Hebrews 7-8~ Day 99~ Believers are the house of Israel.

I have been learning lately that many Christians believe that Jewish people have a "special spot" in God's heart.  I didn't grow up with this belief so I was slow on the uptake that this is a popular interpretation of scripture.  However, I would challenge that assumption on the basis of New Testament scripture and on how Paul describes who "Jewish people" are, or more specifically who makes up "the house of Israel".

Paul set out to define the true seed of Abraham in three of his letters.  It was very important for the early Jewish believers to understand this new concept and have a paradigm shift. (Perhaps the old way of thinking persists today.). It was not just Paul who was explaining this new way of thinking, I bring this up because of our reading in Hebrews today.

The writer quotes Jeremiah 31:31, "Look, the days are coming"-this is the Lord's declaration- "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." (8:8). Yes, that does sound quite exclusive to one certain group of people, that at the time consisted exclusively  of Jewish people.

However, as Christians, we use the New Testament to shed light on Old Testament scripture just as Jesus did (Luke 24:27).  We have Pauls writings to the Galatians, Ephesians and Romans to help us understand who the "house of Israel" is today.  For example,
"If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal 3:29)
"A partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And in this way all Israel will be saved." (Rom. 11:25-26)

When we keep these explanatory verses in mind, and then look back to the Jeremiah verse quoted in Hebrews, we know who God was referring to when Jeremiah writes, "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel after those days..." The House of Israel, now, is not Jewish people, but all believers-Jews and Gentiles.  God sees all believers as the house of Israel (Matt. 3:9, Rom 4:13, 8:17, Eph. 3:6, Gal 6:16)

"So it is not the children of the flesh who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as offspring." (Rom 9:8).

Knowing that believers make up the house of Israel, we can see that the promise the Lord made to put his law "into their minds and write them on their hearts..." has been fulfilled by giving us the Holy Spirit (John 16:13 & Eph. 1:11-14).

When I read the Hebrew writer explaining these mysteries (laid out so well in Eph. 3:3-6) to fellow Hebrews, I am left feeling so grateful for the "new covenant"!  Believers are the ones who hold a "special spot" in God's heart.  Thank you, Lord, for making me part of the house of Israel and allowing me to partake in the fulfillment of your promise!  


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