One of the mysteries in the New Testament is the mystery of the present day spiritual blindness of the nation of Israel (Romans 11:25). While many Jewish people are coming to the saving knowledge of Yeshua as their Messiah (Romans 11:1), by and large the Jewish people as a whole are blinded to that fact (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). All of this, of course, is part of God’s amazing plan (Romans 11:29-36).

The nation of Israel comes into view as we look into Revelation 12 this morning. Some have sought to identify the woman portrayed in this chapter as either Mary or the church, but if you place the name “Mary” or the word “church” wherever the word “woman” is used, the pieces just do not fit. It seems very clear that John is speaking about the nation of Israel there. Also, if you look at the two dreams of Joseph in Genesis 37:5-11 and compare them with what we read in the first few verses of Revelation 12, the nation of Israel is once again a safe cross-reference.

One of the important distinctions that needs to be made is that between the church and the nation of Israel. Paul exhorted the saints in Corinth to be very careful in how they handled partaking of things that were of questionable origin. His admonition to them was that they were to give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God (1 Corinthians 10:32). Please note that The Holy Spirit made the distinction between an unsaved Jew or Gentile and the church, which was composed of both saved Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 2:11-3:6). Even in the eternal city, The Holy Spirit makes the distinction between the twelve tribes of the children of Israel and the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Revelation 21:12,14).

The present day remnant of Jewish believers are the natural branches (Romans 11:13-24) that are a part of the mystery body of people otherwise known as the church (Ephesians 5:32). The existence of the church does not mean the extinction of the nation of Israel. Through this nation our Messiah Jesus has come (Romans 1:3-4, 9:5), and by virtue of divine election through grace, many have come to the saving knowledge of The Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 9:27-29, 11:1-7). Our texts this morning remind us that God has neither forgotten nor forsaken His promise to the nation of Israel (Jeremiah 33:23-26; Psalm 83).