Abraham illuminated the plan of God’s heart. Because of His exhibition of faith, God could point carnal men to physical evidence of His divine and loving intentions, and Abraham’s people, the Hebrews were blessed. Romans 11:29 declares that “the gifts AND the calling of God are irrevocable,” so Israel is not only destined to inherit the promises of God, but they are also predestined to illuminate, through pre-enactment, the path and process of God’s chosen people just as Abraham did. The irrevocable calling of the Hebrews is that God will to continue using them as an illustration of His intentions for mankind.
But to this day, even among religious circles, that detail is greatly underestimated. Israel functions as a physical depiction of the path to God’s spiritual promises, and ironically, even most of them failed to see it or receive it. They were eager for the gifts of Abraham’s promise but failed to surrender to its calling. Interestingly, despite the unrepentant hearts of many of them, they still fulfilled that call. That’s because when you observe their nation on the whole, the Jews not only showcase how God protects and provides for the faithful, but they also reveal the dangers of those who refuse to prioritize God’s spiritual plan over earthly rewards.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The Lord’s plan often has many physical implications, it is spiritual through and through. When God declared His intentions for Abraham and the Hebrews, He deliberately used the word, “everlasting” and not by mistake. Since nothing carnal is everlasting, His word was always intended to be interpreted in the spiritual context, first.
7And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 8And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
God’s promise was everlasting, but man had already been cursed to die, in the garden. So, there was only ever one way an eternal gift could be received by temporal man—God had to provide the seed of eternal life in Jesus.
Galatians 3:16-18 (NASB)
16Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.
Seed is an interesting word of choice in these two passages, particularly since the noun can be read as singular and plural. However, Galatians emphasizes the singular form and reveals the “seed” to be Jesus. Because Christ is eternal, Christ in man became the seed required to retain an everlasting covenant and possession. Through Him, alone, our eternal destiny was sustained.
Then, only after the certainty that is Jesus, the plural form of the noun, “seed” springs forth, granting the blessings of Abraham to those who abide in Christ.
26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Not unlike the word, “seed,” and its definition which is singular before it is plural, the inheritors of Abraham’s covenant are guaranteed to one, Jesus, before they are granted to those who believe in Him. So, in its truest sense, the innumerable seed (Genesis 15:5) promised to Abraham and Isaac has always been a spiritual inheritance of souls unto God and His son, Jesus, above all else.
The Old testament chronicles the thousands of years it took for the Hebrews and all of mankind to understand this very truth. Today, the flesh of men continues to blind them from this revelatory truth.
12Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
God is always trying to improve our spiritual perception. He wants us to see beyond the natural and into the supernatural realm where our destiny lies. He desires that we move and operate according to spiritual truths rather than their physical facades, but those who refuse to receive Jesus, the only righteous seed, deny themselves that revelation from God. Just as Israel failed to recognize their calling to represent the spiritual elect of God, many of those called by God, today, also fail to see this value within the Israel and the Jews.
Scripture has clearly and specifically delineated the difference between the physical seeds and spiritual Seed of Abraham, so it is vitally important to maintain the distinction between the literal Jews and the eternal, spiritual family of God.
28For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter;
6… For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED.” 8That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.
These two passages from Romans are the reason we should prioritize the spiritual realm—God does. The physical kingdom of the Jews, who are carriers of the law, serve to demonstrate the calling of the spiritual kingdom of “Jews”. Their election serves to illustrate the divine provision, protection and promise of the greater eternal covenant as well as the goodness of Yahweh. They are not excluded from His promises. In fact they are the first in line for God’s inheritance. But they are also not guaranteed. If righteous, Jews can be both symbols and sons; representations and recipients; illustrations and inheritors of the Lord’s blessings.
Thus, a significant part of Israel’s calling is to help us see beyond the physical realm. They are used, by God, as visualizations of spiritual realities. Just as Abraham illustrated the heart of God in ways unimaginable in the minds of mankind, Israel continues to be a prophetic visualization of the God’s prescribed path to spiritual promises, otherwise unable to be seen by men in the flesh.
1 Corinthians 2:6-16
6Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Overall, the greatest unseen things we should be concerned with are the promises of God. We must remember that our spiritual promises have spiritual enemies who will stop at nothing to prevent us from reaching the destination prepared for us by God. Israel fell short, because they fell in love with the carnal connotation of Abraham’s blessings. Ironically, many gentiles are falling short because they are failing to see Israel as the physical illustration of our spiritual purpose. As the original elect nation, all of Israel were called receive the promises of God, but on a chosen few walked by faith. Ironically, both the called and the chosen of Israel became a perfect reflection of today’s community of believers of which only a few walk by faith and not by sight.