I've heard the theory that Yahweh divorced Israel so they could be 'married to Christ.' Is there any scriptural backing for this?
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I agree with Tim and Kelly's sound doctrinal explanation. In my opinion there is another aspect of the theory that needs to be addressed concerning Yahweh and Christ. Let's look at Isaiah 44:6 "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." In the KJV LORD is in all caps and the passage obviously identifies two personages. 1.The LORD the King of Israel. 2. and his redeemer the LORD of hosts. LORD in this context is Jehovah/Yehovah YHWH or Yahweh. Each/both are the first and the last. (compare to Revelation 1:4-8). Who is the redeemer? Who is the Lord of hosts (Yahweh of armies)? Who is the first and the last? "And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims." (2 Samuel 6:2) "Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God." (Psalms 84:3) King David refers to the LORD of hosts as his king and God. It was in this name and by the authority of the LORD of hosts David defeated Goliath. "Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied." (1 Samuel 17:45) The title LORD of hosts appears over 200 times in the KJV, a great word/phrase study! This is the same LORD who breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life and was later crucified by those he created. Our blessed LORD was very active in the Old Testament!
In my opinion, the passage that comes closest to addressing this question is Romans 11 (particularly Romans 11:11-12), in which Paul speaks of how, following Israel´s general rejection of Christ at His first coming, God then offered salvation to the Gentiles in order to make Israel jealous. However, that same passage also makes clear that God´s purpose in inciting Israel to jealousy was to cause them to also seek Christ, so that, when they do so, they might have the same salvation and eternal life that God had conferred upon believers in Christ. Christians have not taken Israel´s place; nor was Israel in some sense "divorced" from its Old Testament relationship with God, so that it could then be "wed" to Christ. Faith in Christ was always the proper response and fulfillment that God intended Israel to have as a result of the history, law, and prophets of the Old Testament. And, someday, as Paul indicates in Romans 11, Israel will be brought to that state of belief
Christian friend, The Bible teaches exactly the opposite of that idea. Scripture, from Genesis to the middle of Acts teaches of GOD's Desire of the restoration of HIS chosen people, Israel(12 tribes of Jacob, Abraham's "seed"). Always keep this thought in front of Study of GOD'S Word; 200 million years ago x infinity, GOD Knew today, tomorrow, and everything After Revelation 22:21. Did GOD "divorce" Israel? Let's "reason Scripture": And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Genesis 17:3-4 KJV But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Matthew 15:24-27 KJV And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. John 10:16 KJV And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. Acts 10:11-15 KJV What had happened that "cleansed everyone"? Christ Jesus Crucified Allowing "us" as Gentiles: And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 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. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 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. Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:9-11, 19-21, 25, 31-36 KJV To become: Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:3-7 KJV In Christ Alone
God did not divorce Israel. They divorced Him by rejecting Him (Christ). In doing so they invoked divine judgement on themselves as prophesied by Moses (see Deuteronomy 28:49 - 52) as early as 1400 BC; as well as myriads of prophets after him. The two witnesses of Revelation Old Testament symbols and references to the Word of God and the Old Testament prophets personify this fact by "bearing witness" against them. They killed the prophets but the Word they spoke from God condemned them. God has one people and that was His plan from the beginning. God does not show favoritism and did not show a preference for the Jews over the Gentiles; in fact God worked with the Gentiles just as much as He did the Jews and He had many followers among us in both the OT and NT (remember Melchizidek) before we ever made contact with the Jews. The great mystery of the book of Ephesians that even heaven's angels wondered about, was God's one people consisting of both Jew and Greek bound together in Christ. That is what that glorious epistle is all about. One God/King (Christ), one people, one kingdom.
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