Why Israel?

Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer - 27 May 2022

The answer to that question is answered right at the creation of the people of Israel. When God calls Abraham to leave behind ‘Ur of the Chaldees’ – Ur of the Babylonians – He says in Genesis 12:1-3, ‘…and all peoples on earth shall be blessed through you.’ All nations had their gods. For centuries. Gods of wood, stone, gold, silver. Sun, moon, stars and planets. Ancestors and fertility. Spirits and demons. Rituals and mysteries. Temples and sacrifices. Using the motif: ‘Do ut des’ – ‘I give you something so that you give me something in return’.

Gods as idols cannot be served and honoured only in the forms and shapes of visible images. These idols can also be invisible concepts of thought. Philosophies and theologies with which we hit each other over the head and which we are prepared to defend with fire and sword against those who think differently.

Abraham and his family had also served these idol gods. Joshua 24:2 says, “…they worshiped other gods…” They lived in the culture of Babylon. But Abraham has to leave all of that behind. He has to go to the Promised Land. To Israel. And there the nation of Israel is created by the Most High out of him and his wife Sarah. To bless the world through that nation. The Jewish nation that will become His instrument of blessing and salvation for the whole world. A people to whom the Most High will speak His deepest words. Even the Word that became flesh.

God needs nothing from us. Later, in Acts 17:24-25, Paul tells this highly civilized Gentile world of the Greeks in Athens: “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” He needs nothing from us for Himself. He Himself gives to each one what he or she needs.

Who is this God? A Voice. Moses says to the people of Israel on their way from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land in Deuteronomy 4:12 “…there was only a voice…”

If we are to be blessed as nations of this world, we must listen to that Voice. So that we and our children may prosper in the land that the Lord our God gives us.

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