Bible Study| Creation of Israel | part two
Why God Chose Israel
In part one we looked at a brief history of how Israel came into being. God’s rescue of Israel out of the land of Egypt, bringing them into a land that was promised years ago to their ancestors. We continue now to look at the answers to the questions: 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?
What did we see woven in the story in part one?
- We saw God choosing a people to represent Him on earth.
- We saw Him bringing them out of a land where they are slaves, and surrounded by evil
- He brought them into the wilderness… a time of testing and humbling in the Sinai Desert
- Finally, bringing them into a land that would be their home; a place of goodness and blessing; a place without enemies; a place of rest.
It is here, in this proclamation from Moses to Israel that we see the greatest significance of why God chose Israel--
See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? (Deuteronomy 4:5-8)
- First- Moses taught them a better way to live. They had been in captivity for generations and influenced by a culture that was contrary to God's way of living a life of goodness. They needed rules for holy living. They also needed to know how to treat each other as they were free to make their own decisions. Imagine for a moment if you had been a slave, and generations before you had also been enslaved- then one day you are completely free to do what you want? If you had no one to guide you on how to live in that freedom, you may still act as a slave-- or you may go crazy and party like a college student on spring break. God gave them the rules for their protection and good.
- Second- When Israel followed this way of living, they were blessed. This would show how wise the laws of Israel were.
- Third- Israel would be a testimony to the rest of the nations of the goodness of God so that God would become famous (glorified) among the nations.
Israels ultimate task was to be a witness to the world. This is the reason they were chosen.
This is not the final chapter in the history of Israel, however. God would soon establish yet another covenant with with them, one that would transform the world, and impact our relationship with God.
Israel's ultimate destiny | How this impacts us today
Under the covenant of Sinai with Moses and the nation of ancient Israel, God declared his laws and decrees and wrote them on stone- giving them the Ten Commandments.
Under the new covenant with us, God writes His laws on the hearts and
minds of people. It is no longer necessary
to refer to the stone tablets--
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people" (Hebrews 8:10).
Furthermore, Just as Israel was rescued from slavery, out of Israel would come the one who would rescue the world:
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this" (Isaiah Nine).
Ancient Israel’s ultimate destiny would be as witness of the new covenant. They are the chosen people that made the way for the world to partake in the God’s ultimate rescue from slavery… the slavery of sin. Through which He would bring us into an eternal promised land as God’s holy and chosen people. It is in this land that He will dwell on the eternal throne of God. He is now preparing the new dwelling for all of Israel as we see in Revelation 21:3:
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God"
God brought Israel out of a land of slavery, and into a land of rest. Ancient Israel was the witness and forerunner to the life that God desires for us. We are now "chosen people" if we name the name of Christ. We are partakers with natural Israel-- for we have been adopted into God's family. "he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will" (Ephesians 1:5) It is our great privilege to make God famous in our culture.
Today, we too are part of God's inheritance where we will be “His people forever”…the ultimate climax in the story of all Israel.
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