What do you understand of God provoking Israel to jealousy with a foolish nation? Do you take the prophecy literally?

Below is part of what I posted in my blog. And you can read the whole HERE.

God had promised to Israel that they will be the kingdom of priests (Exod 19:6), and thus separated them as a special people unto himself (Deut 7:6). And as priests, the Jews were chosen as guides of the ways of God (Rom 2:17-20, Rom 3:1-2). But God’s will only keep His promise to Israel if they will keep His commandments, and walk in His ways (Deut 28:9). Israel had not kept the commandment, and that when God sent them the chosen heir of the kingdom, they rejected the heir (Mark 8:31, Matt 21:33-43).

Israel had, for long, had failed to honor God, and thus, He said unto them “They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.” (Deut 32:21) And other prophets had prophesied of another nation in Israel’s stead. Hosea said, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” (Hos 1:10) Malachi wrote, “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal 1:11) Also, Isaiah said, “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.” (Isa 65:1) And no further clearer than what Jesus himsel said unto Israel, “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matt 21:43)

The apostles, themselves, knew of the prophecy of the Gentile nation that will come, thus, in the meeting in Jerusalem, James said, “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.” (Acts 15:14-17) So, James is clear that God is still to take out a people for His name in their future. And Paul, himself, being the apostle to the Gentiles, said to the Jews, “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46) And when Paul spoke of the Gentiles that will receive the gospel, he said, “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” (Acts 28:28) So Paul was clearly referring to Gentiles that will receive is still in the future.

Why did the apostle speak of future Gentile believers, and not rather speak in terms of growth of the Church where the Gentiles will join in?

There are two answers on the question. First, the saints will suffer defeat in the hands its enemies, and for which blindness will come to men. Daniel prophesied of the defeat of the saints, and also of John (Dan 7:21, Rev 11:7, Rev 13:7). Paul knew of the prophesy that the saints be persecuted and be killed by its enemy, thus he quoted a prophecy, saying, “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”(Rom 8:36) And that, he said, “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.” (1Thess 3:3)

And hence the saints will be defeated, one consequence, of course, is the loss of gospel preachers. Thus, Amos prophesied, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12) And Micah said,“Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.” (Mic 3:6-7)