One of the story lines in the Bible consists of God's search for and establishment of a people who would respond to Him in faith and obedience. Such women men, and children are the church.
In the Old Testament (KJV), three words refer to the gathering of God's people. Translated from the Hebrew, these words are assembly (Num. 20:6; Deut. 9:10), congregation (Lev. 3:21; Joel 2:16, NKJV), and people (Deut. 7:6; 2 Kings 11:17).
The possessive pronoun My, referring to God, is often used with the word people. For example, read Exodus 3:7, Leviticus 26:12, and Jeremiah 31:33. What does this tell us about the connection between our relationship with God and our affiliation with the rest of His people?
In the Old Testament, upon what factors is this community of believers based?
God first established a formal community of believers upon His election of Abraham and his descendants, an election legislated by the terms of a covenant or agreement and confined by the sign of circumcision. Being a member of the community meant being set apart by God and living by the terms of the covenant.
Abraham's response to God's call was essential in making out of him a people who would respond to God in faith and obedience. Why is this type of response just as essential today? Think carefully about your life as you are presently living it. How have you been responding to God?