Romans 11:11 states, “Again I ask: Did they (Israel) stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous.”
I have been a believer for over forty years now, and in all this time I have seen and been involved in all kinds of outreach activities. From one-on-one ministry in the streets, to large concert settings, my heart and my desire for Israel is that they may be saved.
So I’ve sat and listened for hours while folks shared their opinions on this intimidating subject of making Israel jealous, and I have come to my own conclusions.
First it was Israel that Provoked the Nations to Jealousy
At several points in the Hebrew Scriptures we see that the surrounding nations were in awe of God’s dealings with Israel. Israel provoked them to jealousy. Think of Rahab, Ruth and King Hiram.
What was the main reason Israel made the nations jealous all those years ago?
Was it the wealth they carried away from Egypt?
Or the signs and wonders performed by the hands of Moses and Aaron?
Was it their abilities in battle?
Or was it the fact that millions survived forty years in the desert?
No. Moses said it right in Exodus 33—it was the PRESENCE of the living God in their midst that provoked the nations to jealousy!
So Church, let me ask you what you think will provoke Israel to jealousy today?
Will it be the beauty of your buildings? Will it be the wealth and prosperity of the leaders with their cars and houses that will convince Israel that they serve the one true living God? Will it be how pious or holy you can present yourselves to the world?
No, I have seen the effect on the Jewish soul when it comes into direct contact with the presence and person of the living Spirit and breath of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I have experienced this holy confrontation personally and I know that this is the only sure-fire way to provoke Israel today.
Be a living ark that carries His presence, displays His fruit, and shares His gifts. Then, you will be a provoker to Israel for sure. In this context, I so appreciate what St Francis of Assisi once remarked: