Items posted on 3 August 2010
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Deuteronomy 4.33-40 – The Election of Israel
Posted: 3 August 2010 in Deuteronomy

Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt; To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else. Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.

Here Moses is reminding Israel of their election by God. Why did God choose them? In a sense no answer is given to this question. He could just as easily have chosen another nation, but he chose Israel for no other reason than because it was his good pleasure to do so.

But, in another sense, the question, “Why did God choose Israel?” is answered. He chose them so that they could serve him, and worship him, as the God who called Israel out of Egypt. As part of their vocation Israel would, centuries into the future, give birth to the One who was to be a “light to the Gentiles and for salvation to the ends of the earth.” Today, as in the time of Moses, God has his elect, and today he reveals himself to them through the pages of his most holy scriptures. We have every reason to be thankful to God for these scriptures, and for the undeserved favour of being called into his service.

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