Several people are asking themselves why did God choose Israel? Despite the mistakes and failures of ancient biblical Israel, the Lord has not given up on His plan to have a faithful people to serve Him. The Old Testament looked ahead to the time when the Lord would establish spiritual Israel, a loyal group of believers, Jews and Gentiles, who would carry on the work of preaching the Gospel to the world.
God choose Israel because He wanted to make from Israel a nation of people who will praise Him. The Israelites are distinctive and special in every circumstance of their history and their common religious faith, as well as in every element of their national character, and even in their physiognomy and their manners and customs. The national characteristics of many centuries ago are still prominent, even in their preference for the leeks, onions, and garlic of Egypt, and in their rigid stubbornness. As a people, they had indeed a great advantage in every way, in that they were entrusted with the words of God.
As the son of Abraham, Jesus Christ became specially the heir of the covenant promises. Through baptism, we become related to Jesus. And through him, we gain the right to share in the promises made to Abraham. Thus all that God promised Abraham is found in Christ. And the promises become ours not because of nationality, race, or gender. But by the grace, God pours out on us through faith.
Read also: What did Solomon do? Was Solomon wise?
Who is Israel?
Israel’s landscape contains mountainous areas in the north (Galilee, Carmel, and Golan Heights). The Negev desert in the south, and the west, on the Mediterranean coast, is the fertile and most densely populated area. The Jordan River flows from Mount Hermon to the Dead Sea which is the lowest point on the planet’s surface. Unique to biblical Israel and the Sinai Peninsula are maktheshim (craters due to erosion rather than meteorite impact) – the largest is the Ramon Crater.
Israel is the modern state of the Jewish Land and is named after the ancient Kingdom of Israel. And the term was added to the Biblical Patriarch Jacob because he wrestled all night with an angel; biblical Israel means “one who wrestles with God”. All Israel is also considered to be the Holy Land.
The territory of the State of Israel has biblical roots, the land having been promised by God to the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the 2nd millennium BC; the first Israeli kingdom under kings Saul, David, and Solomon dates from the 2nd century BC. The first Israeli kingdom under the kings of Saul, Saul, and Solomon dates from the 11th century BC, which was then divided into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; these were successively conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, and Byzantines.
The History of Israel
Few Christians know the history of Israel as a people and a state entity. Since 1948, when the modern state of Israel came into being, many controversies have arisen over the Holy Land, the status of Jerusalem, and Palestinian rights. There is also much talk about the Middle East, the Arab Spring, the Gulf wars, nuclear Iran, and the all-important oil. But what is the origin of all this?
According to the Bible and other sources, the history of Israel began with the patriarch Abraham, around 2000 BC. To him, according to the Judeo-Christian Bible, God promised the land now called Israel-Palestine (Genesis 15). Emigrating from the east, from present-day Iraq. Abraham and his immediate descendants lived in biblical Israel as strangers. Receiving ownership of that land from God as a promise, though they did not govern it during their lifetime.
Abraham’s grandson Jacob has an encounter with God (Genesis 32), and as a result of this encounter. His name is changed to Israel. Israel will have 12 children. Whose descendants will later form 12 tribes of biblical Israel.
Read also: Tribe of Dan. Dan (Son of Jacob)
Why did God choose the Israel Bible verse?
As a people, the Israelites still have faith in God, though in the blindness and pride of their hearts they have stumbled in humility to the one sent by God for the salvation of the world. So that, instead of receiving Him, they have crucified the Saviour, the Lord of glory. And yet the apostles and prophets show us that even this flagrant crime. To which their pride and obstinacy led them, was not one for which they could never be forgiven.
The Lord Almighty speaks clearly and emphatically and explains why did God choose Israel by the following Bible verse (Deuteronomy 7:6-11 ):
“For you are a holy generation to the Lord your God, Israel;
the Lord your God has chosen Israel to be his people among all the peoples of the earth.
It is not only because you outnumber all other peoples that God has chosen Israel
for you it is the least of all peoples. But because the Lord loves you, Israel
because He wanted to keep the oath which he swore to your fathers,
therefore the Lord brought you out with his mighty hand.
And delivered you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
Later, the terrible tribulation and loss of life, the destruction of their holy city and their holy temple, the complete end of their national existence, and the scattering of the remnant that survived as exiles throughout the nations, completed the work of their dry season. It began with civil strife of division and was ended by an invading Roman army. Fire, sword, and famine visited upon them terrible retribution.
Read also: Why is Abraham important to Christianity?
God’s purpose in making a covenant with Abraham and his descendants was to preserve the knowledge of Him in the world and to save the world (Psalms 67:2). But the main reason was His love for the Israelites. Abraham’s descendants could boast of no special credits (Deuteronomy 7:7).
Biblical Israel is located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It was considered the city of God and the Israelites as the nation of Yahveh. God choose Israel because He wanted to make these people a cause for praise and glory. The Jews were granted every spiritual advantage. God did not deprive them of any favors to form a character that would make them His representatives.
Their choice was made according to some strange criteria for the general mentality of men. We, humans, choose the strong, the wise, and the confident, but God does not choose the strong, but those who are aware that they are weak, that they are lacking, that they are small and have nothing to boast about before Him (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
Read also: The son of Abraham. Who was he?
Israel Biblical Center
Obedience to God’s law would have brought them amazing prosperity compared to the nations of the world. God could have given them wisdom and talents in all areas, and continued to be their Teacher. And ennobled and exalted them through obedience to His laws. If they had been obedient, they would have been kept from the diseases from which other people suffered. And would have been blessed with intellectual power.
Israel Biblical Center stretches from Dan to Beersheba and there the throne of God will be restored. ” The Land of Israel” is found seven times in the Hebrew Bible, “Holy Land” (Adama Kadisha) can be translated as holy land or rather land of holiness. Meaning that the land is not holy in itself. The idea of the sanctity of the land undoubtedly means that this land must separate the people of Israel from the rest of the nations.
Ellen G. White says that the glory of God, His majesty, and power were to be revealed in all the evidence of their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and rulers. God had provided them with every favorable condition to become the greatest nation on earth.
When was Israel founded?
Throughout history, Palestine has been repeatedly conquered by invaders. A place coveted for hundreds of years by Egyptian, Hittite, Hebrew, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian Alexander the Great, Roman, Byzantine, Arab Caliphates, Crusader, Saracen, Ottoman, and European colonialists. And the desire to conquer Jerusalem has made Palestine the place with the most wars in history.
According to historical sources, Israel was officially founded on 14 May 1948. Because on 29 November 1947, the United Nations adopted Resolution 181. Which established the division of the Palestinian state into two independent parts: an Arab state and a Jewish state. The Jews accepted the resolution, but the Arabs opposed it. On 14 May 1948, the British Mandate came to an end. And at midnight the independence of the Jewish state of Israel was declared.
After the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal in Egypt, which linked the Mediterranean and Red Seas, the area has grown in importance over time, becoming strategically important. And Palestine became a stake for the British, who occupied Egypt in 1882 to collect Middle Eastern wealth.
Read also: How old was Moses when God called him?
Israel Declaration of Independence
For Jews, the proclamation of the independence of the State of Israel was a guarantee that the Holocaust would never be repeated. Because the existence of a nation-state guaranteed them the protection of a home. They had been deprived of it for almost two millennia. The proclamation of the new state on the territory where the Kingdom of Israel had once existed was also justified by historical law.
On 14 May 1948, the State of Israel proclaimed the Israel Declaration of Independence. It came after the Jewish people had been subjected to one of the most difficult trials in history: The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah. The formation of the State of Israel aroused the anger of the Arabs, and the Arab-Israeli conflict that began then still rages today.
Israel’s independence aroused Arab anger. They believed, and some still believe today, that the historical right would be on the side of the Palestinian Arabs, who consider themselves descendants of the Philistines of antiquity. The historical reality is that the territory of Israel has preserved communities of Jews, concentrated mainly in Galilee, despite the various occupations that have succeeded one another over the millennia. Jews began returning to the Holy Land as early as the Middle Ages, after being expelled from Spain in 1492. The phenomenon of return to the Holy Land began to grow in the 18th century, following persecutions and pogroms, especially in Russia.
Read also: Miriam sister of Moses
You might also want to know…
The Ethnic composition:
- 74.8%- Jewish
- 25.2%- others (mostly Arabs)
The denominational affiliation:
- 74.8%- Jewish
- 17.6%- Islam
- 2%- Christianity
- 1.6%- Druze
- 4% – other
National Day and other holidays:
- 02 May – Declaration of independence (from protectorate- 1948) – variable date – 27 January – International Day in Holocaust Remembrance (liberation Auschwitz camp in 1945)
- 21/22 Sept – Jewish New Year
- Hebrew (official)
- English (used often used as a foreign language)
Form of government:
- Israel’s history, as told in the biblical narrative, can begin to be read. As a long decline from God’s original plan for his people.
- Israel’s persistence in Christian eyes has varied between two positions. That of replacing the Christian people with the Jewish people and restoring Israel to its promised land. In the first case, the Jewish people live only as witnessing people. A constant warning was given to Christians who would pervert the faith by embracing heresy.
- Israel is that people whose fate is sealed. The holy land was holy only because it was the place of the incarnation, of the life and passion of Christ. With no Christian attachment other than affection, affection sufficient to arouse crusades. But without theological foundation.
If you’re still asking yourself Why did God choose Israel the answer is the following: Israel was the nation sealed by the Blood of Jesus before the foundation of the world. God choose Israel to be His Earthly Place. Israel was also called The Promised Land because God promised the Jews. A land where they could live freely and show their faith.
After the death of King Solomon, the state of Israel is divided into two kingdoms, one still called Israel (the northern part). And the southern part is called Judah. Several hundred years later, in 740 BC, the northern kingdom is conquered by the Assyrian Empire. And the population is deported in several waves to modern-day Syria-Iraq-Iran.
The fate of the 10 tribes that made up the northern kingdom after the deportation has not been established. And they are lost to the mists of history in Asia, one of the great historical mysteries. The modern state of Israel is the continuation of the remaining Jews in the southern kingdom who have retained their relative identity as a people.