Q. An idle curiosity popped into my head today that I’m sure you could give an answer to. God chose Israel as His chosen people, correct? Why? What made them special? What significance did they have? He could’ve made a covenant with anyone, but He chose a nation that would continually forget Him, ignore Him, grieve Him, and cheat on Him. Obviously God doesn’t make arbitrary decisions, but does Scripture tell us the point when He felt He even needed a chosen people? Like I said, it’s more of an idle curiosity than a faith shaking quest for truth, but I knew you could help point me in the right direction.
A. According to Isaiah, God “needed” a chosen people to accomplish four things.
First, to be a witness for Him to the unbelieving world (Isaiah 43:10).
Second, to showcase the blessings that come from a relationship with Him (Isaiah 48:3).
Third, to transmit the Scriptures (Isaiah 42:9)
And fourth, as a channel for the Messiah (Isaiah 49:5)
God’s choice of Israel began with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). It was an unconditional sovereign act of His, but you’re correct in your conclusions. When we consider that He knew this would all happen from the beginning, it makes us wonder what God was doing.
In 1 Cor. 10:6-11 we get the answer. Paul wrote that the circumstances of Israel’s relationship with God were written down as warnings to us, upon whom the end of the age has come. We’re supposed to learn from Israel’s history and not repeat their mistakes. Sadly, in many ways the Church has treated God just as shabbily, but since we’re in the Age of Grace we’re not experiencing His wrath the way Israel has.