In calling Abraham to be His servant, God chose for Himself a people to represent Him to the world. This calling and election was an act of God’s love and grace. God’s call to Israel was central to His plan for the restoration of all humanity after the devastation and disunity caused by the Fall. Sacred history is the study of God’s work toward this restoration, and a major component of that plan was the covenant nation of Israel.
According to Deuteronomy 7:6-11, why did God call Israel His people? Why did He choose the descendants of Abraham as His people?
God’s love for humankind is at the center of the election of Israel as His people. God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants in order to preserve the knowledge of God through His people and to bring about the redemption of humanity (Ps. 67:2). Yet, it is a supreme act of love that made God choose Israel. The descendants of Abraham had nothing to boast about to claim God’s unmerited love. “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples” (Deut. 7:7, NKJV).
It is a strange reversal of values that God uses to select His people. While humans look at power, wisdom, and self-confidence to select leaders, God does not choose the strong and mighty to serve Him but those who sense or acknowledge their weakness, folly, and nothingness, that no one might glory before Him (1 Cor. 1:26-31).
Yet, look at the privilege that was theirs: “God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself.
“Their obedience to the law of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher, and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations, and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.” – Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 288.
|What parallels can we find between what God did for ancient Israel, and the calling He had for them, and what He has done for us, and the calling He has for us as Seventh-day Adventists? Bring your answers to class on Sabbath.|