God never breaks his promises.
If God has promised that he will save all Israel – and he has – then he will. We don’t know how, says St Paul (‘who has known the mind of the Lord?’), and we don’t know when. But we do know that God never breaks his promises.
That obviously means that Gentile Christians have no reason whatsoever to think themselves superior to their Jewish brethren. In the first place, a superiority complex only breeds in us complacency, and we have even less reason to be complacent than the Israelites – who are by God’s own declaration his chosen nation. If judgement falls on us for complacency, then it’s going to fall harder on Gentiles than on Jews.
But second, the homecoming of Israel will mark the great end of the project of God to save the whole cosmos. For just as Israel’s fall precipitated the gospel coming to the rest of the world, so now the restoration of all the other nations to God’s favour will precipitate the restoration of all Israel. The favour Israel has bestowed upon us as our elder brother in God’s sight we Gentiles will one day return.
All of this is interesting to those who are concerned about the mechanics of God’s plan of salvation. But the important lesson from God’s dogged insistence not to give up on Israel in spite of Israel’s repeated failure is simply this: God never breaks his promises. And if he doesn’t break his promise to Israel, nor will he break his promises to you and me.
These devotions were originally written for the parish of All Saints, Ascot and we are grateful for permission to republish them on Fulcrum.
Patrick is curate of All Saints’, Ascot in Berkshire. A musicologist by training, he is married to Lydia, a university lecturer, and dad to Madeleine. He writes (sporadically) at benedixisti.wordpress.com and tweets (even more sporadically) as @patrickgilday.