I. GOD'S CHOICE OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL. "YOU ONLY HAVE I CHOSEN OF ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH."
A. God created man that He might have a meaningful loving relationship with him. He created man a threefold being, spirit, mind, and body. Man was a spirit, living in a body, possessing a consciousness.
1. The relationship with God would be a spiritual relationship, so that as man walked in the spirit, he would be conscious of God and could commune with Him.
2. For the relationship to be meaningful, man had to be created with the capacity of choice. Else he would be as a automated robot.
3. For choice to be valid, there must be something to choose, hence the tree in the midst of the garden.
4. The choice to be truly valid, the alternate must be very attractive and desirable to man.
5. God warned Adam of the dire consequences of eating of the tree in the midst of the Garden. He said that in the day he ate of it, he would surely die. I believe that in the fruit of that tree, there were those elements that would enter into the genetic code of man's cells that would begin the break down of the cells or the aging process. It was destructive to man's body, as all sin is destructive.
6. In time, through the coaxing of Satan, Eve ate of the tree and offered the fruit to Adam also, who also ate of it.
7. In that moment, the essential part of man's nature died. His spirit, that part of his being that connected him with God was dead. Fellowship with God was broken. Paul tells us that by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so that death passed unto all men for all sinned. With the spirit dead, man existed still in a twofold state of body and mind. The spirit being dead, he lost that beautiful consciousness of God, and his mind was filled primarily with the consciousness of his body needs. He is going to have to think of how to provide for his body needs, he will earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.
8. God still loved man, and desired still for the fellowship that had been severed.
9. So God began to put into place His plan of redemption of mankind, so that those who desired could have a way back to fellowship with God.
10. This plan involved sending His Son into the world to reveal the love of God to the world.
11. God needed first a nation through which he might reveal His plan, and through which His son might be born.
12. He needed a man to begin the nation, this man must possess a unique quality of faith and trust in God. A man who would obey God without understanding the reasons for the commands.
13. So God called Abraham to leave his country, family and friends, and strike out on a journey to a land that God would show him and would give to his descendants as an inheritance.
14. Abraham's faith was not perfect, he had lapses of faith, he at time had doubts, but overall, he believed God and his faith grew strong as he walked with God over the years. God honored his faith and blessed Abraham, and began to reveal His purposes to him. He told Abraham, that through his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed. God now has the family through which the Messiah will be brought into the world.
15. Hence our text, "You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth."
B. Why would God choose the nation of Israel? In Deut. 14:2
God said, "For you are a holy people unto the Lord, thy God, and the Lord hath chosen you to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." But why?
1. My little granddaughter got into that why mode the other day. "Gramps, why is the sky blue?" Because God made it blue. But why did He make it blue? Perhaps because blue is a beautiful and soothing color. Why is blue a soothing color? At this point I caught onto her game and decided to throw the ball back into her court, and I asked, Why do you ask me so many questions, and she answered, "Just because."
2. Why did God choose Israel? He said it was not because they were more in number than any people. Again He said it was not because of their righteousness, or the uprightness of their heart. But because He loved them and to keep His oath He made to their fathers, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.
3. But why did God love them? Just because.
C. God had chosen them to reveal His plan of redemption of the world through them, so that all men who desired might have fellowship with God.
1. For true fellowship to be restored, man must again become a spiritual being. Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, "God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit, and in truth."
2. Jesus told Nicodemus that unless a man was born again, he could not enter the kingdom of heaven. He explained to Nicodemus that He was talking about a spiritual birth, he had had a physical birth, but it was necessary for him to have a spiritual birth.
3. When Nicodemus asked how this might be accomplished Jesus answered, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
II. FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, THAT IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT, BUT TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP THERE MUST BE UNITY. "CAN TWO WALK TOGETHER EXCEPT THEY BE AGREED?"
A. To walk in fellowship with God, you must be in agreement with God.
1. I must agree with the rules that God has set.
2. It is not mine to set the terms of our relationship.
3. I cannot strike a deal with God. "Now if you will do this, and this, and this for me, I will walk with you and serve you."
4. I am in no position to declare terms.
5. I come to Him as a poor helpless sinner destined for destruction, begging for his mercy and grace to be extended toward me.
6. He does not save me because of my promises of all that I will do for Him. My promises, like Peter's are worthless.
B. When you come to Jesus Christ to receive Him as the Lord of your life, the very title of Lord signifies a submission of yourself to be His servant.
1. He then declares of you, that He has chosen you above all the people of the earth, to reveal His plan of redemption through you to others.
2. You have been chosen in Christ, to be the beneficiary of the grace of God throughout all eternity. And in the endless ages to come, God is going to be revealing to you the exceeding greatness of His love and mercy toward you in Christ Jesus.
III. BEING GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE BRINGS A GREATER RESPONSIBILITY. GOD SAID
TO THEM, "THEREFORE, I WILL PUNISH YOU FOR ALL YOUR INIQUITY."
A. We live by a higher standard. We will be judged by a higher standard.
B. Jesus said, "To whom much is given, much is required."
1. Man will be held accountable for the amount of light he has received.
2. Peter in his second letter declared, "It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."
3. Jesus declared that the cities around Galilee would fare worse in the day of judgment than Nineveh, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and a greater than Jonah was here. That the judgment that would fall upon Sodom and Gomorrah would be less, because they had lesser light.
4. Hebrews says, "Of how much sorer punishment do you suppose a person will be found worthy of who has trodden under foot the Son of God and hath accounted the blood of His covenant an unholy thing and has done despite to the Spirit of grace. It is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of a living God.