The Doctrine of Israel (Part One)
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Sermon; #1514; 72 minutes
Archeology provides scholars with little evidence to corroborate God's Word regarding the Israelite civilization. The reasons are: (1.) Because of assiduously following the Second Commandment, Jacob's descendants did not display a penchant for leaving enduring material artifacts. (2.) Because God won Israel's battles, the conquest of Canaan was not as destructive as scholars mistakenly assume; by and large, God preserved intact the infrastructure of the Canaanite culture (homes, wells, towns, etc.) (3.) Because of Israel's disobedience, God, using the Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman armies, thoroughly wiped out material artifacts of the Israelite civilization. The Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32) provides God's prognostication as to the penalties of rejecting the covenant, outlining how God deals with a people who exhibit an inconsistent relationship with their Creator. If the Israelites would have kept God's Commandments, their civilization would have served as a model to all the Gentiles. Because Abraham trusted God, his physical progeny through Isaac and Jacob have enjoyed unprecedented physical blessings to this day. Ezekiel 16:3 does not contradict the biblical account of the founding of Israel: The focus of Ezekiel's comments is Jerusalem, which had by his day grown so corrupt that its people spiritually resembled more the pagan Canaanite founders of the city (the Jebusites) than the faithful Abraham.