13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. (Romans 4:13-15 (ESV)
He would be heir of the world. It’s funny, the embroiled conflict in the Middle East today, and people arguing that God promised this land to Israel. The argument always sounds hollow to me. It doesn’t take the covenant with Abraham seriously enough, and for a Christian it doesn’t make sense because it fails to take into consideration the true Israel, and what it means to be a child of Abraham. That said, I’m all for modern day Israel, and their right to be right where they are. I actually tend to me more pro-Israeli than most when it comes to my thoughts on foreign policy. I just don’t justify my pro-Israeli leanings with scripture.
Part of the problem is to do so by way of the Abrahamic promise, the picture gets a bit more grand than that little sliver of land on the Mediterranean coast line. The Jews of the first century understood this. The whole world is encompassed in it, all nations. Perhaps it is all written cryptically enough that it can be somewhat disputed, but the oppressed people of first century Israel understood it well enough, and Paul accepts in unabashedly. For the Christian, there can be no disputing it, we have Romans 4. It is a question of the whole world. And it does not find it’s fulfilment in earthly kingdoms, but in the kingdom of God that comes through baptism, for there it is not many nations, but all nations that are to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.