God and Israel
In the Old Testament, God chose Israel as His special people. But God did not choose Israel as His special people because of favoritism to them. For He would have accepted any nation on the same conditions that He accepted them (Acts 10:34, 35; 17:26, 27; Romans 10:12, 13). His selection was simply because Abraham responded without hesitation to the divine invitation to have a covenant relationship with Him and to serve Him wholeheartedly, and to teach his future generations to do the same (Genesis 18:19).
Therefore, Abraham’s offspring became God’s representatives among people, and the covenant God made with him was affirmed to them (Deuteronomy 7:6–14). The number one advantage of Israel above other nations was that God made them the guardians of His Word (Romans 3:1, 2) and charged them with the spreading of its principles throughout the world (Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 42:6, 7; 43:10, 21; 56:3–8; 62:1–12).
In order that Israel might carry on this mission effectively, and be obedient to God’s commands (Deuteronomy 28:1, 2, 13, 14; Zechariah 6:15), it was God’s plan to bestow matchless blessings upon Israel (Deuteronomy 7:12–16; 28:1–14). God proposed to supply them with every capability to become the greatest nation on earth. In the blessings thus accumulating to Israel, the nations around them would have the physical, conclusive evidence that it pays to unite with God (Deuteronomy 4:6–8; 28:10).
It was God’s original plan that the personal ministry of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob should give the people of Canaan a chance to desire to worship and serve Him. All who forsook idolatry were to join God’s chosen people (Isaiah 2:2–4; 56:6–8; Micah 4:1–8; Zechariah 2:10–12; 8:20–23). But should they abandon the path of Godliness, He would leave them as He has rejected the nations of Canaan (Deuteronomy 28:13–15, 62–66, Isaiah 5:1–7; Romans 11:17–22), and drive them out from the promised land (Deuteronomy 28:63, 64).
But when the nation of Israel crucified the Son of God, His promises and covenant with them were transferred to the New Testament church. The “kingdom of God” was taken from them and was “given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43). However, as individuals, they may be saved by accepting Christ (Romans 11:23, 24).
Today, anyone that accepts the Lord Jesus Christ, becomes a part of the family of God. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). As God chose the Jewish nation to bear witness to the truths of His government (Deuteronomy 7:6), so He later called spiritual Israel or the Christian church to be a “holy nation” to represent Him to the world.
In His service,