But you are a chosen people, a holy nation, priests and kings, a people given up completely to God, so that you may make clear the virtues of him who took you out of the dark into the light of heaven.1Pe 2:9
Today I would love to speak about an elect people. The idea for this blog originated from a book I scanned. Our normal view of a chosen people: they are special. We think of Israel as the chosen people of God. Here we learn that we are a chosen people as well. Special. From special we tend to think of them as better. Well, there must be a reason why they are chosen.
Jealousy tends to kick in, and soon we think of them as nosy, boastful, arrogant, bigheaded.
Yet nothing is further from the truth.
Elections do not exclude, they open up, include, and enable. Think of elections in political systems. At least in theory, everybody can be chosen, everybody can be elected. True, in democracies there is the need for money and a support system that helps you on the way. But everybody has the right to be elected. All other systems are much more choosy about who can be in power – forgive the play on words.
Let’s go back in history. What does make the people of Israel a chosen people?
Some 400 years before Israel was freed from slavery in Egypt and in Passah and Pentecost became a people, Abraham was chosen by God.
Abraham was born into a time when only few wanted a relationship with God in the first place. Noah had gone, maybe his son Sem was still alive. But Abraham’s father was a priest of a king that wanted to be a god himself.
God was looking for a man of faith – a man with a hunger and thirst. A man with a cry in him: that cannot be it!
And he found this man in Abraham.
Let me tell you: if we look at this as an election, everybody on earth had the chance, many were invited to become Abraham, but only Abraham accepted.
For many are invited, but few are chosen. Mat 22:14
What did set Abraham apart? Obedience to the first call he heard. Granted – he took his family with him, even though he was told to go alone. But he went, not knowing where to go. The call in his heart, the hope that this voice would fill the void in his heart, and the joy that there was actually more than what he had experienced so far, were so much stronger than his fear.
Israel is the chosen people because they are the fulfillment of Abraham’s faith. He even in his old age still believed God when he promised Abraham a son. Again, he was not perfect in the application and execution of his faith – thus Ishmael – but he believed! And he became the father of many, the father of our faith. And not only Israel is chosen because of Abraham, so are we.
But even more, we are chosen because of a very special son of Abraham – Jesus. And again, Jesus calls everybody, invites everybody into his finished work, into a living relationship with the father, into the new creation, But only few are elected.
Let’s have another look at what being elected means.
If a politician is invited to fill a certain office, it might seem that he was elected. But he was only invited. The election only is finished when the person accepts – otherwise another is offered the office or new elections are held. Our part is to accept the invitation.
What therefore does set the chosen people apart from everybody else? They chose to accept the precious invitation that Jesus gave at the cross – to everybody.
Jealous of the chosen people? Change it. Join it.
Think you are something better? You didn’t do anything but say yes. Give others the chance to do so too.
But never forget: being elected is only a start. Now it is time to serve our term. Serve for a lifetime. And you were elected for a journey. A journey of growth into maturity, a journey to grow up and become a son of God. A journey to break through into where you already are: a new creation. You are not only invited in – you are also invited to go on. Further in and higher up.
What is your answer?