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Why does God express such concern for Israelites?
Thank you for asking this interesting and important question. The simple answer is that God cares for Israel because He chose them for His purposes so that through them the world would learn about God. The complicated part is that, since the coming of Jesus, people have had different ideas of whether, and how, God still cares for Israel.
God expresses concern for the Israelites mostly in the Old Testament books of the Bible, which are in fact the 'Israelite Scriptures' that God revealed to them before the coming of Christ. His concern is based on the fact that
God chose Israel as the only nation to which He would reveal His truth. Hence they are known as 'The Chosen People' (read Genesis Chapters 15 -17 especially).
God gave a land to Israel and laws on which they must build their national life, from the national leaders down to the lowliest individual. He promised to care for Israel as His beloved people if they walked in His ways, but also warned them that if they disobeyed this law and turned from Him in their hearts, He would remove their privileges (read especially Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
His revelation to them consisted of two parts: God's Word (the Old Testament Scriptures) and God's works (the experiences of God toward Israel). This revelation called upon Israel not only to obey God in keeping the law, but also to love God from the heart and delight in Him. The Psalms in particular show the nature of this personal relationship with God (read Psalm 23 especially).
The history of Israel during the period covered by the Old Testament includes long periods of failure to love God and walk in His ways. As a result, God removed Israel from their land for 70 years and then restored them to it (see especially Amos 5:27).
At the same time God sent a great promise through the prophets, His spokesmen, that a final Deliverer (or 'Messiah') would come who would bring about a kingdom from God that would never end, and deliver Israel from its spiritual weakness and failures (read Isaiah 9:1-7).
The Jews, as the Israelites became known, expected this Deliverer to establish an earthly kingdom in the land of Israel, secure forever against its enemies. However, according to the New Testament, these prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. 'Christ' is just another (Greek) word for the Hebrew word 'Messiah'. Jesus extended the promise of salvation from being only for Jews. Salvation is now available for all who will receive Him (John 1:9-13), so that now the 'Chosen People' includes any person, Jew or non-Jew, who repents from sin and personally welcomes Jesus as the promised Saviour of the world (Galatians 3:26-29).
Some Christians nevertheless believe that the Jewish people still have a special and privileged relationship with God. One school of thought is that Jesus will one day return to this earth to establish in Jerusalem a thousand year kingdom among the Jews before this age is finally brought to an end (Revelation 20:1-15). An alternative one is that the reign of Christ there described is spiritual and symbolic rather than literal, and began with His ascension to reign in heaven at God's right hand. God will not recreate a Jewish kingdom but He will, however, speak again to the Jewish people at the close of this age, to convince them as a nation to accept the Jesus they rejected when He was crucified 2000 years ago (see Romans 9-11).
This is a difficult subject to deal with in a short reply, but I do hope this general answer helps you. Even more important, I hope it goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. The most important thing is not to know what will happen to the Jewish nation at the end of this age, but what will happen to each one of us. As you may have read above in John's Gospel, to all who receive him God gives the right to become children of God! That includes you! If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with a local church near you. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey:
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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