“I say then, have they (Israel) stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure rich for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!” (Romans 11:11-12)
In the history of the world has there ever been a group of people more hated, despised, persecuted and war torn than the Jewish people and the nation of Israel? In our own day the vitriol against them seems inconceivable. Why? One reason is the ongoing battle with the spirit of Amalek. (Exodus 17:16) The devil hates them. Another reason is the descendants of Ishmael hate them. The Lord told Abraham, “Sarah, your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendents after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall begat twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac…” (Genesis 17:19-21) Jealousy seethes from the soul of Ishmael against the children of the promise.
The devil and all his followers hate the Jews. The other son and his descendants described as “wild men whose hand shall be against every other man” (Gen 16:12) hate the Jews. What about the church? You know the followers of the Jewish carpenter? Through the last two thousand years how much hatred has been poured out on the Jews by the supposed church? The obvious answer to that question should stop us in our tracks. Why has this occurred?
I think the answer to that last question might be found in the 11th chapter of the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the church at Rome. Paul explains that Israel’s fall brought occasion for salvation to the Gentiles. If their stumble created this positive outcome, how much more will Israel be blessed when they come to Messiah Jesus. (vs. 12, 15) Paul then uses the olive tree to expand his point. Israel is the olive tree, the Gentiles a wild olive tree. Some of the branches were broken off the olive tree at the rejection of Christ. (Others remained as those who accepted Christ at His first coming). Then God grafted branches from the wild tree onto the olive tree. God did the grafting Paul reminds us, and not we ourselves. We have no boast of any kind. We also have no boast against the branches broken off. We will look at this most important aspect in Part 2.