Prophecy And Miracle

by Kenneth J Price

"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in" (Romans 11:25).

The first part of this Scripture we would do well to consider -- the mystery of Israel with the eye of faith, for wherever faith turns in relation to Israel it sees that God's call and election of Israel are rooted in His everlasting counsel, so that all nations should be blessed. And the centre of that counsel is the Messiah of Israel.

Israel 's present existence, dispersion and their future destiny are all revealed in the precious word of God, and the Jewish nation has its culminating point in the Messiah, the Lord Yeshua. Therefore it is a mysterious nation, and the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, exhorts us that we should not be ignorant of this mystery.

As we take up our position with Abraham and stand on the ground of faith we may look at the wonderful promises that God made and the covenants He established with His servant Abraham when this nation was born and brought into being. In that covenant we see that the LAND, the NATION and the MESSIAH are promised to Abraham, and the rest of the nations of the earth would be blessed in this central nation.

"Now the LORD had said to Abram: 'Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed'" (Genesis 12:1-3).

God also brought Abraham outside "and said, 'Look now towards heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them ... so shall your descendants (seed) be'" (Genesis 15:5). When later writing to the Galatians, Paul, once again under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, explains: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as to many, but as of one, 'And to your seed,' who is the Messiah" (Galatians 3:16).

We may take up our position too with Simeon with the eye of faith, for what did Simeon see as he was "waiting for the consolation of Israel" ? He took into his arms the infant Yeshua, blessed God and said, "My eyes have seen your salvation (your Yeshua) which you have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel" (Luke 2:25,28-32).

The apostle Paul, even after he had experienced all the unbelief and hatred of his own nation, is perfectly sure that God has not cast off His people, but that "all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26). Wherever we would take up our position regarding the Scriptures, with the eye of faith we behold the eternal counsel of the Most High God which must stand for ever; this counsel develops and unfolds and nothing can withstand its progress. The Lord has chosen Israel, and this choice is rooted in the everlasting counsel of God, the Messiah being the centre, "the glory of your people Israel."

When Israel is unfaithful they are punished and chastened, a truth which applies to all people who depart from the Lord, but the counsel of God, the plan of God, the thoughts of God, the election of God cannot be altered, "for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" ; they are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).

God has chastened His people for two millennia, but He will bring them back to Himself because of the covenant He made with Abraham, passed on to Isaac, and again to Jacob, because that covenant is unconditional and His purpose is unchangeable. And regarding that covenant, there are two aspects that are very evident in Israel's history, which do not apply to other nations, but which can be a stumbling block to unbelievers. They are PROPHECY and MIRACLE.

Prophecy is God revealing Himself to men and foretelling the future in a miraculous and supernatural way. Miracle is God Himself intervening and showing His direct power and goodness to rescue His people. Prophecy is the intervention of God by His word; Miracle is the intervention of God by His act.

The culminating point of prophecy and of miracle is the incarnation of the Messiah, "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14), and we can relate to all the prophecies throughout the Old Testament which point to that wonderful fulfilment of prophecy and the supernatural miracle which God performed to bring it to pass. The Messiah is the wisdom of God when the world was not able to find out God. " ... in the wisdom of God the world through wisdom did not know God ..." (First Letter to the Corinthians 1:21). God Himself came down from heaven, "and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

All prophecy and miracles recorded in Israel's history head up to the central event -- the coming of the Messiah. By miracle God redeemed a people for Himself out of Egypt. By miracle God established His people, Israel, in the promised land to show the nations that these were the people who would bring forth the Messiah. " ... for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people'" (Deuteronomy 4:6).

By miracle God anointed David king over Israel and appointed that his "throne shall be established for ever" (II Samuel 7:16). By miracle God has revealed Jesus as the Messiah by exalting Him "to his right hand to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31).

By miracle God is causing His people to return to the land of Israel. '" ... I will bring back from captivity my people Israel and Judah,' says the LORD. 'And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it'" (Jeremiah 30:3). By miracle the people of Israel will recognize the Messiah. "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplication; then they will look unto me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a first-born" (Zechariah 12:10).

"See! Your house if left unto you desolate; for I say to you, 'You shall see me no more until you say, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!"'" (Matthew 23:39)