Editorial Staff
Tents of Mercy Network

I wish I had a shekel for every time I have heard or read of people trying to understand "the Israel piece". How and why in the world does this tiny people and land play such a central role in the Bible and in God's plan? According to Deuteronomy 4, the reason is that Israel is God's first attempt and prototype experiment.

"Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? Or did God ever try to go and take a nation for Himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror?" (Deuteronomy 4:33-34)

Has God ever attempted this? Has God ever tried? The same linguistic root is used in Hebrew for the word "experiment". In other words, God is performing a trial run - a prototype experiment to see whether He can succeed in taking a group of people for Himself, to be His own.

Whether or not He can succeed, has great repercussions on whether He can expand the group and do the same with other people. In Jeremiah 31:35-37 God promises that as long as the sun continues to give its light, He will maintain Israel as a people and not cast them off. He has committed Himself, staking His reputation on being able to prove His covenant faithfulness to them and through them.

He will succeed in His attempted experiment with Israel, and He will succeed with many others as well. (I Peter 2:9, Revelation 7:9)

By David
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18:40 31Oct13 Wayne Talbot -
I am somewhat intrigued by the suggestion that God conducts experiments apparently unaware of the outcomes. My view is of a God who is omnipotent and omniscient, the perfect Project Planner and Manager who is in control, and what happens happens either because He causes it to be so, or allows it for His purposes. Attempt, try, and experiment are concepts antithetical to my view of God, but maybe I have misunderstood you.

09:00 01Nov13 Florence -
Thank You for the encouragement.

10:19 01Nov13 Donna -
I agree with Wayne's comments. I am somewhat baffled and confused with the content of your article and thought too, perhaps I have misunderstood. I am grateful to GOD for HIS divine love, care and plans for HIS people and nation Israel and in no way believe anyone or anything is an experiment. HIS plans are supreme and HE always succeeds. It is mankind's responsibility to exercise the "free will" to love, trust and obey and thus be recipients of HIS blessings & promises. Israel is not an experiment, they were to be an example and HE is still working in the hearts of HIS people to make this happen. Romans 9, 10 & 11 brings clarity to what HIS plans are for HIS people ... and Jeremiah 23:1-8 also alludes to our Precious Savior, Yeshua Mashiach and GOD's plan to return to them to their own land prior to HIS return. What momentous times we live in as we are seeing such great fulfillment of HIS promises before our very eyes!

  -- David replies: The plain sense meaning of the Hebrew "HaNisa Elohim?" in Deuteronomy 4:34 is "Did God ever try?" or "Did God ever attempt?"

I agree that fitting this into a theological framework may be challenge, but there it is written in the Book all the same. We believe that God is omniscient and omnipotent. His being omnipotent but not over-ruling man's free will is really at the crux of this verse. It is a tension that plays out in each of our lives and - in this verse - with a whole people group. His omniscient foreknowledge does not cancel this tension, and perhaps not even all of our suspense as the audience/actors. I see in daily life in Israel what a tremendous challenge God has laid before Himself in committing to eventually bring this people back to Himself.

He WILL succeed in what He is attempting to do with Israel, and He will succeed with many others as well. Therefore Revelation 7:9 says, "After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes..."

08:44 03Nov13 Ron Overton -
God is the Alpha and Omega, He knows the end from the beginning. He was in the end creating the beginning. Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world but manifest now for us. All things are predestined. God knows the exact plan - its not an experiment. We don't know - but we walk by faith in obedience to Him to accomplish His plan.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: Touch Not God's Anointed
Daniel Juster's article in French: Ne Touchez Pas a L'Oint du Seigneur
Steve: Declare It in the Isles Afar Off
Daniel: Israel Impressions
Shavei Tzion: Haifa Theological Institute
Asher Intrater: Feet of Yeshua
Revive Israel: Bearing Fruit