The Dinner Bell

When I was a child, we had a dinner bell just outside of the front door. When it was time for dinner, my mother would ring the bell and expect my brother, sister and I to stop playing and come home. Although she only rang the bell for her three children, we had an “open table” policy at our house. Whoever came home with us could eat dinner with us. Our friends were served the same food, and were always welcome.

Of course, my mother was only ringing the bell for her children. If our friends wanted to stay outside and play, they were free to do so. However, for my brother, sister and I, there was no choice. If we didn’t come home when we heard the dinner bell, my Mom would come and get us, dragging us back home to eat with the family, whether we liked it or not.

So it is with God and the Jews.

Jesus came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel, and ONLY for the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 15:24). In the scripture, Jesus refused to cast a demon out of the daughter of a gentile woman, referring to her as a dog, and to the Jews as children.

How does that make any sense? Didn’t Jesus come for everybody? Why would the gospel be “for the Jew first, and then to the gentile?” Why would Jesus say, “Salvation is of the Jews?”

The Jews are God’s natural children. When He calls the Jewish people to repentance, God expects them to respond. The Gentiles could come or go as they wished, but the LORD is determined to have His own children with Him, and so He has pursued them to the uttermost parts of heaven and earth. Of course, if non-Jews hear His voice and respond, they receive the same grace and mercy as the Jews. But if they are not interested, God respects their free will.

God has written our names on the palms of His hands and declared that the Jewish people are “the beloved of His soul.” He will win us back and set His love “as a seal upon our hearts.”

Isaiah 57:7-10 declares:

“7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”

Although God has been angry with the Jewish people for a moment, He will love us with everlasting kindness. Yahweh has sworn that, before this is over, “the house of David shall be as God, and their feeble ones as David.”