Bible Study| Why did God Choose the Creation of Biblical Israel?
Why did God choose Israel?
“But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers”
This verse in Deuteronomy refers to God’s rescue of Israel out of the land of Egypt, bringing them into a land that was promised years ago to their ancestors. But what was God rescuing them from? What was His purpose for taking them out of Egypt? Finally, what does this exodus from Egypt, and the Sinai Covenant that would follow, imply about God’s ultimate purpose for His people? To answer these questions, we first need to understand why Israel was in Egypt in the first place.
Israel- a man and a nation
Israel began as the name of one man and later referred to the nation that descended from him. Israel, the man, was originally called Jacob. God renamed him Israel:
"God said to him, 'Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel'. So he named him Israel" (Genesis 35:10)
Jacob (Israel) and his sons came to Egypt, from the land of Canaan, seeking relief from a famine. Egypt was the home of Joseph (youngest son of Jacob), who was sold into slavery, and later, elevated to a high political position. In this place, Israel fared well because of Joseph’s relationship with the leader of Egypt--Pharaoh.
It was not the homeland, however, that was promised by God to Israel.
"Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever' "(Exodus 32:13).
In Egypt, they remained “strangers”. After the death of Israel (Jacob), followed by that of Joseph, a new Pharaoh was instated, and he treated the growing population of Israel with extreme cruelty. The fate of Israel had changed dramatically.
It was during this time that a decree went out from Pharaoh to kill all Hebrew babies born male, due to the ever-growing populace of the Israelites. Pharaoh was afraid that if the Hebrew people continued to grow, they would take over the land of Egypt.
In the midst of this edict, Moses was born. Due to the faith and actions of Moses’ mother, he was spared from death when she placed him in a reed basket on the river. Moses was found by the Pharaoh's daughter and brought into the palace as her child.
Just as Joseph saved Israel from the famine generations before by bringing them into Egypt, God was preparing Moses to save them from the oppression they were experiencing in Egypt by taking them out of that land. Under generations of Egyptian rule, Israel became subjugated, mistreated, terrorized, and enslaved. No longer was there peace. They didn’t have a place of their own, a place to worship the God of their fathers- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The people of Israel became a slave. And they cried out to God:
"The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them" (Exodus 2:23-25)
God rescued Israel out of Egypt at the hand of Moses. God saved them from the life of slavery, oppression, and the ungodly ways of the Egyptian people. Deuteronomy tells us, “But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are” (Deuteronomy 4:20). God saved them because they were His inheritance. He had made a covenant with Abraham generations before. God always keeps his promises.
God remembered and upheld his covenant with Abraham by rescuing Israel. He brought them out of Egypt, to a land that would become their own. God would now make a new covenant with them in the Sinai desert, a place of testing and humbling. While the people of Israel wandered in the desert, God called Moses up to Him on the mountain to give him the Laws, and commands of His new covenant.
Moses then told the Israelites, “Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33). God’s new covenant not only promised the land as their possession, but it also promised the freedom to worship the Lord, and prosper with a long life.
God desired to bless His people. While His covenant had stipulations of complete obedience from the nation of Israel, it also came with a host of benefits. We see in Deuteronomy that He wanted to bless them; increase their numbers by giving every woman a fruitful womb; He also blessed the herds with this same blessing; He would keep them healthy and they wouldn’t suffer from the diseases of the Egyptians; And He would give them rest from their enemies. He would show them the site that would become His dwelling place…that great city of Jerusalem, and the Holy Temple.
God would live among His people in that place. It is in this journey of going out of Egypt, and into the land of promise that we find hints of the ultimate purpose for Israel.
More by this Author
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit”. We all enter this world through the natural birthing process (the water), but in order to be...
Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry- should women be pastors and elders? Women pastors / preachers? What does the Bible say about women in ministry? pastors women| priest women |minister woman pastors...
Every video and book jacket I see of Yoga instruction shows a thin, flexible person bending with fluid precision. But what about yoga for fat people? Is that even possible? One of the problems with being a plus...
Comments 5 comments
Deuteronomy Five. (1995-2008). Retrieved August 22, 2008, from Biblegateway.com: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=5&chapter=5&version=31
Deuteronomy Four. (1995-2008). Retrieved August 23, 2008, from Biblegateway.com: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=deut%204;&version=31;
Deuteronomy Four. (1995-2008). Retrieved August 23, 2008, from Biblegateway.com: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=deut%206:23&version=31
Exodus Two. (1995-2208). Retrieved August 23, 2008, from Biblegateway.com: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=2&chapter=2&version=31
Genesis Twenty Eight. (1995-2008). Retrieved August 22, 2008, from Biblegateway.com: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=1&chapter=28&version=31
Isaiah Nine. (1995-2008). Retrieved August 23, 2008, from Biblegateway.com: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=29&chapter=9&version=31