I’ve been reading through Genesis this summer.
I really enjoy the story of God’s creation, His selection of Abraham, to make into a nation that would bless the entire world (through the person of Jesus). I enjoy reading how The Lord worked with the people…but I am often left asking, ‘God, why in the world would you choose them?’
After all, they really ‘messed it up’ on several occasions.
Think about Abraham…after God had promised him that He’d make Him into a great nation, and that “all the nations of the earth will be blessed through you”, and that “those who bless you I will bless and those who curse you will be cursed”(Genesis 12:1-3)…after all that, Abraham gives in to fear, and devises his plans…first to pass Sarah off as his sister (rather than his wife) out of fear of the Egyptians (Genesis 12:10-20), then to ‘help God out’ by having a child with Hagar, Sarah servant (Genesis 16), then to lie (again) about Sarah as his sister (Genesis 20)!
Isaac, for his part, does a similar thing with his wife, Rebekah (Genesis 26)!
Jacob, the younger of Isaac’s sons, gets his father’s blessing by deception, and continues a lifestyle of tumultuous ‘faith’ for decades.
It causes me to wonder, ‘Why, God, would you choose them?‘
Yet, I think, when I take a step back, that it says a lot more about God than about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the nation of Israel. I think it speaks to the grace of God. GRACE is a major theme in the Scriptures, and it’s not only found in the New Testament! Grace is part of God’s character!
Good thing, too!
After all, when I consider myself, and my own inconsistencies…my own failures, fears and sins–even after God has saved me, given me new spiritual life through Jesus (John 3:1-16), even after He has said “If anyone (including me) is in Christ, He is a new creation! The old life is gone, new LIFE has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, emphasis mine). Even after Jesus promised, ‘I have come that they might have life to the full!’ (John 10:10), even after I’ve read of the beautiful truth that “…nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[p] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)…even after all those things, I still fall on my face, I still fail. I still give in to fear, my faith still wavers, and I still sin.
It forces me to ask, ‘God, why would you choose…Me?’
Alas, both the people of Israel and the people of the Church are chosen because of the love, grace, and mercy of God.
…and that’s a good thing!