Friday, September 16, 2016

The Jews: Sons of God

In this study we look at what caused God to choose the Jews and call them sons of God.  We also examine a surprising mission that God gave them to fulfill, and the role that the law played in that role.

  • Luke 3:23,38
  • Genesis 12:1-3
  • Isaiah 45:4-5
  • Exodus 4:21-23
  • Exodus 19:5-6
  • Deuteronomy 17:2-5
  • Isaiah 42:6-7
  • Isaiah 49:6
  • Deuteronomy 4:5-8
  • Deuteronomy 28:9-14
  • Isaiah 1:2
  • Acts 7:39-42
  • Romans 11:2-8
  • Romans 11:11-15
  • Romans 11:25-32

The Jews: Sons of God

Deuteronomy 14:1-2
1“You are the sons of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave your forehead for the sake of the dead. 2“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

We’re going to look at:
  • The history of God choosing Israel
  • Israel as Sons of God
  • The Law: Israel as Judge
  • Israel’s Forgotten Mission
  • Israel’s Fall / Israel’s Future Redemption

History of the World

Supernatural Worldview

The First (Human) Son of God

Genealogy of Jesus

Luke 3:23,38
23Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,
the son of Heli,
38the son of Enosh,
the son of Seth, the son of Adam,
the son of God.

As a son of God, Adam had dominion over all that was living on the earth.  
Then Adam fell...

The Flood

After the “sons of God” mated with the daughters of man God decided to destroy the earth with a flood.  So God chose a man, Noah, and his family to replenish the earth.  Genesis 10 lists Noah’s line of 70 family members as starting 70 nations.

Then they fell...

Tower of Babel

After the people decided to build structures whose “tops reached to Heaven”, God divided the nations and gave them their own languages.   The nations were worshipping other gods, so God turned them over to the other gods.

God Chose Abraham

God decided to get a people who would be His own.

Genesis 12:1-3
1The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.a
3I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”b
  • God chose Abram to start a new nation that would eventually bless all the people of the earth
  • How did Abram’s descendents bless all the people of the earth
    • Through Jesus

For Jacob’s Sake

Why did God choose Abraham?

Isaiah 45:4-5
4For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.
  • In multiple places the bible infers that Abraham was chosen primarily because He would be the ancestor of Jacob
  • Jacob was the special one whom God chose

Malachi 1 states: “Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau”

God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.  Jacob got the first-born son blessing even though he wasn’t actually the first one born.

Israel’s Offspring Became Sons of God

Exodus 4:21-23
21The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’ ”
  • Israel are sons of God
  • God hardened Pharaoh’s heart

Exodus 19:5-6
5Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6youa will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
  • As priests Israel would be the mediators between God and the nations

“the firstborn son is in the Old Testament not just the heir. He is himself sanctified. That means, he is set apart as God’s possession. He must be given to the Lord (Ex. 22:29). Because he is the Lord’s possession, he must be redeemed (Exodus 13:12-15; 34:19). But in stead of all firstborns of Israel, God now designates one tribe to be priests before Him (Numbers 3:12-13). They constitute, as it were, the link between God and the nation. So is Israel out of all nations designated to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation before God (Ex. 19:5-6).”

Sons of God referred to here are people in the natural realm.  There are other references to Sons of God which we will study in future lessons.

Israel as Judge

Were the  Gentiles supposed to follow all 613 of the Jewish laws?

Jewish Religious Texts

The Torah (The Law)

The 5 books of law.  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

The Tanakh

The Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible is the canonical collection of Jewish texts, which is also a textual source for the Christian Old Testament. Tanakh is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh.

The Talmud

The Talmud meaning "instruction, learning" is a central text of Rabbinic Judaism.

The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah, a written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism's Oral Torah, and the Gemara (c. 500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible. "Talmud" translates literally as "instruction" in Hebrew, and the term may refer to either the Gemara alone, or the Mishnah and Gemara together.

Seven Laws of Noah

* from Wikipedia

The Seven Laws of Noah, also referred to as the Noahide Laws or the Noachide Laws, are a set of imperatives which, according to the Talmud, were given by God as a binding set of laws for the "children of Noah" – that is, all of humanity.

According to Jewish law, non-Jews are not obligated to convert to Judaism, but they are required to observe the Seven Laws of Noah. If they accept and fulfill these commandments with the conviction that YHVH commanded them in the Torah as transmitted by Moses, and are careful to observe them in accordance with the relevant details within the Torah law, they are assured of a place in the World to Come (Olam Haba), the final reward of the righteous.

The seven Noahide laws as traditionally enumerated are:
  1. Do not deny God.
  2. Do not blaspheme God.
  3. Do not murder.
  4. Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
  5. Do not steal.
  6. Do not eat from a live animal.
  7. Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to the law.

The rainbow is the unofficial symbol of Noahidism, recalling the rainbow that appeared to Noah after the Great Flood of the Bible.

“salvation is achieved through noble action rather than through the acceptance of a particular religious doctrine.”
--Rabbi Wayne Allen (Conservative Jew)

Judging the Nations

Deuteronomy 17:2-5
2If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant, 3and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, 4and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.

The Jews were also supposed to judge the Gentiles.  The text seems to speak specifically within the Jewish nation (holy ground).  Within the areas where God kept dominion.  He gave the other nations/lands over to the other elohim (sons of God) to rule over them.

The Jew’s Forgotten Mission

There is a mission that God gave to the Jews which I’ve never heard spoken about.

Isaiah 42:6-7
6“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
  • What “darkness” would the Gentiles be freed from?
    • The darkness of their sin
    • A life without God
  • Israel is supposed to free them from this bondage

Isaiah 49:6
6he says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
  • The Jews are supposed to bring the nations to salvation by turning to God

  • This implies encouraging others to follow God not necessarily attempting to convert people to Judaism.  
  • Proselytizing was heavily practiced in the thousand years prior to Christ, but then died down.  

The Jews were supposed to be drawing people to God.

“Since the philosophy of Judaism essentially excludes the belief in eternal torment for sinners, and instead believes (1) that sinners can successfully repent if they’re sincere and (2) that everyone will benefit in the “world to come”, there is no need to “save” others by converting them to Judaism.”
--Rabbi Jonathan Biatch (Reformed Jew)

The Purpose of the Law

How would they do it?

Deuteronomy 4:5-8
5See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
  • What was going to be the people’s reaction to the Jews following the laws?
    • They are a great and wise people
    • They have a righteous  God
  • The fact that God gave them righteous laws was supposed to entice the nations to following God

Deuteronomy 28:9-14
9The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
12The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
  • They were supposed to have an abundance of blessings from following the law
  • The laws were full of supernatural wisdom
  • This was supposed to give Israel an advantage over the nations

The results of following the laws would be
  • Living longer an
    • by following the health laws
  • Grow better crop
    • following the agricultural  laws

Circumcision, the Sabbath day rest, worship of an invisible God, abstinence from certain foods, financial stewardship, and agricultural practices were all supposed to be aspects of the Jewish lifestyle.  

The goal of you following the law was that the benefits  you gained in all areas of life would convince others to do things God’s way.   Living by the wisdom of God would show others that your God was superior to theirs.[Kingdom of God]  

The law was supposed to (among other things) win others over to God!

Wayward Children

So did they do it?

Isaiah 1:2
Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the LORD speaks, "Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me.

Acts 7:39-42
39 "But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
40 They told Aaron, 'Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don't know what has happened to him!'
41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.
42 But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: " 'Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
  • They kept turning to other gods

The Old Testament gives story of God saving the Israelites and then they turn to other gods.

The Remnant

Romans 11:2-8
2God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”a ? 4And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”b 5So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
7What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that could not see
and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.”
  • God kept 7,000
  • More than ninety-nine percent of the Jewish people of the Northern Kingdom worshipped Baal.
  • It says if they would have lost their position then it wouldn't be grace
  • What is the spirit of stupor ?

Hope for the Jews

Romans 11:11-15
11Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
  • Why would the Jews be jealous?
    • Christian will receive salvation
    • “Riches’
  • What are these “riches” that will make the Jews jealous?
    • Salvation?
    • Material abundance from following God’s laws?
  • The fall of Israel is what caused the Gentiles to be saved
  • The salvation of the Gentiles is intended to draw the Jews back to God

Hardened Hearts

Romans 11:25-32
25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26and in this waye all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27And this isf my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”g
28As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may nowh receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
  • Why would Gentiles be conceited?
    • Thinking that they were going to have salvation, but not the Jews
  • What does it mean Israel experienced a hardening
    • God hardened their hearts so they wouldn't accept Jesus
  • Why would God do that?
    • for their sake
      • They're blameless now
    • for our sake
  • God’s mercy to us was salvation through Jesus

God will have mercy on Israel and they will be saved!


Adam was the first son of God, so God gave him dominion over all of the earth.  When he fell he lost that dominion.  God eventually chose Abraham and the descendants of Jacob to be His new sons.  

God’s goal of choosing the Jews wasn’t to create an exclusive club, but Israel was supposed to serve as priests, and judges.

  1. Priests
    • being intermediaries between God and the Gentiles
  2. Judges
    • Judging the Jews and Gentiles within the holy lands

Another role that is rarely discussed is that the Jews were supposed to draw the Gentiles to God.  God gave the them laws on how to live which made them a peculiar people that noticeably stood out.   By living under these laws the Jews were supposed to be seen as wise because they would have a visibly better life.  They would have better health, better financial success, and other rewards.   This would entice the nations to serve and worship the true God as their own God.  

In Matthew 28:19 Jesus told His followers to: “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.  

It seems thus that the mission has not changed -- make disciples.

So if the Jews won’t do it then it’s up to us ...the new sons of God!


  • Adam was the first human “son of God”
  • God chose the Israelites to be a nation that worshiped Him alone
  • God referred to the Israelites  as His sons
  • Israel’s  role as sons of God was to:
    • Judge the Jews and the Gentiles
    • Be priests (intermediaries between the Gentiles and God)
    • Draw the Gentiles to God
  • The Mosaic laws were supposed to draw Gentiles to God when they saw how wise and just the laws were.
  • The benefits the Jews obtained from following the laws such as financial success, better health, and better crops were supposed to draw the Gentiles to God.
  • The Jews ended up worshipping other gods
  • Paul said that the Jews fell away so that the Gentiles could come to God
  • Therefore the fall of the sons of God is what allowed the Gentiles to be saved
  • God has hardened the hearts of the Jews so that they can receive grace and be saved
  • The Gentiles have been adopted into sonship, and are sons of God
  • Our mission is also to draw people to God/Jesus

Presenter: Michael Leadon


Was Abraham Jewish

Israel As First Born Son

Sons of God

Extra Verses

From the Beginning

Abraham Was a Hebrew

Genesis 14:12-13
12 They also carried off Abram's nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.
13 A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother[fn] of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram.
  • Abraham was the first person to be called a Hebrew in the bible
  • He wasn't the only Hebrew
  • This means that not all Hebrews are descendants of Abraham
    • so God didn’t choose all of the Hebrews?
  • The people of that time were polytheistic
    • Including the Hebrews
    • Including Abram
  • Some say Abraham wasn’t a Jew because he didn’t have to follow the laws of Moses

  • The word Hebrew is derived from being a descendent Eber who was a descendent of Noah and of Shem

The word Hebrew means the one who is opposed, on the other side, and different from all others. Abraham was a solitary believer in a sea of idolatry.

Israel Saving The Nations

Jer 1:5
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Sons of God

Hosea 11:1-2
1“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.a
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.

The Purpose of the Law

The dietary laws were for
  1. Safeguard from Epidemic Diseases

Laws related to sexual intercourse, the emission of sexual fluids, uterine discharges, and menstruation were because the body had lost the fluids that contain, create, or sustain life.  Thus you were not whole, or like God, so you had to be cleansed in order to come into His presence.

God was going to reward their lifestyle as an example of how loving of a God He was.

Israel Worshipped Other Gods

Amos 5 (NIIV)
25 "Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king, the pedestal of your idols, the star of your god[fn]—which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus," says the LORD, whose name is God Almighty.

Amos 5:25-27
25 "[fn]Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?
26 "You also carried along [fn]Sikkuth your king and [fn]Kiyyun, your images, [fn]the star of your gods which you made for yourselves.
27 "Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus," says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.

Zephaniah 1:4-6
4“I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will destroy every remnant of Baal worship in this place,
the very names of the idolatrous priests—
5those who bow down on the roofs
to worship the starry host,
those who bow down and swear by the Lord
and who also swear by Molek,b
6those who turn back from following the Lord
and neither seek the Lord nor inquire of him.”

Deuteronomy 29:25-28
25And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
  • What Why did God uproot them from their land the put them in another land?
    • Because of idolatry

Deuteronomy 32:15-21, 36-39
Jeshurun[fn] grew fat and kicked; filled with food, they became heavy and sleek. They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior.
16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols.
17 They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God—gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear.
18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 The LORD saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters.
20 "I will hide my face from them," he said, "and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.
21 They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.

36 The LORD will vindicate his people and relent concerning his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.[fn]
37 He will say: "Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in,
38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter!
39 "See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.

2 Kings 17:13-20
13The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”
14But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”
16They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
18So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.
  • Which laws did it state that Israel broke that angered the Lord?
    • Mostly idolatry

Wayward Children

Judges 8:33-35
33No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god 34and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. 35They also failed to show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) in spite of all the good things he had done for them.

Future Salvation

Zechariah 12:10
10“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirita of grace and supplication. They will look onb me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

Isaiah 2:2-3
2In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.
3Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

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