[This is a paper that I wrote about 3-4 years ago.]
I Samuel 8:4-8, Matthew 2:1-18, Matthew 22:1-14, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 4:16-29, Luke 19:12-14, Luke 23:16-25, John 8:31-59, John 19:1-18
Here, in our first noted scripture passage, we have the first of many of Israel’s rejections of God as their leader. No, the people didn’t flat-out reject Jehovah as their King, but, as God points out later on in the passage, their asking for an earthly ruler was a rejection, not of Samuel, but of Himself. In another vein, turn with me to Exodus 32:1-8. This I think, shows what man will do when left to his own devices. It is our nature to want to see what we are following, as Aaron, knowing what the children of Israel sought, said “this is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt”. It is not in our weak human nature, to trust in something we cannot touch, feel, or see.
In the next quoted passage, we see recorded the events immediately following on the birth of our Savior. Now, granted, this does not say that the whole nation of Israel rejected God as their King, but “when Herod (one of a long line of Israelite kings who rejected Jehovah) heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him”, I think we can cite this passage as an example of the rejection of our God by Old Covenant Israel.
The next passage here cited, although a parable, is given by Jesus as an example of the kingdom of heaven, (wow, think of the ramifications of that!). He is saying here, in fairly plain terms, that the nation of Israel, “those who were invited, were not worthy”, and also, further on in the passage, “Many are called, but few are chosen”. Now who was first called but the Old Covenant nation of Israel?
In our fourth noted passage, we have yet another parable of our Lord, where He likens the kingdom of heaven to a vineyard. Here I think we can say, with no hesitation that the owner of this vineyard is none other than our Lord, entrusting His law and promises to the Old Covenant people of Israel, who, when He returned to gather His tithe of obedience, was rejected and killed (as per Mark 15:6-14).
In the fifth passage, we see recorded an instance of the rejection of our Lord by His own family and neighbors, who were so enraged by His proclamation of the Truth (that He was the promised Messiah), that "they thrust Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city stood, and endeavored to throw Him over the cliff!"
In this, the sixth passage, and the one from which I derived the title to this study, we find another parable, this one commonly called "The Parable of the Talents”. I would liken these “talents” to Jehovah’s giving of the law and promises to His servants, the Old Covenant children of Israel, who, while some cultivated their talents, the rest hid their talent under ”a bushel” per se. I think the crux of this passage is found in verse 14, “But His citizens sent a delegation after Him saying, ‘We will not have this Man to reign over us’”. After He had decided the judgement, He told His worthwhile servants to “bring those who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me”. In essence, this was God’s rejection of Old Covenant Israel, as the Pharisees shrewdly saw in the fourth passage that we cited.
In our seventh passage, we have the record of an event immediately preceding the crucifixion of our Lord. Here, the Roman authority even gives the people a second chance to accept their Leader, but even after this “second chance”, the people further incriminated themselves by saying, “away with this Man and release to us Barabbus”, and “let His blood be upon us and our children“!
In our eighth passage, here cited, we have yet another instance of the rejection of our Lord by His people, even “those Jews who believed Him”! In this passage, besides seeing that Old Covenant Israel was not necessarily the “children of Abraham”, we see that even when, or maybe because, Jesus offered to set them free, they again rejected the proffered gift, relying instead on the fact that “We have one father…”, but, because Jesus told them who their father really was, and because He again claimed His Kingship over them, they tried again to kill Him.
In our ninth and final quoted passage, we see that the Roman authorities, although they found nothing incriminatory in Jesus, and were willing to let Him go with just a scourging, were nevertheless obliged by the people to hand Him over to be crucified.
This was the ultimate and final rejection of our Lord by Old Covenant Israel, when the people said “we have no king but Caesar”. ( I Sam. 8:4-8 )
Let us, as New Covenant Israel, not make the mistake of rejecting Him as did Old Covenant Israel, but let us rest in Him as our “All in All”, in His promises and in His blood!