Israel: a Special People — Israel (& the church) is a special people & kingdom of priests.
Reading 1: Exodus 19
Reading 2: Deuteronomy 7:6-11
Reading 3: 1 Peter 2:4-12
Today, the relationship between God and Israel goes to a deeper level with the calling of Moses up Mount Sinai to meet with God. God emphasizes that Israel is to be a special people, different from those around, because they have been chosen by God.
Moses later makes clear that the choosing was not the result of some special status on Israel’s part, instead it was a demonstration of God’s love for them and His faithfulness to the covenants He had made with their ancestors.
And that unconditional love from an all-powerful God also carries with it the responsibility to heed the instructions and requirements of God, because disobedience is a rejection of the one who is faithful, and thus leaves the disobedient open to punishment.
Taking this one step further, Peter writes in his letter that Jesus is the foundation of this covenant love, the cornerstone of the church. In light of the centrality of Jesus, we must recognize our special (and undeserved) position as God’s chosen people. We are recipients of His love and grace. And so we must live in such a way as to show that grace to those around us. Strident believers who constantly criticize and condemn sin without showing love do not rightly represent Jesus and the love of God. Peter goes as far as to say that unbelievers will give honor to God at the judgment if we represent God’s grace by our loving lives!
Have a great day, and represent Jesus well!