For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.(Deuteronomy 7:6-8)
An otherwise intelligent person very near and dear to me, scoffed at the very notion that Israel is the “Chosen people”, as if that would be un-egalitarian of God to have a “Chosen people”. How could God favor any one group of people over any other, doesn’t the Creator love all equally?
However it is a manifest fact that Israel is indeed the Chosen people, when one considers just what it is that Israel was chosen to be and do.
The story of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, comes after the story of the tower of Babel. All of the nations defected from faith in God. God was going to create a new,miracle nation for a special task.
If you or me were going to create a new nation, we would look for a virile young couple, capable of having lots of babies, in order to populate the new nation rapidly.
But when the God of the Bible wanted to create a miracle nation he found an old, barren couple well past child-bearing years. It is as if God was saying, “Here is something I can work with!”. When God approached him, Abram was an idolater , he was worshipping the moon-god! The proposition was, that if Abraham would leave all to follow God, He would make his Seed as , “…the sand of the sea, and the stars of the sky”.
Furthermore God told Abraham that He and his Seed would be blessed that they might be a blessing, and that His Seed would bless every family that dwells upon the earth.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.(Genesis 12:1-3)
What did God choose Israel for?
It turns out that Israel, the miracle nation, was chosen to be a witness to the almost entirely Pagan world of the reality of God. Thus they were called to be “holy”, i.e. separate from all other nations of the world. Separate from pagan religion, and separate unto God.
Israel was chosen to maintain the worship of the only true God, even when the rest of the world had departed, and gone into the deepest and most degrading forms of demon worship and paganism. The Holy House of God, the temple, was a city shining on a hill, a light to the dark world, a place of worship, teaching and prayer for all nations, its sanctity maintained by Jewish Priests.
Furthermore , Israel was chosen to receive the written Word of God, and to maintain the integrity of scripture, in spite of many attempts to destroy it by Satan’s minions. Scripture was revealed to Israel’s prophets and in the Christian era, to the Jewish Apostles of Jesus who founded the church.For centuries through darkness and persecution, Israel safeguarded the scripture.
Most importantly, Israel was chosen to be the vessel nation through whom the long promised “Seed of the woman”, the virgin born Messiah would come from. The epistle to the Hebrews tells us that “it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah”. Jacob had a prophecy that out of Judah would spring a Lion, who would save the world.
The Saviour of the world, as a man, came to us in a Jewish context, was steeped in the Jewish scriptures, and was a pious worshipper in the God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. He kept the Jewish feasts and the Law of Moses, and suffered, trusting in the God of the Psalms, and of the prophets.
Jeshua,(Jesus) has brought the faith of the Jewish prophets and apostles to the very ends of the earth, thus families in Russia, Nigeria,India,New Zealand, Hawaii and China read the book of the Jewish prophets and apostles, name their children Matthew, Simon, Zechariah and Ezekiel, and worship the God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob.
In spite of her many failings, Israel is precious both to God and to all who truly fear God. Even in her apostate state of estrangement, Israel is an extra-ordinary blessing to the world. Her contribution to human betterment in the fields of science, technology, medicine, education, and all other forms of civilized development is grossly disproportionate to her tiny population.
God has promised that the Sun and Moon and stars would fail before He would ever give up on Israel.
Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.(Jeremiah 31:35-37)
God said she would be a blessing to the world, and Israel is indeed, though for the present she is estranged from God, as Moses and the prophets predicted she would be.
And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.(Deut 4:27-29)
Has not the world benefitted directly and indirectly through the scriptures? Have not all kindreds and families been blessed through the Messiah of Israel ?
I believe that Israel also was chosen to be a microcosm of the entire human race. She is a demonstration of God’s grace.God deals with her as hE does all men. Her unbelief, defection and apostasy is all of ours.
Someone says, why should God choose the Jews? Are there not better nations than Israel? Perhaps there are, better and worthier ations than Israel.
But salvation is not based upon human merit or worthiness, Salvation is entirely of Grace. The same question could be asked of any individual. Why did God choose Israel? Why did God choose you and me? Is there any answer other than sheer grace?
The people who despise and hate Israel, are people who despise and hate GRACE, yea, they are people who despise and hate the only true God and his true salvation. God doesn’t choose the powerful or mighty or ‘good’ or self sufficient, God chooses to save the bankrupt, ruined and spotted sinners.
Consider that the very foundations of the heavenly city are eternally engraved with the names of the 12 sons of ISrael, including Reuben(A man who stole his Father’s concubine), Simeon and Levi,(Two brothers who tricked a town into circumcision that they might slaughter in vengeance every male in the town), and Judah, a man who sold his brother Joseph into slavery!
Heaven isn’t about the people who “did it all right”, rather it is for sinners, such as the Sons of ISrael, ruined and stained sinners who found cleansing and redemption through the God of ISrael and His Messiah.
The world is rapidly and violently polarizing, between those who hate Israel and those who love her for the Father’s sake. Thus Israel is a moral test for the entire globe.God isn’t through with Israel, He plans in the end to redeem her, and to wash her sins away in one day! Satan would like to pre-empt this by wiping Israel off the globe. Soon neutrality will not be an option for anyone.