The secret of Israel (8) – The Calling of Israel

editor - 26 February 2019

Once arrived in God’s heritage it becomes clear why Israel was created and chosen by the Lord. The nation has a high calling: “the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” (Isaiah 43:21). In the middle of a world alienated from God, lives a holy nation in a holy land and in that people God is present on His earth. Here God is worshipped, honoured and praised.

In Israel God’s will is unfolded in the Torah, here His Word is revealed, here appear prophets who announce God’s ultimate intentions with the world, in the history with Israel God is taking steps in the history of salvation on the way to a new world freed of sin and in which God is the only One. “and what is yet to come—yes, let them foretell what will come.” (Isaiah 7b).

The focus, the direction is clear: God takes care of His people and shows His majesty in Israel and that must- there is no other way – wake up and astonish the world. The nations that serve strange gods will wonder why this people is so unique, why so blessed? They will ask Israel what is her secret and then Israel will point to God. “We are not doing well because we are better or more intelligent than the rest of the world, but because the only and living God has committed Himself to us!”

In a beautiful way Psalm 67 puts this in words: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” (Psalm 67:1-2).

The Psalm has in its structure the shape of a menorah, the seven-branched candlestick: After the opening lines seven verses follow: The first three with two stanzas, then in the middle a verse with three stanzas and after that three new verses with two stanzas. Thus Israel shines like a light into the darkness of the world.

All things considered, God intends to save the world in His commitment with Israel. This does not just become clear in the New Testament. The Old Testament is universal in this principal too. From the outset God is concerned to bring the world back to Him. He decided to do that just from the one nation He created. He could have done it in another way, but He decided to not do it differently. From Jerusalem, from Moriah, radiates the warm light of His love over the earth.

But there is another thing that is important. In the history with Israel God shows who He is. We get to know His character. He turns out not to be an immovable Almighty who looks down from the distant heavens on His creation. He is a God who is involved from the depths of His heart with man He created. More than anything He as God wants to be Father.

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