Why was Israel the covenant people?

(Rini Shaji) #1

There are 2 questions entailed in my main question.

  1. Why was it important that Jesus’ lineage had to be from David’s descendants? I would probably assume that it was a covenant promise and therefore so. However why David or Abraham, and none of the other Israelite?

  2. Following up on the main question, why was Israel chosen as the covenant people? I have heard some answers like, because Israel was a weak nation who worshiped the living God, or God promised Abraham. However what I am trying to understand is, is there any evidence that our Lord showed the love to other nations like He shows it in Isaiah 43:1-4?

(SeanO) #2

@RiniAndrews Is your question in regard to the fairness of choosing Israel and not other nations? Here are some initial thoughts.

God did not choose the Israelites because of their greatness or because of their righteousness, but because of His faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham.

Deut 7:7-8 - The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deut 9:6 - Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.

God chose to bless Abraham with this great covenant because of Abraham’s faith and obedience. Likewise, King David was a man after God’s own heart and so the line of the Messiah was established through him.

Gen 22:15-18 - The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

To understand why God only chose Israel, we need to understand that God intended Israel to be a light to all nations and that God has placed all nations in their time / place that perhaps people might know Him.

Acts 17:26-27 - From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

If we read Genesis, we find that the world was a very dark place - the godly line of Seth alone honored God, while the line of Cain became wicked. By the time of Abraham, only Abraham’s family was left and even they had become polytheistic. What was going to become of true God worshipers? It was then that God stepped in and chose a people for Himself through Abraham in the hope that He would be able to spread His light to all nations.

(Rini Shaji) #3

Thanks Sean. This makes so much sense. So can we safely say that God chose Israel probably coz He knew the rest if the nations didnt follow Him?

(SeanO) #4

@RiniAndrews I think we can safely say that the other nations were not following God and so God chose Israel to be a light to the world, yes. Of course it was ultimately Jesus who fulfilled that promise where Israel failed to do so and now the Church is salt and light to the earth.

(Rini Shaji) #5

Thank you again for your reply. I appreciate it.

(SeanO) #6

@RiniAndrews Sure thing :slight_smile: Connect is a wonderful place to dialogue together as we grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus. I am so thankful for this community.

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(James Hunt) #7

In reply to your assertion that Abraham’s family had even turned to polytheism, I think perhaps Abraham and family were originally polytheists but God slowly called them out of polytheism. Food for thought :slight_smile:

(SeanO) #8

@JamesHunt I agree it is hard to say at what point in his family tree polytheism took root. But if we trace his ancestry to Noah then certainly Noah feared God and we can expect that he passed on that belief to his children. Of course then you have the tower of Babel. But I think the general point that the line of Seth, which feared God, had now given way to an almost pervasive culture of idolatry, is the main point. Melchizedek is evidence that there were still those who feared God - that such a belief had not entirely vanished.

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(James Hunt) #9

Yes that is very possible, but we are only told in Joshua 24:2 “Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor…worshipped other gods.” Anyway, it’s only a minor point, nothing major. God bless you SeanO!

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