Jews and Gentiles in God’s Plan
By Royce Frederick
To accomplish His plan for mankind, God raised up a special nation called “Israel,” the Jews. People of other nations were called “Gentiles” or “the nations.” Although Israel was God’s chosen nation, He foretold of blessings for people of all nations.
About 4,000 years ago, ABRAHAM received a promise concerning Gentiles: “Now the LORD had said to Abram [later called “Abraham”]: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation [the nation of Israel, the Jews]; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed’” (Gen. 12:1-3). God later repeated the promise, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed...” (Gen 22:18).
Abraham’s son ISAAC received the same promise about Gentiles: “And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 26:4).
About 3,000 years ago, DAVID foretold: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You” (Ps. 22:27), and, “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You...” (Ps. 86:9). Another says, “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us...” (Ps. 117:1-2).
About 2,700 years ago, ISAIAH foretold: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains...and all nations shall flow to it” (Isa. 2:2). “...there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him...” (Isa. 11:10). “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles” (Isa. 42:1). “...I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison...” (Isa. 42:6-7). “...I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isa. 49:6).
About 2,600 years ago, DANIEL foretold: “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days...Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13-14; see 2:35, 44).
These blessings for Gentiles were fulfilled in a Jew named Jesus. Through His mother, He descended from Jesse and David. He was born in Bethlehem, as foretold in Micah 5:2. He died for our sins, as foretold in Isaiah 53. And He arose from death, as foretold in Psalm 16:10. He began His everlasting kingdom, the church, on the Jewish day of Pentecost in Acts 2. He invites Jews first, and people of all nations, to obey the gospel and receive salvation and citizenship in His kingdom (Rom. 1:16; 6:3-4; Acts 2:38)!