The Bible speaks about three groups of people. These are the Israelites (the Jews), the Gentiles (the nations) and God's Elect (the Bride of Christ). These three groups of people are separate and distinct and should not be confused with each other.
It is important to understand that God has kept the Israelites a separate and distinct people from the Gentiles, racially through the descendants from the line of Jacob, and religiously through the Mosaic Law.
The Israelites are direct physical descendants of Abraham through the line of Isaac and Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel. The Bible uses the word 'Israel' to mean both the nation and the land. Scripture says again and again, hundreds of times, that God is the God of Israel, and the Holy One of Israel. The word Israel is mentioned over 2,500 times in the Bible. We all need to grasp the tremendous importance of Israel in God's Plan; why and how God is using Israel to demonstrate His justice and His righteousness through the Seed of Abraham who is Jesus Christ Himself. (Galatians 3:16)
The Israelites are God's chosen people. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8) The reason why God chose the children of Israel was to fulfill the covenant, which He made with their father Abraham. This was why they became a special treasure above all peoples, and it was not because of any greatness in the people themselves.
The Abrahamic Covenant is a covenant based on faith through which God is unconditionally bound to make Abraham and his descendants (Israel) a great and blessed nation, and also to bless all of the families (nations) of the earth through his Seed, Jesus Christ.
God also made a covenant with the Children of Israel through Moses, at Mount Sinai, 430 years after the Abrahamic Covenant. This is known as The Mosaic Covenant, which is a conditional covenant based on laws, promising blessings for obedience but incurring God's curses and judgements for disobedience.
It is important to understand both of these covenants because they are at the heart of God's purpose and His Plan, not only for all Israel but also for all the nations of the earth. We give a full explanation of this important subject in Chapter 7 'God's Purpose for Israel'.
The story of Israel is an amazing story of God's unending love for His chosen people despite their continued disobedience, and His total commitment to keep the covenant He made with Abraham. Yes, God severely punished His chosen nation for their sins and disobedience as required under the conditional Mosaic Covenant. However, God's commitment is to restore Israel to their land and ultimately to save all Israel, as He is bound under the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant.
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