September 18, 2001
I got this question from a mom:
Can you tell me why God chose the Jewish people as His chosen people in the first place? From what I understand, we, gentiles are only "in" because of their failure to recognize Jesus for who he is. How do I one day explain this to my daughter?
The 'short answer' is:
1. The Jews were only chosen for SERVICE, not for SALVATION (they were to be a "kingdom of priests", ministering TO us Gentiles--Exodus 19.6)
2. We Gentiles are ONLY chosen for service (since they failed to do the job)...We are called a "kingdom of priests" in 1 Pet 2.9, where the Exodus passage/image is applied to US Gentile;
3. They were only chosen because they were descendents of Abraham--in other words, God chose ABRAHAM--NOT 'them' per se...and they didn't live up to his character ( because of lack of faith), so God lets US Gentiles be children of Abe (Rom 4-5) instead, since we walk 'as he did in faith'--but its still JUST to be a conduit for "all the nations of the earth shall be blessed through you (Abraham)"--Gen 12.3.
Salvation was still offered to non-Jews in the OT (cf. Jonah) and to Jews in the NT (Paul's evangelism to them), so who is 'chosen' at any given moment (in the sense of Jew or Gentile) is for the privilege of SERVICE and OUT-REACH, not for being SAVED...
Also, from a parenting standpoint, I would point out your daughter that:
1. God will use anybody with a faithful heart--even us Gentiles as wild branches--so she can make a great impact on the world for good by developing loyalty, closeness, commitment, and loving devotion to our Lord;
2. God will treat the families of His loyal and intimate friends (cf. Abe was called a 'friend of God'--the only one so-called in the OT) with special blessing (Abe, Israel), because of the sweetness of such a relationship...so she can make a great impact on her world THROUGH HER FAMILY for good, by growing close to God and living in love with him...
(this was hastily written, but I hope its clear enough),
thanks for loving your kid "for Him, too" (smile),