But I ask, didn’t Israel know? First Moses says,
“I will provoke you to jealousy with that which is no nation,
with a nation void of understanding I will make you angry.”
Isaiah is very bold, and says,
“I was found by those who didn’t seek me.
I was revealed to those who didn’t ask for me.”
But as to Israel he says, “All day long I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
It really doesn’t make sense that a Gentile like myself would be talking so much about the Jewish Scriptures. Moses and the Prophets were given to Israel. How is it that this thing called the Church has become so great and speaks God’s words to the world?
We read here that Moses and Isaiah predicted that this would happen. The church is made up of many different people from many different countries. It is a kind of non-nation but it has made many Jews jealous. The book of Acts tells us that this jealousy started during the first few days of the church’s existence. Here’s what happened:
Multitudes also came together from the cities around Jerusalem, bringing sick people, and those who were tormented by unclean spirits: and they were all healed.
But the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy,
and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public custody.
Moses explains that God is intending to make them jealous. God wants His people, the Jews, for Himself. I don’t believe that God would try to make the Jews jealous if He didn’t still want them. The Bible says that the Jews are disobedient and contrary people, but it doesn’t say very nice things about Gentiles either.
Notice that it says that the Gentiles “didn’t seek me” and “didn’t ask for me.” Once again we see that no one from both groups is good. All are sinners and don’t seek God on His terms. This really is the point. God did the seeking and asking and He is still doing that for both the Jews and the Gentiles. God is the most important subject, not mankind. He is able to bring people to Himself even if they weren’t looking for Him. It is God who is stretching out His hands.