time rejecting the opportunity to change their ways. YHWH pleads with people to turn to Him (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11) and has the desire that all would be saved (1 Tim 2:4-6).
Israel is YHWH’s Chosen
Deuteronomy 4:36-38. Love motivates YHWH’s choosing of Israel. He personally, “by His presence,” led them out of Egypt and spoke to them audibly.
Israel is YHWH’s Special Treasure, His Own Possession
Deuteronomy 7:6-10. Israel is referred to as holy (set apart), chosen, and as a “special treasure,” being YHWH’s own possession. They were selected for His mission based off of YHWH’s love for them and nothing else. God has liberated Israel, being their only Savior.
In life, a person is only as good as his or her word. If they break their promise to you, they lack all integrity and cannot be trusted. The covenant(s) of YHWH are the means by which we measure His faithfulness. If He fails or neglects to fulfill anything that He has promised, He cannot be trusted for anything. YHWH is only as good as His Word.
The word “hesed” is used, being translated as “lovingkindness,” and meaning His “loyal love” toward Israel, again implying faithfulness.
Being YHWH’s People Does Not Excuse Sin!
Ezekiel 6:1-7, 7:1-4. Idolatry was a constant noose around Israel’s neck. Repeatedly, they bowed to stone and wood rather than to the Creator who loved them. While YHWH is longsuffering and slow to anger (Psa 86:15; 145:8), this does not excuse sin, nor does it give Israel the right to presume upon His kindness and longsuffering. Like all of mankind, Israel was and is responsible for their actions. They should be supported when they seek to do righteously, and they should be opposed when they seek to pursue wickedness.
Israel Serves as YHWH’s Witnesses to the Nations!
Isaiah 43:1-13. This passage speaks of YHWH’s unrelenting love for Israel and shows their missional calling to be a witness to the nations of what an intimate fellowship with the Creator can be like. While their unfaithfulness has greatly tarnished this witness, the Lord loves them nonetheless!
Missional Dispensationalism states that God seeks to institute His Kingdom program on earth through mankind. In each dispensation, YHWH desires for the world to know Him, to see Him as intimate, personal, loving, and righteous. Israel was to show this relationship.
As seen with Israel, YHWH’s Character is One of Tender Mercy.
Psalm 103:8-14. The graciousness of God is seen toward those who fear Him. He is looking for opportunities to be merciful. Will we give Him the opportunity to be merciful to us?