No one, nation, group or people can represent God substantially, except God Himself decides to choose such. To be God’s choice is firstly a function of the love of God. The onus, therefore, is on the beloved of God to represent Him well as ambassador amongst the people of the world, to forestall a “recall”
Mar. 25 | II. COMMISSIONED THEM AS HIS REPRESENTATIVES (Gen. 28:13-15; 32:12; 35:11; Exo. 19:5,6; Deut. 7:6-11; Isa. 43:1-10,21; 44:1-8, 21-23)
A. HIS MISSION FOR THEM (Gen. 28:13-15; 32:12; 35:11; Exo. 19:5,6)
Also God said to him: ” I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body.” (Gen. 35:11)
i. 28:13-15: The runaway and clueless Jacob, needed some information to forge ahead. Yahweh appeared to him, when he least expected, to communicate His Person, love, and plan to him. Jesus is still persuasively and lovingly seeking the lost, outcasts and runaways (Matt. 11:28,29;15:24).
ii. 35:9: Then God appeared to Jacob again, God’s appearances to him were borne out of love, to bless and educate him about God’s agenda for his life.
iii. v.10: Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name. Why this repetition, here? Jacob needed divine assurance through emphasis. All boils down to God’s loving-kindness.
iv. v. 11: After the change of name, God still had to constantly remind him of His unfailing love for him and his posterity. Emphatic warning, rebuke, discipline, and teaching are loving fathers’ instructions to bring up their children (cf. Heb. 12:5-11).
v. Exo. 19:5,6: In naming Israel, God had it in mind that his descendants would be… a nation and a company of nations…, who would be to Him a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. You have also been chosen by God.
vi. As priests of God, they were to represent and re-present Him, to the sinning, aching and dying world, thereby, bringing them back to Him (cf. Psa. 67). This is our status and mission in Christ (Matt. 28:18ff; Mk. 16:15; I Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:5,6).
vii. While Jacob was running away from home, God met him and communicated His love and plan to him. The same thing is applicable to the sinful man, while we were yet sinners ( dining and winning in sin), not seeking God at all, Christ lovingly and sacrificially died for us. This is the hallmark of God’s love for man.
B. HE COMMISSIONED THEM (Deut. 7:6-11; Isa. 43:1-10,21; 44:1-8,21-23)
“You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me (Isa. 43:10).
i. Deut. 7:6-11: For you are a holy people to the Lord your God…God eventually launched Israel out as a nation, uprooting the nation to establish them — His grace and love in action ( Exo. 12:1-14: 1-30; Isa. 43:3).
ii. Holy people, here doesn’t connote self-righteousness (cf. Isa. 64:6,7). The implication is that they were God’s choice, not by merit, but by reason of His love and purpose (Deut. 8:7ff).
iii. Isa. 43:10: You are My witnesses (44:8; cf. Acts. 1:8), points to the essence of Israel’s election. God commissioned them to witness to and testify about His greatness and goodness, to the world, without timidity (cf. 2 Tim. 1:7).
iv. vv. 10, 21: As His witnesses, God expects them to… know and believe… and… understand that I am He (Yahweh) (v. 10). Then, they shall declare My praise (v. 21).
v. Just as Jacob became God’s witness to the entire world, through the love of God, so have we become the witness of grace and love of God to the world over. This is the great commission (Matt. 28:28, Acts. 1:8).
1. The essence of God’s love for Israel was to confirm His loving-kindness to them, and invite the entire world, to the only true God. His love has given the Church the same commission, today.
2. Israel didn’t merit God’s love. God’s love transcends our flaws and deficiencies. He redeemed us when we least deserved it. We must reciprocate the love, positively.
1. What informed God’s choice of Israel from among the nations?
2. Discuss the commissioning of Israel, and the implications for the Church, today.
The love of God for Israel signifies His graciousness, goodness and merciful acts. And these consist in divine protection, deliverance, guidance, favour, goodness, leading and leadership, salvation, support, sustenance, forgiveness, justification and sanctification, restoration, care and victory, etc. he continued to enjoy. Believers in Christ, who are now the beloved, princes, priests, and kings with/of God, have direct access to all these today, with no exception. You too can enjoy these to the fullest, if you become, by faith in Jesus, one of the beloved of God. Do not vacillate; tomorrow may be too late. God has loved us, not for fun, but to spread His love abroad, passionately fulfilling the commission —- soul winning.
Having understand how God specially loved and chose Israel among the nations of the world, and the implications and essence of this inexplicable choice for the believers today, let us draw the curtains on this wonderful fifth lesson in this series. We look forward to what God has in stock for us in the subsequent lessons. May we continue to enjoy the love of God, and be ready to spread it to others, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Stay tuned and be ready for the Lord’s coming.
This excerpt is from C.A.C Sunday School Lesson.