Looking for a Fine and Upstanding Citizen?

Once upon a time God did not have a chosen people on this earth. Sure, there were a couple of individuals like Enoch who followed God. But this was far from having an entire people who were selected by God and united in him.

You might think that to start this plan, God would search in a reputable area where there were many fine and upstanding citizens and find one who would be worthy of being the father of his people.  But no, on the contrary, he went to a locale where people were notorious for being raucous pagans: Ur.

And there God found one guy to whom he said, “I have made you a father of many nations.” (Genesis 17:5b)

This man was chosen before he had done much of anything. And he proved to be far from perfect in how he executed God’s plan for him. Indeed, if you read about his life in Genesis, in chapters 12 and 20 you see how he messed up and told two lies that were real whoppers.  When that happened, did God say, “Wow, that was a surprise! Oops, I must have made a mistake by choosing this guy to be the father of my chosen people.”?

No, God knew what he was doing. The man he chose was Abraham. And God said that his promise that Abraham would be a father of many nations was irrevocable despite any missteps he might make.

Abraham was the first of God’s chosen people, who became known as the Hebrews.

Later, membership in God’s chosen people was opened up. Christians are compared to olive shoots who are added to the chosen people because of what Jesus did: you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others (from Romans 11:17)

Here’s how our story is like Abraham’s: We did not have to be superb, meritorious citizens before being added into God’s kingdom. We were called in just as we are. And once we are in our place is irrevocable.

Thousands of years later the invitation is still open:
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12)

We are welcomed in by Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews. And he will never kick us out. Thank you, Lord, for your grace and mercy.

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