Wednesday, 30 October 2013
…even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. Romans 11:31
The reciprocal of verse 30 is now given. Placing both verses side by side will provide clarity –
“For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.”
The disobedience of the Jews led to mercy upon the gentiles (verse 30). However, this isn’t the end of the story as so many in the church seem to believe. Instead, Paul says “even so…” The Greek word for “even so” indicates “in this manner.” And so, in the same way as verse 30 was explained concerning the gentiles, it can now be shown true with the Jews.
“These also have now been disobedient…” In the ages past, God’s mercy was shown on the Jews, calling them, and giving them His covenant and its associated care, protection, and blessings. During this time, the gentiles were mostly excluded from that favored status. However, the covenant contained stern warnings for disobedience. There was a first exile which was intended as chastisement for correction. This was a 70-year exile to Babylon. However, disobedience followed again after restoration; Christ was rejected and crucified. And even after the resurrection, the ultimate proof of His Messiah-ship, He was rejected. A second time of punishment would come.
How long would this punishment last? The Bible tells us specifically. In Ezekiel 4, the times of punishment are spelled out in detail by using the prophet as an object lesson. He was told to lay on his side. Once he was to lay on his left side for 390 days (Israel’s punishment). Then he was told to lay on his right side for 40 days (Judah’s punishment). This is a total of 430 days. He was told each day equated to 1 year. Therefore, Israel (the combined nation) could expect 430 years of exile. The Bible and history record the Babylonian exile which lasted 70 years. That left 360 years of exile for continued disobedience.
However, there is a caveat found in the curses of Leviticus 26. In verse 18, it says – “And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”
If the first exile didn’t have its intended effect, the second term would be multiplied by 7. Therefore, 360 years multiplied by 7 comes to a total of 2520 years. From the dating of the original exile (God’s mercy is evidenced in the times of punishment running concurrently) until 14 May of 1948 (Israel’s reestablishment) it was, as history records, 2520 biblical years. A biblical year (also called a “prophetic year”) is 360 days, not 365 days. Exactly as God determined in ages past, Israel was reestablished as a nation 907,200 days after its original date of exile – perfection in the details of Scripture which match what occurred in history.
This doesn’t mean that Israel is again in a state of obedience, but that God was faithful in that “through mercy shown to you they may obtain mercy.” The Church Age has been a time of God’s mercy upon the gentiles during Israel’s time of rejection. Now, the Church Age is nearing its end and God is readying Israel to take is rightful place in redemptive history; the Kingdom Age anticipated by the apostles in Acts 1:6 is just ahead of us. Israel of today is not an aberration, but a part of God’s perfectly detailed and perfectly executed plan for the people of the world.
Life application: We don’t need to guess or speculate about fulfilled matters of redemptive history. They are exactingly and precisely detailed in God’s word. What we need to do is keep our noses in that word and draw out what He has so meticulously conveyed to us… read your Bible!
Glorious God! Your word is so perfectly detailed. It is so meticulous and exact in all it records. The more I read it, the more amazed I am at the marvelous perfection it displays. Open my eyes to see wonderful things in Your word, and lead me each day to a fuller understanding of it. This I ask that You will be glorified and I will be edified. Thank You for Your word, O God. Amen!