Supersessionism - Part III
PRECEDING HIS DEPARTURE TO be with the Lord, Moses admonished the children of Israel to obey God’s commandments when they crossed over into the Promised Land. He said, “… because it is your life: and through this thing (obedience to the commandments) you shall prolong your days in the land, whither you go over Jordan to possess it” (Deut. 32:47).
GOD SPEAKS TO JOSHUA
God spared no time in confirming the promise of the land to Joshua and the children of Israel. He commanded Joshua: “…arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even the children of Israel” (Josh 1:2).
God told Joshua that He would be with him and the inhabitants of the land would be unable to stand before him. Joshua was to conquer the inhabitants of the land and then divide the land for an inheritance to the children of Israel.
JOSHUA TO DAVID
From the very moment that Joshua brought the children of Israel into the Promised Land, it was a fight to possess the land. Although there were many great victories won by Joshua, the children of Israel did not utterly drive out all the inhabitants. “When Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out” (Judg. 1:28).
God’s anger prevailed over Israel and he subjected them to their enemies. He would then raise up judges to deliver them from the hand of the spoilers, but Israel would not listen to the judges and instead, “…went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them…and when the Lord raised them up Judges, then the Lord was the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them” (Judg. 2:17-18).
God would furthermore leave the surrounding nations that oppressed Israel to prove (test) them. Throughout the book of Judges, we see how Israel would repent, and God would raise up a judge to deliver them only to find Israel shortly afterwards going into apostasy again. God’s patience and long-suffering displayed his fidelity to the covenant that he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: “… and have brought you unto the land which I swear unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you” (Judg. 2:1).
Samuel was raised up by God as a judge but also filled the office of prophet. Samuel appointed his sons as judges, however they did not walk in the ways of God. As a result, the people of Israel demanded a king to judge them. “That we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us …” (I Sam. 8:20).
David and his seed would be the ones to whom God would make his covenant: “…and I will set up my seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom … and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit any iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him…and thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever,” (II Sam. 7:12, 14-16).
The Psalmist reaffirms this promise and everlasting covenant: “… I have sworn unto y servant David, Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up my throne to all generations … My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant will stand fast with him. His seed will I make to endure forever, and his throne all the days of heaven.” (Ps. 89:4, 28-29).
There can be no mistake that this verse speaks of Messiah, but the law of double reference also makes it clear that it is speaking of David and his natural seed. There is no room at this juncture for anyone to speculate that God had forsaken his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with regard to the land being taken away from the children of Israel and given to the church, or anyone else.
ISRAEL’S DISOBEDIENCE AND GOD’S MERCY
Does Israel’s disobedience and sin and subsequent exile from the land change her divine right to the land given to them by covenant promise from God?
[Keith: Scriptures and quotes more than 100 words are inset with no quote marks. Scriptures are always in italics, quotes from regular Joes in Roman. Thx, Des]
If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD (Lev. 26:40-45).
The Lord not only promises them restoration, but He also says that He will give them more when He gathers and returns them from captivity.
“That the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it: and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers” (Deut. 30:3-5).
There can be no doubt that Moses was not limiting this to the first diaspora when Israel was taken to Babylon. Notwithstanding, in the expanded Davidic covenant, God makes it very clear once again that he will not withhold mercy even if David’s children shall walk in disobedience.
- If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break nor alter the thing that has gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah (Ps. 89:30-37).
God’s immutable promises to Israel include the seed—Messiah-Jesus Christ—and the land. God is working toward fulfilling both for Israel. Soon and very soon a deliverer will come out of Zion and all of Israel shall be saved. Until then, we have seen the miraculous hand of God return the dry bones that were scattered all over the earth to the land of Israel. God is not planning a funeral but a resurrection! Next month we will deal with modern events and reveal what the Word of God says about today.