Israel’s Story: A Testament of God’s Steadfast Mercy and Grace
By Youval Yanay
Ephesians 2:8 summarizes our faith in simple terms. It says, “We are saved by God’s grace through our faith, and this salvation is not something we can achieve on our own—it is a gift from God.”
Living in Israel as Messianic believers, we have a unique way of looking at this as it connects us to the richness of the New Testament and the profound wisdom of the Hebrew Scriptures. Let’s explore this further, focusing on the immeasurable joy and unwavering security grace brings to our lives.
Israel is a testament to God’s mercy and grace. Despite her rebellious behavior and betrayal that we read throughout Scripture, God always remained merciful and gracious toward her. Even in the face of God’s anger and the challenges in His relationship with Israel, He continues to be her steadfast God, abounding in mercy and grace. Jeremiah 31:35-37, along with numerous other promises in God’s word, unequivocally affirms that God’s commitment and covenant with the nation of Israel will never be revoked. We find reassurance that God will also extend His mercy and grace to us, not because of anything we have done, but because of who He is—a loving and gracious Father.
Not only does God remain faithful, but He delights in extending mercy and forgiveness to His people. His grace brings us joy and security, even when we fall short.
“Who can compare to You, O God, who pardons wrongdoing and overlooks the offenses of His chosen people? Your anger does not persist, for You take great delight in showing mercy.” Micah 7:18
We also know that His grace is overflowing and abundant, as Romans 5:20 reminds us: “But where sin abounded, grace overflowed even more.”
It is through this grace that we have been saved and forgiven, allowing us to walk in freedom and security in the midst of a broken world. This is the very grace that we carry within us as believers, and we are called to reflect it to those around us.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
When we interact with others, whether fellow believers or those who have not yet encountered the grace of God, may they see His grace in us. Let us extend kindness, forgiveness, and love, just as our Heavenly Father has extended it to us. In doing so, we become living examples of the transformative power of God’s grace, and others may be drawn to Him through our words and actions. Rom. 8:29.
As we hold on to the truth of Ephesians 2:8 and witness the evidence of God’s grace in Israel, we can find peace in knowing that our salvation and security do not depend on our own efforts but solely on God’s grace. This grace enables us to live with joy and confidence, fully aware that we are dearly loved and fully accepted by our Heavenly Father.
So, let’s joyfully celebrate this extraordinary gift of grace that has been generously given to us. Let’s embrace it, reflect it, and extend it to those around us. May His grace empower us to extend grace and love to one another, reflecting the transformative power of His redemptive work in our lives, and may it draw others to encounter the same love and forgiveness that we have received. Let us continue to hold onto the truth of God’s promises to Israel and to all of us, trusting in the grace of God to sustain us and guide us as we navigate this journey of faith.