Surely Israel has a many-sided testimony, and this is one side. God has written the story of His willingness to be toward man. That story is written very fully in the life of Israel.
If ever a people might have been fully and finally forsaken, Israel might have been.
I think there is nothing that proves the fall more than Israel - proves the fall not in a general but in a specific way.
We say of Adam that the fall took place, Adam fell. How did he fall? Where did he fall? Into what did he fall? He fell into the hands of Satan, to be used as Satan's instrument against God, and his fall developed in Israel.
They fell into Satan's hands. "Ye are of your father the devil" (John 8:44), said the Lord Jesus.
They fell into Satan's hands to be his instruments against God to crucify His very Son.
There is nothing deeper than to be the instrument of Satan to kill God, to put God out of His place.
That is why the record of Israel's spirit and attitude is given us so fully in the Gospels, leading up to Israel's crucifying of Christ.
Their attitude is all brought out by Christ, and He focuses upon this - that what they did to Him they did to God.
And so in the Cross of the Lord Jesus we see a people, a nation, held by Satan, having sold themselves into the hands of Satan to crucify God and put Him out of His place.
That is not too strong, to speak of Satan's instrument against God. That is the fall - into the hands of Satan. That opens up the Word of God in many ways, from many angles. It is a terrible thing.
When the Lord Jesus came, there was one who, looking upon that infant, said, prophetically, "to grant unto us that we ... being delivered out of the hand of our enemies" (Luke 1:74) - and that went far beyond any earthly enemies.
Have you really felt the force of what I have just been saying? Have there not been times when, through duress and suffering and oppression, through spiritual trial to the depths, Satan has got so near to your soul or has been so bound up with your soul that it has seemed he would turn you against God, make you bitter toward the Lord, make you the enemy of God, bring up such feelings in you?
These things are real. That is what he is trying to do all the time - to get man back into his power, to get the believer into his power, to use him against God.
There is no instrument more useful to Satan against God than a Christian.
You expect unbelievers, men of the world, to be against God; but see a Christian revolting against the Lord, and that gives Satan just what he is after - one who is supposed to know the Lord, in rebellion against Him.
What a battle there is over that! - but what a triumph our Lord has secured to get us right out of that realm, to destroy all the impingement of Satan's insinuations and suggestions.
If you do ever know the cloud, the temptation, remember Calvary: remember that the Lord Jesus has established forever the ground upon which God will never forsake you, never leave you, never withdraw His face from you.
Believe that. That is the faith which overcomes and it is a mighty overcoming, going right back to the beginning.
~T. Austin Sparks~