Russell and Duenes

To Take a Nation for Himself

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“But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today…Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?” ~ Deut. 4:20, 32-34

God considers Himself unique at just this point (though there are other uniquenesses, of course), namely, that He willingly, out of love, called a particular people out to be His own. That is, He chose the Israelites to be a special people upon whom and in behalf of whom He would bestow His great power, compassion, wisdom and love. They would receive all of the benefits and resources that flow from knowing a sovereign and almighty, personal God. God indeed owns them, and this is a good thing, not an oppressive tyranny, as modern libertarians might conceive of it.

As people owned by God, unspeakable benefits have come, and will come, to them. God delivers them from evildoers, works miracles for them, gives them their own homeland, hears them and answers whenever they call on Him, makes a covenant with them to never forsake them, sets His unfailing love upon them, and gives them laws and rules which lead to wisdom and understanding. They must never forget these benefits by wandering off to follow other false gods, for there are no other gods. They are only safe with Him.

St. Peter tells us, as Christians today, that we are God’s “chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.” (1 Peter 2:9). As such, we are to “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” and “keep [our] behavior excellent among the Gentiles.”

It may help us to remember that we are “possessed” by God. It may thrill our hearts and minds to think of ourselves as belonging to Him in a special way, at His behest, ultimately, and not ours. If we do, we may remember that He has given us good commands and has delivered our souls from death and damnation, so that He might marshal all of His love, power, mercy and provision on our behalf. Our allegiance to Him is precious. Let us, therefore, not push Him aside and wander afar from Him. Help us to remember and obey, O Lord.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

September 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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