Did God Divorce His Own?
by David J. Stewart
Not on your life! Isaiah 50:1 reads...
"Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away."
There are many people who foolishly teach that God divorced Israel; but He certainly did not. In Isaiah 50:1, God is asking Israel if He has ever been unfaithful? God reminds the Jews that He has never divorced Israel; but Israel did abandon God. There was NO bill of divorce because God never gave it to them. God never divorced Israel. God was hurt and angry because Israel had abandoned Him.
Romans 11:1-5 clearly teach that God did NOT divorce Israel...
"I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."
We read in the Old Testament book of Hosea that he never divorced Gomer for her continued adultery and unfaithfulness. Do you think God is less loving and forgiving than Hosea, a sinful man? No, God is more righteous. Hosea pictures God, Who is longsuffering and forgiving (2nd Peter 3:9).
But you say, what about Jeremiah 3:8?...
"And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also."
Doesn't Jeremiah clearly say that God divorced Israel? Yes, AS A NATION; but not as His people. This is the only logical conclusion. This Scripture must be reconciled with Hosea's refusal to divorce Gomer and the Scriptures in Romans 11:1-5. God divorced the NATION of Israel (as termination of a business agreement); but NOT His children (saved Jews). God never forsakes His own (Hebrews 13:5). Because of Israel's rebellion, God instead decided to turn to the Gentiles to do His business of preaching the Gospel (and they did); but God never divorced His own.
The apostle Paul clearly says in Romans 11:5, "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." This is speaking of born again Jews. No unsaved Jew will go to Heaven nor enter into the future Promised Land. Jesus plainly warned Nicodemus (a Jewish Rabbi) in John 3:3 that a man cannot enter Heaven without being BORN AGAIN. Some false prophets (such as John Hagee) teach that Jews are exempt from the need to be born-again, and that they're better than everybody else. For a Biblical study on Israel please read, Questions And Answers Concerning Israel.
God had chosen the nation of Israel in Abraham's time to be His ambassadors to the Gentiles (all non-Jewish people). Israel rebelled and killed the prophets instead of obeying the Word of God. God finally gave up on the NATION of Israel and gave them into the hands of the Babylonians. Though the Jews returned to their homeland 70-years later by God's grace, their nation was GONE! There was NO nation of Israel in the New Testament. Though the Jews lived in their homeland, they were under Roman rule and domination. Yet, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that God still loves the Jews and hasn't given up on them.
If you believe I am wrong on this subject, then feel welcome to enlighten me. I have carefully pondered the matter as I've searched through the Scriptures. In Deuteronomy 4:31, God made a promise never to forsake His people, "For the LORD thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them." Do you think God is a liar? Titus 2:1 declares that God CANNOT lie. We read the same promise again in Hebrews 13:5, "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Clearly, God NEVER forsakes His own. The sad truth is that Israel (as a nation) had forsaken God, with only a few Jews such as Jeremiah remaining faithful. All of the unsaved Jews went to Hell in the Old Testament. Israel repeatedly forsook God. In Jeremiah 25:11, Jeremiah told the Jews that God had tolerated all that He was going to tolerate, judgment was inevitable.
Again, we read in Romans 11:2, "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew..." In light of all these Scriptures teaching that God never forsakes His own, don't tell me that God divorced His people! God may have put away the nation of Israel, he may have put away the unsaved Jews who rejected Him; but He would never put away His own.
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