The Fruit of the Spirit and Israel’s Journey
By Youval Yanay
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22
The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22 are qualities that reflect a life transformed by the Holy Spirit. When we consider the importance of this passage in connection with Israel’s calling and Yeshua’s redemptive work, we desire to also cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in our own lives. As we conform to the image of Yeshua (Romans 8:29), we wholeheartedly embrace these characteristics and surrender to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to mold and shape us into His likeness.
At the core of our spiritual journey, is love, firmly rooted and grounded in God’s unconditional love for humanity. Throughout the Bible we see how Israel also experienced God’s redeeming love, even amidst their imperfections. Through Yeshua’s sacrifice we are able to experience the fullness of divine love. Galatians 5:22 reminds us that love is fruit brought forth by the Holy Spirit, a tangible expression of God’s very nature dwelling within us. Embracing this love empowers us to extend compassion and grace to others, fostering unity and reconciliation within the body of believers.
The fruit of the Spirit serves as evidence of our relationship with God through Yeshua. In the same way Israel found joy in their identity as God’s chosen nation, loved, cared for, and protected by the Creator. We also identify with Israel and can experience true joy by abiding in Yeshua and the hope of salvation. This joy stems from the assurance that we are unconditionally loved by God, regardless of our circumstances. We are able to find joy even during challenging times, which fosters peace within us.
In a world filled with turmoil and unrest, peace is a precious gift from God. Israel’s history demonstrates the significance of shalom, a peace that transcends human understanding. Through Yeshua, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), we can experience spiritual and emotional tranquility, even in the midst of chaos. We are able to navigate life’s challenges as we trust in God’s sovereignty, knowing that He is in control and working all things together for our good. This peace helps us face challenges with courage and grace.
Patience requires staying strong and trusting in God’s timing. Israel’s journey of waiting and hoping for the coming of the Messiah – both secular and religious eagerly awaiting redemption is similar to our journey as believers, awaiting Yeshua’s return. We often forget about this hope as we go about our daily lives, but patience is a fruit of the Spirit and needs to be evident in our lives. We can still hold onto our hope and talk about it. Also, Israel’s journey through the wilderness and into the Promised Land required waiting for God’s leading. Patience teaches us to have faith that God is working behind the scenes even when we can’t see it. When we practice patience, we learn to wait for things to happen at the right time. It helps us become stronger and wiser as we go through life.
Israel is called to be a light to the nations by reflecting God’s kindness and mercy. Through their actions and interactions, they are called to demonstrate God’s compassion, forgiveness, and generosity. By treating others with kindness, they bring light to the world around them. In their daily lives, Israel is called to show love and care towards those in need, extend a helping hand to the marginalized, and seek justice and righteousness for all. Through these acts of kindness, they serve as a shining example to others, drawing people closer to the truth and the loving nature of God. In the same way, as believers today, we are also called to display kindness in our interactions with others, showing compassion and grace, and reflecting the love of Yeshua in our words and actions.
Humility is an integral aspect of goodness, as it reflects a modest and selfless attitude. Israel, as God’s chosen nation, is called to embody goodness and humility. Believers are called to do the same. However, there were times when Israel fell short and failed to live up to these virtues, just as we also do. In those moments, God humbled them, teaching them the importance of walking in goodness and humility. Israel’s experiences serve as a reminder and inspiration for us today. By identifying with Israel, we can learn from their successes and failures, and their journey encourages us to strive for goodness in our actions and to embrace humility in our attitudes. When we stumble and fall, it is an opportunity for us to be humbled by God’s grace, just like Israel was. It is a chance for us to grow in our pursuit of goodness and humility, identifying with their journey and seeking to live lives marked by these virtues. By following the example of Yeshua and being transformed by the fruit of the Spirit, we draw strength from Israel’s experiences and reflect God’s character in the world.
Israel, as a chosen nation, holds a special role in demonstrating faithfulness to God. Despite Israel’s actions, God remains faithful to His promises to them. It reminds us that faithfulness does not depend on how others react to us. We are called to stay faithful, regardless of others’ responses. As followers of Yeshua, we are also called to show unwavering commitment to Him and to others. Faithfulness in relationships means being loyal, trustworthy, and dependable, just as God is faithful to us. It involves keeping our promises and standing by our loved ones, even during tough times. By practicing faithfulness, we reflect the character of our Messiah and become a source of stability and trust in others’ lives. May we learn from Israel’s example and strive to cultivate faithfulness in our relationships. Through our faithfulness, we demonstrate the unchanging love and commitment of our Savior, Yeshua, to a world in need of His faithfulness.
Israel’s history reveals both moments of self-control and failures in their journey. They faced temptations, disobeyed God, and turned to idolatry. However, these failures served as lessons about relying on God’s strength and the importance of self-discipline. Despite their shortcomings, Israel experienced God’s grace and forgiveness. Their story illustrates the ongoing battle between flesh and spirit, highlighting the need for the transformative power of the Holy Spirit. Israel’s journey teaches us to learn from their mistakes, pursue self-control, and rely on God’s grace for restoration. We can learn from their example, and through Yeshua, be empowered to overcome these challenges and grow in self-control.