????// Questions?

why-god-chose-ancient-israel_693_460_80
God
God: Do You Really Know Him?

Is There a God?
Can there be anything more important than answering the question: Is there a God? Truly knowing this answer changes everything!

Who Is God?
Has God revealed Himself to humanity, or are we left to wonder and speculate about His identity? Has He introduced Himself to His creation? If so, how?

Who Is Jesus?
Who is Jesus Christ really? Some say He was a prophet; others, a charlatan or a myth. We say He was and is the Son of God Almighty. Find out why.

Holy Spirit
God’s Word says a lot about the Holy Spirit, but it’s one of the least understood subjects in the Bible. Just what is the Holy Spirit?

Prayer, Fasting and Meditation
Does God have a personal relationship only with the rare and privileged people like Moses, David or the prophets, or can you come to know Him too?
Bible
The Bible: God Speaking to Us

Is the Bible True?
Many modern scholars dismiss the divine authorship of the Bible. But the Bible gives us many ways to prove its validity.

Holy Bible
What kind of book is the Holy Bible? Who wrote this best seller? And what does the Holy Bible mean for us today?

10 Commandments
Our Creator God knows what is good for us and what is bad for us. What does the Bible tell us God wants us to do?

Biblical Laws
God’s laws were given for our benefit and show us how to become more like God. What should Christians learn from the various types of biblical law?

Law and Grace
Throughout the Bible, God’s law and His grace are interwoven. They are not at odds, as some think. What does the Bible really say about law and grace?

Bible Study
Why do Bible study? Is it worth it; can you understand it? It is a daunting book, but its practical help and its eternal benefits are priceless!

Covenants
God’s covenants are often misunderstood. Put simply, they are God’s loving agreements with us. Understanding them helps us understand His plan for us.
Life
Life—Before, Now and After

What Is the Meaning of Life?
Usually we’re too busy rushing around living life to really ponder its meaning. But sometimes we can’t help wonder, what does it all mean? Why are we here?

Plan of Salvation
God has an incredible goal in mind for the humans He made in His own image. How does He let us in on the knowledge of that plan of salvation?

Evil and Suffering
Humanity has long wondered: If God is good and righteous, why does He allow evil in this world? And why does He not intervene to end the suffering?

Life After Death?
There’s nothing like death to make us think about life. We wonder, is this all there is? Is there life after death?

Christian Living
Jesus came to give His followers an abundant life—full of purpose, potential and joy. But Christian living has challenges. How do we live the life Jesus wants?
Prophecy
Prophecy: What Lies Ahead for You and Your World?

Kingdom of God
What is the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven? When will it come? Where is it? Why is the message of the Kingdom of God called good news?

Revelation
Can the mysterious book of Revelation—the last book of the Bible—be understood today? What does it mean for your future?

Understanding the Book of Daniel
Does the book of Daniel have any significance for us today? Or is it simply a good book for children’s stories like “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”?

End Times
Where are we in Bible prophecy? Is this age the time of the end? Can people calculate the date of Jesus Christ’s return to this earth?

Prophets
Was Nostradamus a true prophet? How can you tell a true prophet from a false prophet? What does God have to say about true and false prophets?

America in Prophecy?
Many small nations are mentioned in Bible prophecy. Wouldn’t God also address a major world power like the United States of America in prophecy?

12 Tribes of Israel
What promises did God make to the 12 tribes of Israel? What were His plans and expectations for them? What is the significance of these things today?

Middle East
Bible prophecy is heavily focused on the Middle East. It is destined to be the focal point of end-time conflict—and of the Kingdom of God beyond!
Change
Change: Transforming Your Life to God’s Way

Sin
The word sin is used to make things sound alluring; but otherwise, sin seems outdated. Yet it’s still vitally important to know God’s definition of sin.

Justification
Christ’s willingness to die for our sins made possible the gift of justification. What is justification? How does it fit into God’s plan for you?

Forgiveness
Forgiveness came at a very high price. The only way we could be forgiven of breaking God’s laws was to have Jesus pay our death penalty in our place.

Faith
Jesus wondered, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). How can we grow in the kind of faith He’s looking for?

Baptism
Is baptism a requirement for salvation? What does it mean to be baptized? Should it be done by sprinkling or pouring? God’s Word has the answers!

Christian Conversion
What does it mean to be converted? What are we to be converted from and transformed to? What is the process of Christian conversion?

Repentance
A major message of the Bible is a call to repent and change. This isn’t popular, but it’s vitally necessary. What is repentance? Why does God require it?

Grace
The Bible reveals that God gives grace and we are saved by grace, but does grace do away with our need to obey God? Does God expect anything in return?

Salvation
The Bible says everyone has sinned and deserves death. Only through Christ’s sacrifice can we be delivered from sin and death and offered salvation.

The Church
Christ said, “I will build My church, and [the grave] shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). What is His Church and how do you find it?
Relationships
Relationships: Making Everyday Life Better

Communication
Communication is one of our greatest needs, and it can bring the greatest joys and most difficult challenges. How can we improve our communication skills?

Marriage
Whether you are considering marriage or are already married, you likely have questions about how to deal with the challenges and build a happy marriage.

Parenting
Parenting can be one of the most wonderful experiences—but it can also be frustrating. How can we increase the wonderful—and lower the frustration?

Finances
Millions struggle to achieve financial security—or even financial stability! What basic, foundational principles can help you manage your finances?

Health
Our bodies are a marvelous creation, and they reveal the power, wisdom and insight of the Creator God. What does the Bible say about physical health?

Friendship
Nearly everyone appreciates having good friends because we know the joy and enrichment they add to our lives. How do we build and improve our friendships?

Aging
Each stage of life has its own challenges and benefits. What does God intend for our senior years? What are we to learn and to do as we are aging?

Family
The family is the building block of society, yet today the traditional nuclear family is under attack. What does the Bible say about strengthening the family?
Visit the Learning Center

Donate
Discern Magazine
Blogs
Shareable Images
Español
Français
Home \ Prophecy \ 12 Tribes
Why Did God Choose Israel?
by David Treybig
The Bible has a lot about the people of Israel being God’s chosen people. But He loves and has a plan for all people, so why did God choose Israel?

The Scriptures are quite clear that among all the nations in the world, God chose Israel as the one He would work with. This was the nation that God delivered out of slavery in Egypt, the nation to whom God gave the land of Canaan, and the nation through whom would come Jesus, the Messiah. Was there something special about these people unlike others?
God Himself answered this very question. In addressing the ancient Israelites, He told them: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:6-8, emphasis added).
So why did God choose Israel? God chose the ancient Israelites because He had promised Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation and occupy the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:3, 7; 17:4, 7-8; 22:17). God blessed Abraham and his descendants because of Abraham’s faith, a living faith that resulted in diligent obedience to God’s instructions and law (Genesis 26:3-5). This promise was repeated to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and to Abraham’s grandson, Jacob (Genesis 17:21; 26:24; 28:1-4, 13).

Find out what happened to the 12 tribes of Israel. Download the free booklet.

God’s purpose in choosing Israel was for them to be a model nation to other nations and that through them “all the families of the earth” would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). He wanted Israel to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Other nations would see that when the Israelites obeyed God, they were blessed (verse 5), and when they disobeyed God, they would be punished (Deuteronomy 28).
Non-Israelites welcomed in the Old Testament
While God chose to work with the ancient nation Israel, this decision did not exclude people from other nations (gentiles) from coming to understand God and serve Him. God instructed the ancient Israelites that they were to respect peoples of other nationalities who came to live with them.
As for observing the Passover (one of God’s commanded observances in both the Old and New Testaments), God said, “And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it” (Exodus 12:48). Showing fairness for all, God continued, “One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you” (verse 49). Later, God added: “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21).
A good example of God’s acceptance of non-Israelites in the Old Testament is found in the life of Ruth. Though a Moabite by birth (Ruth 1:1-4), she came to respect and follow God. As Ruth told Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law, after the premature death of her husband: “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (verse 16). Ruth then married an Israelite man named Boaz and became part of the family lineage God selected for Jesus (Matthew 1:1-16).
Gentiles welcomed into the Church
When the Holy Spirit was granted to Jesus’ followers and the New Testament Church was established on the Day of Pentecost, the people in this beginning congregation were initially Jews (Acts 2:5), one of the 12 tribes that comprised ancient Israel. Because God had specifically chosen and worked with their ancestors and now was continuing to do so, they understood themselves as being part of “the commonwealth of Israel,” which gave them access to God’s “covenants of promise” (Ephesians 2:12).
These Jews who were the earliest Christians did not fully understand that God was also going to bring gentiles into the Church. Through a miraculous granting of the Holy Spirit to a gentile named Cornelius and his household, just as God had previously done for Jews on the Day of Pentecost, Peter and the members of the New Testament Church came to understand that God was now also calling gentiles.
Israel’s future
The ancient Israelites went into captivity for their sins and lost their national prominence, leading many to wonder, Why did God choose Israel? Still, there remains a bright future for these peoples. When Christ returns to this earth and sets up the Kingdom of God, He will restore Israel to its position of leadership in the world (Isaiah 11:12; 14:1-2). A humbled, obedient people will then fulfill the leadership role God intended for them.

Continue Reading

Related Articles

Promises to Abraham

Lost Tribes of Israel

10 Lost Tribes

The 12 Tribes of Israel in History and Prophecy

12 Tribes of Israel Today: Who Are They?

Tribe of Judah

All Israel Will Be Saved!

Israel and Judah: When Will They Be Reunited?

God’s Promise to Abraham

Replacement Theology: Has the Church Replaced Israel?

God Is Not Racist
Learn More About Prophecy
Get the Latest

Subscribe to Discern Magazine

Get the latest blog posts from Life, Hope & Truth straight to your inbox.

Subscribe

Never miss a post! Sign up to receive the week’s latest articles, blog posts and updates.
Subscribe

How Can I Help?
Ask a Question
Subscribe
Contact
About
All Topics
InSights Blog
Daily Bible Verse Blog
© 2016 Church of God, a Worldwide Association, Inc.
Visitor Agreement
Privacy Policy
AddThis Sharing Sidebar
Share to Facebook

, Number of shares
17
Share to Twitter

Share to Print

Share to Email

More AddThis Share options

, Number of shares
771

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s