The Story of Scripture is the Story of the Ultimate Reconciliation of the Children of the Father!
It is also the Story of Israel, and the Story of Redemption. It is a Covenant Story!
In some circles today, the fact that Israel and the people of God are one and the same is being questioned! Whether or not you view the Creation Account in Genesis as the Creation of the Universe or as some have begun to see it, as the Genesis of Covenant with the people of God, one thing is clear from the context of Scripture; the Story that we read in its pages is the Story of the Redemption of His People, or Creation. The Story that began with the Creation of Man on the Land, or National, physical Israel, had an end, or telos, and saw its fulfillment in the Christ! God's Redemptive Purpose was fulfilled and completed, but does that necessarily mean that the Story is over, and having reached its end, has ceased to be?
Most recently ( on this blog ), we have seen how grace has been everpresent in the Plan and Purpose of God, for indeed, that is an intrinsic and inherent part of His Nature! As God does not change, we know that this is a fact. His modus operandi, or manner of dealing with His people has never changed and never will! Therefore, we can also safely assume that His people have not changed either. As we read in Scriptures like Ezekiel 36:22-28 and I Corinthians 15:52, there was a change effected IN His people, but His people are the same they've always been! They are, and remain, His Creation!
Redemption is complete, yes, and the people of God have been redeemed, but are we to believe that every one of His people, having been redeemed and reconciled, has reconciled themselves to this fact? Accomplished Redemption is most certainly a fact, but not every single lamb has found its way back into the fold, so to speak! All over the world, more and more are converting to Christianity, and though not every one of these realizes the full extent of what this means, the fact remains that they have a part in Redemptive History! They only recieve the benefits of Accomplished Redemption, it is true, but they are still partakers in History. Being the Creation and Story of an infinite God, it is only natural that History should be infinite as well, with no beginning or end.
We read in the Revelation that God said that He is 'the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End'. Does this mean that He had a beginning or an end? Well, of course not! It simply means that He instituted the first ( covenant ) with National, physical Israel, and that He brought it to its end, or telos. The writer to the Hebrews put it this way, 'the Author and Finisher of our Faith'. It was simply that part of the story, which some have found to be the betrothal covenant rather than the marriage covenant, that came to its end, which was the consummation of the marriage. The betrothal covenant was what came to an end, not the Covenant wherein God cemented the Relationship, or Marriage with His people! The Story of Redemption was what came to its end, not the History of Israel; that is a Story as infinite as its Author!
Charles Haddon Shank