Christian Universe ™
A Special People
August 10, 2014
God has always called for His creation to listen to His voice and obey His commandments. The children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -- later known as Israel-- were chosen as a special people. They were few in number and light in numbers of men of military age, yet God promised that if they would obey Him and keep His commandments, He would raise them up as a mighty nation to teach the other nations how to serve Him. As Christians, we are now that small group, that peculiar people -- yet, we have a large role to play! - Bernie Parsons
A Special People: The Fewest Of All
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 08-10-2014
Presented to Load church of Christ on 09-14-2014
The nation, Israel, foreshadowed the coming of the later kingdom of God on the earth. The offspring of Jacob – Israel – were chosen for a purpose and made a special people.
Deuteronomy 7:6 "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:"
God chose a small nation to show the world what He would do for those who serve Him.
Deuteronomy 14:1 "Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.
2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth."
Deuteronomy 4:5 "Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."
This people was to listen to God in all things, and obey His commandments. In return, God promised to raise them above all the other nations of the world.
Deuteronomy 26:16 "This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
17 Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:
18 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;
19 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken."
Exodus 19:1 "In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD."
While the Israelites were under the Law of Moses, they were the peculiar people of God – a small nation, but a blessed and powerful one. When Christ came, those who believed in Him became the peculiar people of God.
Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
God also expects us, who are called Christians, to listen to Him and keep His commandments.
1 Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
Under the Law of Moses, Jerusalem (Sion, or Zion) contained the temple of the peculiar people. Now, with Jesus as the chief cornerstone, we Christians are the temple of God.
Ephesians 2:18 "For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
We Christians are but a remnant of the earth’s population, but we are chosen by God to be a peculiar people.
Matthew 5:13 "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
We are salt of the earth – or the land, the country. How much salt does it take to flavor foods? How much to preserve foods?
We are a city set on a hill for all to see. How big a city does it take to send truth into the world?
We are the light of the room. How many bulbs does it take to light a room?
We may be a small people but we have a big role in this world in which we find ourselves.