Listen:  148.4

Let’s begin by looking at the Lord’s promise to Abraham.  Genesis 12:1-3tells us, “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.”  In one sense, God did not choose Israel, he chose Abram.  The Lord didn’t actually choose an existing nation when he struck a covenant with Abraham, He created a nation through the lineage of Abraham.  Later, we read in 1 Chronicles 16:13, “O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.” 

The great mystery to me is not that the Lord chose Israel, but that he would choose anyone at all! Thanks be to God for choosing anyone, anytime, anywhere!  We are all sinners deserving God’s great and terrible punishment.  Yet, the Lord in mercy and in His sovereignty chose Israel through Abraham so that He might show His great love and power to the whole world.  The Lord’s purpose in choosing Israel was for them to be a model nation to other nations and that through them “all the families of the earth” would be blessed.  Other nations would see that when the Israelites obeyed God, they were blessed, and when they disobeyed God, they would be punished.  The Lord also promised Israel that He would protect Israel by blessing those nations that blessed them and cursing those nations that cursed them. 

To be sure, there was nothing unique about Israel to draw the Lord’s love.  In Deuteronomy 7:7we read, “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.”  In choosing Abraham, the Lord set in motion a major part of His plan to offer salvation to mankind. Selecting Abraham was a crucial step in God’s long-term plan to turn all nations and peoples to Him. The Bible is full of the Lord’s plan to reconcile all humanity to Himself.  The Lord chose Israel to be the people through whom Jesus Christ would be born to be the Savior from sin and death   We read of the Lord Jesus in Colossians 1:19-21, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”  Colossae was not a Jewish city, it was a city of Gentiles.  We learn here that the Father sent His Son, Jesus, to die and shed His precious blood on Calvary so that all the world might be reconciled to God.

Who are we?  We are all vile sinners that deserve eternal punishment from a sin-hating God.  But God loved ‘the world’ so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins so that we might receive forgiveness of sin through faith in Him.  In considering the enormity of God and the sinfulness of man, King David asked in Psalms 8:4, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?”  It is such an overwhelming thought to realize that as sinful, rebellious, and evil as we all are, the Lord loves each one of us and desires that we all become saved.  (148.4)