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Thursday: God’s Chosen People — 13 Comments

    • Maurice, I would say that it is both "a privilege," and "a responsibility," to be part of God's "chosen people."

      • As long as we point out that Maurice's used of the word 'privilege' and your use of the term 'a privilege' are two completely different meanings for the word privilege.

  1. Today's lesson proposes that "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." Then at the end, the question is asked to consider parallels between Israel and Seventh-day Adventism.

    The view of a particular group as "central" to God's plan can be healthy or unhealthy depending upon how that group views such 'centrality'. Therefore, I would suggest it is worth considering which view a group holds.

    As I consider history, I find that virtually every time a group saw it's existence or role as central to God's plan, egocentrism crept in with the result that the group's dynamics instead actually became an obstacle to God's plan for redemption. Typically, the focus instead became the promotion of the group's identity rather than the group fostering the 'promotion' of God's identity.

    Yes, Israel was to have been an important part of God's plan PROVIDED they lived/walked in harmony with God's plan (as opposed to their own plan/agenda). But Israel was just that - PART of God's plan. God was also using other individuals and groups of people who are not so prominently featured within scripture. God's plan encompasses totality of all people that are responding to God's invitation to be in union with Him. It is this totality that is actually central to His plan for the redemption of humanity via that totality, together being "light" and "salt", etc.

    Israel unfortunately came to see it's role as 'central' in an unhealthy way - in an egocentric way such that, as Maurice has mentioned above, an attitude of privilege replaced one of responsibility. Is there risk of this happening within Seventh-day Adventism, or is Seventh-day Adventism immune from sliding into the same trap?

  2. God's Chosen people comes with responsibility.
    God chose to reach out into the world through the chosen generation
    Satan used the covenant relationship of Israel as a means of excluding others.
    The very message which was supposed to bring healing satan had effectively used it against each other.
    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King Jr.
    Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    The calling of Jesus was contradictory to the oracles followed by the chosen people.
    How have you used the privilege of God's calling into the Adventist faith?

  3. I believe God did not randomly chose Abraham. There is a trend here that is observed by Him. He chose those who already have a desire and a willingness to do what is right. You don't leave your country when you're 75 years old when called by God unless you already have a relationship with Him. He knows the heart of man, and calls those who can serve His cause. Same principle applies here with Jacob, Judah (Jacob's son), David. Before receiving Jacobs blessings, Judah made some serious mistakes, but, when older, he made his way back to the right path. In conclusion, even if God's election is not based on merit, He still looks at the hearts of those who will serve His agenda. He doesn't take the strong, but those who have a desire to follow His instructions and then He gives them strength to serve. They will stumble yet God still works things out for His glory.

  4. I sometimes get confused about the instructions in the OT.
    A superficial reading seems to say if you obey you will be saved, however we don't find the concept of "being saved" that often.
    We rather have to look at the concept of the covenant. God said I have chosen you to be My people and I will be your God.
    So did He say if you disobey I will no longer be your God? Yes? No? Maybe?
    He definitely said through Moses: Obey and receive blessings, Disobey and receive curses Deut 28, but at that stage either way they would still be God's people.
    A bit like parents & children, obey - good things, disobey - bad things but either way they are still parent & child.
    However in Lev 26 God sets out the result of rebellion and rejection of God, of their breaking the covenant by basically saying "I don't want you to be my God", then after much trying to convince them otherwise He will accept their rejection.
    However if they return & repent He will take them back.
    It is a bit like a marriage that goes wrong, then there is a divorce, then there is reconciliation and a new marriage. see Hosea, Eze 16
    In Jer 31 God says they broke My covenant, but I will make a new covenant with them.

    So I understand first there is a loving relationship to continue forever,
    then within the relationship God says I know what will create harmony & happiness, be like Me, let me change your heart & character to be like Me.

    If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in us, our feelings, our thoughts, our purposes, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God as expressed in the precepts of His holy law. STC 61 (some call this obedience)

    • Hi again Shirley.

      In furtherance of your thoughts, I submit the following for consideration.

      What if it is reality that there is actually only one way that abundant life is possible - only one way that actually works? Could it be that God, knowing this, has chosen to 'inhabit' that way and to create in accordance with that way because it is the only one that is actually viable within reality?

      Satan has essentially implied that there are multiple ways that life can actually, viably work - and that there is an even more superior one than that which God has outlined. The unspoken suggestion is that God has therefore been arbitrary in His selection of a way that suits Him, but which disadvantages His creation (see Gen 3:4-5).

      If the above proposition is true, then it suggests that the reason God outlines 'blessings' and 'cursings' could well be because the former is the inherent result of living in harmony with that which alone can support abundant life. Conversely, the latter would be the inherent result of living out of harmony with that which alone can support abundant life and, thereby, only facilitate death (Rom 6:23).

      If the above propositions are true, then this has implications for the question you raised: "So did He say if you disobey I will no longer be your God?"

      I would submit that God was saying "if you deliberately and persistently choose to live out of harmony with that which alone can support abundant life, and in doing so facilitate that which inherently "steals, kills and destroys" (Jn 10:10), then I cannot be your God because I cannot support that way of 'living' because it is destructive". This is not because God will disconnect from those who do this, but because they disconnect from Him by their choice. And if a person disconnects from the only source of live, what is the inevitible outcome?

      I absolutely agree with you when you write "God says I know what will create harmony & happiness, be like Me, let me change your heart & character to be like Me". And I would add that the only reason He asks us to be like Him is because He knows that is THE ONLY way that viably supports abundant, eternal life.

  5. God has always been patient with us but we shouldnt take it for granted. His love surpasses our understanding and chose us for a purpose that He knew we could do deligently and honourably, let it not go to waste.

  6. " The descendants of Abraham had nothing to boast to claim God's unmerited love.
    1. Abraham
    Gen 12:11-15 he persuaded Sarai to lie. Although she was Abram's half sister Gen 20:12, yet a half truth is a whole lie.
    Gen 16:1-4 After ten years of waiting for the promise of God, they decided to help God out. A child was proposed through Hagar.
    Gen 20:1-2 Abraham lies in a similar manner as before. Instead of trusting God to keep his family together, he devised his own plan to do it.
    2. Isaac
    Gen 26:1-5 Isaac, just like his father, lies in a similar manner and his wife is taken by Abimelech.
    Gen 27:1-4 Isaac tries to dispense the blessings secretly. He oparated in flesh defying what Rebeka had told him about the twins. Gen 25:23.
    3. Jacob
    He lied to his father pretending to be Esau Gen 27:18-27.
    4. Leah
    She lied to Jacob pretending to be Rachel. Gen 29:21-25.
    5. Rachel
    She lied to Laban about the teraphim that she had stolen. Gen 31:30-35.
    6. Simeon and Levi.
    They massacred the people of Shechem after lying to them. Gen 34:25.
    7. Reuben.
    He sinned with his father's concubine. Gen 35:22.
    He sinned with his son's wife. Gen 38:15-18.
    The list can go on and on until it comes to myself and yourself.
    We have nothing to boast to claim God's unmerited love.

  7. One parallel between contemporary SDA and ancient Israel is the mistaken notion which replaces "we have the truth for "we are the truth" particularly when our behaviour does not emulate The Person who is The only Way, Truth and Light. Light becomes blurred when we have a multitude of scriptural interpretations. When in humility we seek God's guidance through His only ordained means, the Light becomes easy to follow and the salt makes Adventism delicious and easy to serve.

  8. God has brought conviction to “the world” through the Holy Spirit(John 16:8), since “God so loved the world”, yet it was faithful Abraham who responded to this conviction and turned to God, and obeyed His “commandments, statutes, and laws”(Gen 26:5). For this faithfulness, God promised to bless the world through Abraham's Seed.

    While God is faithful to all His promises, each promise comes with a condition, and if not met, the covenant is made void by the offender, and the promises nullified by their unbelief. God cannot work in any other way while allowing free will to every man. God offers, we accept or reject, and then receive the consequences of our choice.

    The call of God to all men is no different today, and His “exceeding great and precious promises” have conditions we must meet by faith, or fail to meet through unbelief. It is all who believe in Jesus who are Abraham's “seed” today, as they exhibit the same unswerving faith in God that Abraham exhibited in his life(Gal 3:29, Rom 4:16). It is our FAITH, and not our “membership” that makes us Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise”. Doesn't the example of Jacob and Esau prove this?

  9. Gods's chosen people: I love a quote from Sister White that says “It is not earthly rank, nor birth, nor nationality, nor religious privilege, which proves that we are members of the family of God; it is love, a love that embraces all humanity. ”
    ― Ellen G. White

    May we take heed of such and always recall it is not because of our own human abilities , but all because of Gods love.


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