Read Deuteronomy 7:1-26
“But you are a chosen people, royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God . . .” (1 Peter 2:9).
The Church is not the New Testament equivalent of Old Testament Israel. Their membership is different. Their promises are different. God’s plans for each are different.
But the two have some things in common. Among them are God’s choice and His call to holiness.
God did not choose the Israelites because they were some huge world-changing nation. (See vv. 7, 8). The fact is, at the point when He chose them, the nation of Israel consisted of but two people—Abram and Sarai. (See Gen. 12). Nevertheless, in His sovereign, inexplicable wisdom, God selected them and placed His love on them. They were His “treasured possession.”
If you are a follower of Jesus, you too are chosen, loved, and treasured!
But God has a purpose for His people.
The Israelites were to be holy. They were to be set apart from the rest of the nations, committed to His divine purposes and walking in His divine pleasure. This call to holiness was a call to a “separated life.” Rather than worshiping their vain and lifeless idols, they were to be completely devoted to Him. (See v. 25a). Instead of yearning for and being enslaved by their silver or gold, they were to walk in obedience and experience blessing as a byproduct. Recognizing the risk of mingling with the nations and adopting their ways of life, God called them to take extreme action . . . destroy the nations that occupied the land He had promised them.
Before we head out and start destroying things that represent snares or people that don’t currently follow Jesus, let’s recognize what our call to holiness entails.
We steer clear of conformation to the world through transformation of our thinking. (See Rom. 12:1, 2). In other words, we must fill our minds with God’s truth rather than the mainstream thought of our generation.
Meanwhile, with the Spirit’s help, we are called to live “separate” lives while being part of a culture that God wants to reach. (See Jn. 17:13-19).
Treasured…that’s what we are!
Holy…that’s what we are to be today!