Why Israel?

Our Bible study group is reading the prophet Hosea. Someone asked, “Why did God choose Israel to be the chosen people? “

Moses answers that question for God in Deuteronomy 7:6–8: “For you are a people holy to the Lord, your God; the Lord, your God, has chosen you from all the peoples on the face of the earth to be a people specially his own. It was not because you are more numerous than all the peoples that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you; for you are really the smallest of all peoples. It was because the Lord loved you and because of his fidelity to the oath he had sworn to your ancestors, that the Lord brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. ”

Divine plans are not rewards for human actions. The same was true of the earlier covenant with Abraham and Sarah. If God has chosen the largest, richest, and most politically powerful group to be the chosen people, all people since then would be justified in projecting their definitions of success onto God. God, however, acts solely out of love and has a different definition of success.

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