I think we’re all familiar with the Jewish people. There is the nation of Israel in the Middle East, a Jewish nation. There are quite a few Jewish people living in the United States. Jews are quite involved in all aspects of American life.
Many people believe they are God’s chosen people. Through them, the Savior of the world was brought into our world. To an extent, salvation has come to us because of them. It’s correct to say that Jews have made a significant contribution to our own religious tradition, even though many of them today refuse to acknowledge Jesus as the Savior of the world.
I suppose we could ask the questions, why did God choose the Jews to bring salvation into the world? Why not some other nation or people? What was so special about them? These are good questions. Our inclination is to conclude that they must have done something to merit God’s special favor. That’s why God chose them. Or, there was something inherently good in them. God was able to see that. No one is just picked out of the blue for such a noble calling. They must have earned God’s goodness toward them because God chose them and not some other people.
This is how we see things in today’s world. If someone is appointed to a position, let’s say at work, he must have done something to deserve such an appointment. If someone is appointed ambassador from our country to another country, he must have the qualifications to fill that role. If someone is hired as an engineer, he has to have the necessary education for that job. A person isn’t just picked off the street. This is how it works in our world. And so this is how it must work with God, too.
We can’t assume that God abides by the rules of the world. Just because someone is chosen because of his own accomplishments doesn’t mean that God chooses someone because of what he has done. This is made quite clear in our text. God didn’t choose the Jews because they were somehow better than the other nations around them. The Jews hadn’t stood out in the world as being a morally superior people when the Lord chose them. Their accomplishments in the world were insignificant at that time. Yet God decided to use them for His purpose of bringing Jesus Christ into the world. Now, why?
Our text gives us a clear answer: love. God says that He chose the Israelites to be His own people because He loved them. That’s it. He intended to keep His promise to Abraham that the world would be blessed through him. Because God loved Abraham, He intended to make good on His promise. And so He chose the descendants of Abraham, the Jews, to be His people.
God’s love is hard for us to fathom. It just doesn’t resonate with us. There has got to be more to it than that. But there isn’t. That’s all there is to it. God chose the Jews because He loved them---plain and simple. He even says that He didn’t choose them because they were the most numerous people on the face of the earth. As a matter of fact, they were probably one of the weaker nations on the earth. This goes to show us that God’s love knows no bounds. His love is unconditional.
It knew no bounds when God forgave Adam and Eve. Why didn’t God simply wipe them off the earth when they disobeyed Him, and start all over? He certainly could have created two brand new people and given it another try. But He didn’t. He kept Adam and Eve around because His love for them was so strong. That’s why He also decided to save them from eternal death. He couldn’t bear to forsake His creation.
God’s love is unimaginable. We have some idea of it in our own relationships with the ones we truly love, but our love doesn’t compare to the love our Lord has for us. It transcends anything we know. Because God’s love transcends our understanding of His love, we find it hard to understand His love for us in His act of sending His Son to die on the cross for our salvation.
The Lord bestows His love upon us because He understands that we are helpless. It’s not because we are great or better than others. No, He showers us with His love because we are His precious creation, special people to Him.
This brings me to the truth that God has chosen us. We are His chosen people. He chose us not because of anything we had done. He chose to save us because we can’t save ourselves. That’s why He took the initiative to go to the cross. It was the only way we could get back into the presence of God and receive the gift of eternal life.
We are God’s chosen instruments to bring salvation to the world. God uses us to share His message of salvation with the world. Just think of the blessing that we can be to those in the world by keeping Christianity alive. I don’t think we fully realize the blessing that we can be.
I’m not sure if Abraham understood the magnitude of God’s promise that He would make Abraham a blessing to the world. I don’t know if he fully understood the profundity of God’s promise. Maybe if Abraham were alive today, he would be amazed at how much of a blessing he indeed became to the world. Jesus, our Savior, is Abraham’s descendant. Wouldn’t we admit that Abraham was truly a blessing to us, because through Him salvation has come to us by his descendant, Jesus Christ?
We, too, can be a profound blessing to others. God has chosen us to be His witnesses in this world. We can bring the message of salvation to them. Some of us have been a blessing to our children, even though they may not always appreciate and understand that. But that will change. They will deeply appreciate what their parents have done for them in terms of their spiritual life on the Last Day. They will be forever thankful for the blessing of salvation which you parents have brought into their lives, just as we will be thankful for the blessing of salvation which has come to us through the Jews in Jesus Christ.
I hope we don’t undervalue the blessing God has allowed us to be. We need to live up to God’s having chosen us to be a people to represent Him here on earth. We don’t want to be a disgrace or give Him a bad name. We want to be the blessing He has intended for us to be to others in the world. What an honor and privilege God has given us to be His chosen people, all because of His love for us.
I pray that we won’t become like many of the Jews in the world today who do not believe in Jesus Christ. They have ceased to be a spiritual blessing to the world. They have abandoned Jesus and refuse to accept His love. I pray that will not happen to us. It won’t as long as God’s Holy Spirit continues to live in us, God’s chosen people.
May the Holy Spirit preserve us in the faith and incite us to respond to God’s love in ways that bring praise and glory to His holy name and befit our chosen status before Him.