My People

Paul makes a pretty provocative statement when he talks about the people of Israel. He says that not all of Israel is Israel. Wait, what?

The nation of Israel are the people of God. They were the ones that were chosen, that from Abraham and his son Isaac came Jacob whom God renamed Israel. These were the people, that for whatever God’s reasons were, were the ones that God had chosen.

But now, many centuries and millenia later, Paul makes the statement that not all of these people are actually God’s people. But why would Paul say that? Isn’t he going against God’s plan?

For these same centuries that had past, the Israelite people would frequently trace their lineage back to Jacob, to Isaac, and Abraham, showing that they and their families were part of the people of God. Their intent was to show that they were truly part of the nation of Israel, part of a particular tribe, and therefore belonged to the one and only true God, Yahweh.

But now Paul is pointing out that it isn’t just a matter of your physical lineage. It isn’t whether or not you have the right genealogy that determines whether or not you are part of the people of God. No, what determines this is whether you find yourself within the promise of God.

God told Abraham that his descendants would be like the stars in the sky, but then Abraham had to wait for 25 years to have a child. God had given Abraham a promise, but it was a promise that hadn’t come true just yet. About 10 years into the initial giving of the promise, God again confirmed his promise to Abraham, and the scriptures say that Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

It was Abraham’s faith that God would keep his promise that allowed him to enter into right relationship with God. God was going to do the work to keep the promise, even if Sarah and Abraham tried to force the matter with Hagar to have Ishmael.

This is the legacy of Abraham, that his faith allowed him to enter into the proper relationship with God. He believed God would keep his promises. He believed that what God said he would do, he would actually do.

Paul is pointing out, therefore, that everything is now different. Jesus is for everyone, not just for the Jews. Jesus opened the door that all might enter into the kingdom of God. Not just the Jews. Salvation and the Spirit of God is available to all. No longer is God available only to a certain people that have the right physical lineage. No longer is God available to a people that perform the right religious acts. What distinguishes God’s people from the other people are those that believe God and have faith in him and the promise that he has given.

“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”


“In the very place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”

Romans 9:25-26

Those that believe that Jesus is the Christ, that believe that he has reestablished his kingdom, and that believe and have faith that, through Christ’s blood, they also can be brought into the kingdom…these are the people of Israel. Jesus is God incarnate who can save. Jesus is Yeshua who has come to us in the flesh. He is God and he came to us in the flesh so that we can know him and to give himself for us so that we can enter his kingdom and give him glory forever.

Those that have faith in this promise are the ones who are God’s people. These are the people of Israel. This is the true Israel, the ones that God will call “my people”.

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