What an excellent question! Let’s begin by reading the words of the Lord to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 7:6-9, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: THE LORD THY GOD HATH CHOSEN THEE to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” Israel was indeed the chosen people of the Lord. Through no cause of their own, the Lord in His sovereignty chose these people to be His own. His relationship with them was special as He poured out His blessings upon them.

Regrettably, we read of the Jews in John 1:11, “He came unto his own, and HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT.” When the Lord Jesus came as the Messiah to His people, they rejected Him. They would not receive Him as their Messiah. We read the words of the Lord in Luke 13:34, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT!” We read the words of the Jews in Luke 23:21, “But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.”

The Apostle Paul later dealt with the Jews and found them just as opposed to Christ as they had been during His life. We read in Acts 13:46-48, “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, LO, WE TURN TO THE GENTILES. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”

The Lord has not cast Israel away (Read Romans 11:1-10). However, we read of them in Romans 11:11, “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” Because of the rejection of the Lord by the Jews, the Lord has extended his grace to the Gentiles. (Anyone who is not a Jew is a Gentile.) Paul goes on and addresses the Christian Gentiles in verse 25, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the FULNESS OF THE GENTILES be come in.”

Israel was God’s chosen earthly people. Most of the promises to Israel contained earthly blessings if they obeyed His Word. The Lord also has a ‘chosen heavenly people’ and that is the CHURCH. In writing to the church in Ephesus, Paul writes to those Gentile believers, “Ephesians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: ACCORDING AS HE HATH CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” We realize from these verses, that the Church was planned even before the Lord created the world.

So, what becomes of Israel? We read in Lamentations 3:31, “For the Lord will not cast off for ever.” After the Rapture of the Church, the Lord will once again turn His attention and bless the nation of Israel. We read in Romans 11:26, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” “All Israel” refers to the remnant of the people of Israel that have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and received Him as their Messiah. (261.8)