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Sunday: “Above All People…” — 11 Comments

  1. When I was a high school student the school faculty chose the prefects. They were given special privileges. They had a lunchroom all of their own. They could tell us, ordinary students, to pick up rubbish and pull up our socks. They wore special badges with the word "Prefect" on it. We were supposed to obey them. But it was not all about privilege. They had duties and they had to set an example. In fact there was a time when some of them got drunk outside school hours in a public place. They weren't prefects after that episode.

    Being chosen is about responsibility. The Israelites and Christians alike have often focused on the privileges selfishly and twisted the notion of responsibility into the control of others. That hypocrisy has done much to turn people against the love of God. We are not here to save ourselves; we are to work with God to save others.

    • Maurice - may I, please, respectfully take the priviledge to re-state your last statement - 'We are not here to save ourselves; we are to allow God to work in us to save us and through us to save others'.

  2. Sorry to our dear physical Israel for losing a great prize to be God's chosen nation.
    Anyway it happens as its about to happen to me who still half converted.

    For God said he will spit me out because i'm neither cold nor hot(Rev 3:16) i like spiritual belongings and worldly belongings.

    Writting style above is for self rebuke


    "Above All People(churches)"
    God is saying that "you/ i(the church) are a people holy to me(God) the lord our God. The lord our God has chosen us (the church) out of all the people (churches) on the face of the earth to be his people (church), his treasured possession. Ooh wow

    God's holy people my brethren lets be faithful and fully converted to our God. The reality is what ever He promised us will be received what we need is to keep His command to endure patiently He Promised to keep us from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world Rev 3:10.

    He is soon coming Rev 3:11

  3. I believe the following verses address today's final question:

    If the chosen people lived according to God's will:

    Prov 4:18 (NLT) The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

    if they're a light in the world, they are lifted up:

    Matt 5:14-16 (NLT)“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

    and if:

    Dt 33:3 (NET) Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words.

    Prov 29:23 (NET) A person's pride will bring him low, but one who has a lowly spirit will gain honor.
    1 Ptr 5:6 (NET) And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand

  4. God chooses those who humble themselves. As he is doing his humbleness, God's character are being shown to him that make him great in the eyes of people. A humble man, are being great because of Him.

  5. The text for today reminds me of the vision of the Everlasting Covenant which is I will be your God, you will be My people and I will dwell with you. The mission of the Everlasting Covenant is to reveal the true character of the LORD and to draw all the nations to Him to also become His people.
    What does it mean to be His holy, special people? Adam and Eve were created in the LORD's image and as long as they ate of the fruit of the tree of Life they had eternal life.
    Both the image and eternal life were lost. The is what salvation means - restoration of the image of the LORD in our hearts and minds. As David said Create in me a new heart and spirit and Paul said we are a new creation and Peter said we may partake of the divine nature, Paul also said we are to be conformed into the image of the Son of God.
    Ps 51:10; 2Cor 5:17; 2Peter 1:4; Rom 8:29.
    When we surrender ourselves and our will to the LORD - His free gift is eternal life and the fringe benefit is being transformed into a holy character which is like the Character of the LORD.
    Philippians 2:13; Heb 13:20-21; Eph 4:23-24; Rom 12:1-2.

    Rom 6:22-23
    22But now since you have been set free from sin and have become [willing] slaves to God, you have your (fringe) benefit, resulting in sanctification [being made holy and set apart for God’s purpose], and the outcome [of this] is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  6. To understand and appreciate the context of Eze.16:8KJV, I found it very helpful to read the whole chapter. It provides a riveting account of God’s resolve to stand with Israel as she is in full breach of her oath.
    Eze.16:59-60KJV - ”For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant. Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.
    The whole chapter is a backward glance to the time of Yahweh’s choice of Israel to be His People and what became of their relationship. Eze.16:22KJV - ”And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy own blood.

    Yes, God Almighty went into a Covenant relationship with Abraham promising him to make him a father of many nations, to bless the children by their father’s faith. Generations later, the faith of their fathers was mostly forgotten and replaced with the worship of idols. But God Almighty – Yahweh - kept His covenant promise given to their patriarch anyway, knowing full well that building their relationship was an up-hill battle until it was time for the Messiah to come.

    Love, once declared, requires commitment! The Creator declares to love, cherish and therefore needs to protect His human children from harm; this work needs to get done! I do not want to take the ‘mystique or romance’ out of the relationship between God and his human children, but I think it serves us well to also look at it from a practical standpoint. I think the Father depicted Israel as a ‘women’ allegorically for our benefit. This helps us 'understand', since we can easily empathize with this emotion-based rational.

    And so the Father’s love unfolds, laying bare the process to achieve the desired outcome for which His Love is purposed. Yes, the outward, practical purpose for Israel was to live as ‘intermediaries between God and the heathen, to instruct, preach, and prophesy, and to be an example of holy living – Heaven’s exponents of true religion’ -; why did it go awry, what was missing?
    LOVE was missing, love between them and their God! Just as love is required to be present as the foundation in the human relationship between spouses, their relationship was missing the all-important love-foundation.
    Obedience implies authority; without (a)effective love, obedience will over time breed contempt of the ‘law-giver’. And this is what happened with Israel - they forgot that their God, first and foremost, loved them, that their relationship was built on the foundation of His love, and that His loving them endeavored to generate in them the love with which to love Him back.

  7. And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. 1 Kings 5:30.

    Above All People…”

    Above in a sense that the Lord will use them to do his great works when the put him 1st in everything and obey his words. Be obedient to his mandates and laws.

    Sounds to me physical Israel was supposed to be the peach of the crop, the chosen one, the first bearings, the first and last born, the loving and favored child, the one with all the privileges', the one who was given all the power to rule, etc. Israel was chosen to be a representative of who the Lord is in character. As they live out his character, the other nations would take note and observed and become like them and get to know the Lord. The Lord 1st told them what to do and how to live in their tribes and around the other nations. What to eat and how to keep themselves morally, spiritual and physically healthy. The surroundings nations were corrupted and followed after righteous by works. They sacrificed people or animals with blood and claimed the gods need sacrifices with blood to appeased them. The nations had no fear of the creator. Some were so steep in idolatry, they did not remembered the living God. Satan was reaping havoc.
    Israel was the youngest nation and was no match in fighting wars like the other nations. The Lord showed he can use them to do great works when other men depended in their own powers/power of Satan to win battles. From Abraham and all the wars fought down through the ages with those kings, we see the hands of omnipotent at work winning battles after battles.

    What about us who called ourselves spiritual Israel? What is our purpose in this world? How are we supposed to be living in this present world? Can the heathen/unchurch/idol worshippers she Jesus in us and call his blessed? Do we join with sinful people who do questionable things and have questionable behaviors? I do not have to go to the, movies, bars, discos and pub to win souls to Jesus. As a side line, those places don't offer anything for spiritual growth. What do I look on my gazettes, is it pleasing to the Lord. Do we condemn sins in the church like Zimre and Jedu? Do I like them dislike sinful pleasure and sinful behaviors?

  8. Most other versions do not say "above all people" but "out of all people" which gives a different connotation. If Israel had lived up to their mission, they would have been above the other nations in some ways (lifestyle, morality), but I don't think that's God's focus here. He wanted this influence to spread to others and as it did, the "aboveness" would gradually lessen.

  9. Israel were chosen by God to shine among other nations. She was chosen to have God's character which was to be followed by those people who had gotten confusion from worshipping idols(ungodly behavior's, God is holy. They were to be His sheep and when they are called, they will follow Him. He is a Mighty God and King above all other gods in the world. A difference had to be seen from Holy-priest-hood and special nation.Remember, they were out of people.AMEN

  10. Just being told that "you are above all others" is a temptation to indulge in human pride(Satan NEVER sleeps). Could some feel that temptation today by the knowledge given them as a blessed opportunity, privilege, and obligation?

    It doesn't matter what age we live in, the conditions remain the same, repent and believe, or perish(John 3:16). The greater the light, the higher the accountability, and harsher the judgment for failure. Even a casual reading of Deut 28 will give a solemn sense of what comes with privilege.


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