God’s Gifts to Israel

Texts: Romans 9:4-5; Psalm 19:7-10; Romans 3:1-2

Days 20-22 in Around the Bible in Eighty Days.

God chose Israel from among the nations as God’s own firstborn. As firstborn, Israel was tasked with blessing the nations through their obedience to God (as a light among the nations) and the promises made to Abraham.

God equipped Israel with gifts in order that they might become that light and prepare the nations for their blessings. While Paul does not offer a systematic account of these gifts and their number, he does offer a doxological list in Romans 9:4-5 along with an earlier reference to the God’s gift of Scripture to Israel in Romans 3:1-2.

These gifts were unique to Israel but intended to bless the nations. Ultimately, these gifts were also extended to the nations as they were incorporated (grafted into, Paul’s language in Romans 11) into Israel.

The gifts Paul identifies (and it is not necessarily a comprehensive list, nor is it one of priority or sequence) are:

  1. Adoption
  2. Divine Glory
  3. Covenants
  4. Torah
  5. Liturgy (Temple Worship)
  6. Promises
  7. “Oracles of God”

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