Why did God bother to deal with a particular nation anyway? Why didn't God treat all nations the same? Why did God include in His program of salvation the decision to choose one people out of all the peoples of the world? The answer to that question is based upon the preeminence of God's Word, the Holy Scriptures.
It is true that God saves people by an act of grace, independent of anything they know, say, or do on their own. That is why infants and people with limited mental capacity can be saved. Nevertheless, the normal way which He brings salvation to the world is by means of His written revelation (I Peter 1:23). The normal way people are saved is by a knowledge of Christ (Isa. 53:11; Rom. 10:17). What a person thinks about Jesus determines how he will spend eternity. This knowledge comes only through the Word of God (John 5:39). The integrity, accuracy, and trustworthiness of the Bible is crucial. Our lives hang on these characteristics of God's promises. As we read in I Cor. 10:6, as well as Rom. 15:4, what God has spoken to His prophets hundreds and thousands of years ago must be exactly what we read today, otherwise we are left without a reliable hope. Therefore, one important reason why God chose a people was to preserve His promises (Rom. 3:1,2) that men of all ages might learn and believe.
Another reason that God chose a particular people was that God used them as an example of the message which they carried. The following are some of the ways they showed the message they carried:
1. They were small in number and weak, dependent upon God for their survival (Deut. 7:7).
2. They were people of promise (Rom. 9:8-10). This illustrated that they were chosen, saved by grace, and not people who had already made themselves (Rom. 9:16-18). Of course, this was only an illustration; only a remnant of the whole nation was actually saved.
3. They were people who illustrated, as they obeyed certain laws, how God deals with His redeemed. They were separate and distinct from people who worshiped other gods (Lev. 11:44, I Peter 1:16). They also illustrated what happens when a congregation forsakes the Lord (Heb. 3:9 - 4:6).
4. They were people who illustrated the nature of mankind in general, both in sin and rebellion and the manner in which God delivered them from their enemies (Ps. 78:2-11).
Thirdly, they were used to bring forth Christ into the world (Rom. 9:5). Jesus had to be a man to be our Savior (Rom. 5:14, Heb. 2:11-17); He had to be born of someone. By designing a nation with special laws and identity, God could illustrate several things about His salvation plan:
1. Jesus was born of people who were clearly under God's Law to show He subjected Himself to the demands of the Law on behalf of all those who would be saved (Gal. 3:13, 4:4, Rom. 8:2, 3).
2. Jesus was born of people for whom there was a special death. Jesus' death was not a common, ordinary death, but a death that reflected the wrath of God for breaking His Law (Rom. 8:2, 3, Gal. 3:13).
3. Jesus was born of people who were subject to God-ordained laws of atonement. Jesus fulfilled them as the perfect priest (Heb. 5:5, 7:24-28) as well as the perfect sacrifice (John 1:29, Heb. 10:5, 10).
Home 1Cor. Page Top of Page Next