When we approach the Bible with what is known as the Deuteronomy 32 worldview, we understand why Replacement Theology is so prevalent today. Replacement Theology takes the Biblically false view that Israel no longer has a place in God’s plans and purposes because 1) Israel blew it, and 2) the Church has taken her place.
In the minds of those who advocate Replacement Theology, the thinking is that when Jesus came incarnate to the earth as a Jew, He gave Israel one shot at getting His divinity right as the Messiah, the Savior of mankind. Obviously, Israel didn’t make the grade. In her failure, Israel was primarily responsible—if not wholly culpable—in Jesus’ crucifixion. In fact, this view seems to assume that the crucifixion was a mistake and not the major reason for Jesus coming here in the first place.
Because of the belief that Israel has no future from God’s perspective, the Church has replaced Israel as a result. Advocates of Replacement Theology apparently look back at every promise made to Israel in the Old Testament and attribute them looking forward to the Church. Thus, God has wholly abandoned Israel, divorced her, and left her bereft with no future hope.
If you’ve read the Bible and actually understand God’s character in some small measure, this perspective is incredibly wrongheaded and even blasphemous. It impugns God’s nature because it declares God is not a promise keeper. He lies. Every promise He made to Israel is null and void, transferred to another entity, the Church. It takes a very low view of God.
Deuteronomy 32:8-9 is the starting point for debunking this foolishness:
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God.
But the Lord’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
This takes place after the Tower of Babel incident in Genesis 11. Mankind has disobeyed God. Rather than spreading out over the earth as He instructed a second time through Noah, men gather in Babylon with one language and of one mind: make a name for themselves and build a tower to bring God down to them in order to control Him. God’s not with that program and scatters all these peoples throughout the known world and brings confusion to their language so they can’t communicate to pull off this nonsense going forward.
What we see in Deuteronomy 32 is God assigning every person to particular territory and placing His divine sons over those nations. He’s had enough of man and his rebellion and has decided to let him go his own way for a time. God’s spiritual progeny are to rule over these nations as God would do, i.e. justly, and point people back to Him as the One true God.
At the same time, God calls the nation of Israel into existence. Israel will be His special nation, His inheritance, through which all other nations will be blessed. In fact, later in Psalm 89:35-36, in one of numerous such passages, God declares His everlasting promise to Israel that He will never forsake her:
Once for all I have sworn by my holiness;
I will not lie to David.
His offspring shall endure forever,
his throne as long as the sun before me.
God’s sons over the nations become corrupt. We see this in Psalm 82 where God admonishes them for how unjust they’ve become and declares punishment for them. Power apparently has gone to their heads. They are created beings just as humans are and God has given them the same free will that He gave us. Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That was certainly the case with God’s sons ruling the nations in His stead.
Here’s the setup: God makes promises to Israel. They will be His heritage. At the same time, we now have rebellious spiritual beings—along with Satan—who want nothing to do with God and what He has purposed. They have their own agenda. They intend to rule and in so doing will try whatever they can to thwart God.
It’s become clear to them that God will bring the Messiah through the nation of Israel that will bless all of mankind because He will reclaim the nations that have turned from God. Jesus didn’t come just to atone for original sin, He came to restore all nations to their proper position of looking to God as their life source. He came that all men might bow their knee before the throne of the Most High God, not to various usurpers of the throne.
If the Church has turned from this knowledge of Israel and God’s intent for her in His ultimate plans, if Israel is relegated to unnecessary status, if Israel is even destroyed by her neighbors, that’s what God’s corrupt sons desire. If the Church is complicit in this plot, then there’s a two-fer: Israel is destroyed, and God’s chosen instrument to spread His Word is leading people astray from the Truth. How much better could it be for those spiritual entities that hate God?
Replacement Theology is truly a belief system from the pit of hell. Those spiritual beings who have initiated it will eventually occupy that most terrible place. In the physical realm, people who adhere to this thinking are also in great danger. Following the dictates of other gods brings one into a position of opposition to God and what He’s done through Jesus Christ. It makes people vulnerable to other false teachings. They embrace that which is not of God, and as foretold, fall into apostasy.
Our job, as true believers, as those who love the inerrant, infallible Word of God, along with EVERY promise He has made, is to bring the Truth to those who have rejected it. As easy as it is to ignore those who embrace Replacement Theology, we need to do what we can in order that God would convict them of their sin of rejecting Israel, God’s chosen people, the apple of His eye.
We have work to do until Jesus returns. Part of how we’re to occupy in the meantime is by countering the lie of Replacement Theology.