God's Word for Today Romans 3

March 4, 2012


Looking at the tragic history of the Jewish people, you might think there has been no advantage in being a Jew. They were chosen by God, but their history has been difficult, with slavery, they have been taken over by foreign countries, they suffered many deaths with the German holocaust, and even today are often fighting with their Palestinian neighbors.   They were slaves in Egypt for some 400 years, and after God miraculously delivered them, they wandered in a barren wilderness for forty years, until an entire generation died out. When they eventually entered the land God had promised them, they had to fight to for every part of it and continue to fight to protect what they had. After several hundred years, civil war divided the nation. The northern kingdom eventually was almost wiped away by Assyria, with the those remaining being taken captive to that country. Later, the southern kingdom was conquered and exiled in Babylon for seventy years, after which some were allowed to return to Israel.  Not long after they rebuilt their homeland, they were conquered by Greece, and the Greek leader wiped out the Temple and killed the priests. Under Roman rule it was no better. Under Herod the Great many male Jewish babies were skilled, hoping to kill Jesus, because Herod thought that Jesus would grow up to take his place.  In the year A.D. 70, a cruel Roman general by the Caesar's order destroyed Jerusalem, its Temple, and most of its citizens. According to Josephus, over a million Jews of all ages were killed and others became slaves. In the Nazi holocaust of the early 1940s at least 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated, this time for racial rather than religious reasons. 

Not only have Jews historically had little social or political security, but in Romans 2:17-20 Paul said that, although they are God's specially chosen and blessed people, Jews do not even have guaranteed spiritual security.  They need to be saved from their sin by Jesus, just like everyone else.  Being born a descendant of Abraham, knowing God's law and being circumcised did not give them a place in heaven; in fact, rather than protecting Jews from God's judgment, those blessings made them all the more accountable for obedience to the Lord.  For more see www.wdbydana.com/sermon.html