Today’s Reading: Psalms 132-138
Today’s Reflection: Psalms 132:13
For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place.
There is no question that the children of Israel were a special people. God’s history with them from Abraham all the way to Jesus incarnation through the descendants of Israel, and beyond to the role Jewish disciples played in establishing the church—the body of believers in Christ, followers of the Way. But there is a question as to why God chose them. Many believe it is because there is something special about them that moved God to choose them to fulfill so many of His earthly works.
Before getting to that, first some background on the name Zion. It was the name of a stronghold of King David located in or near Jerusalem. David set up the tabernacle there before the temple was built by his son, King Solomon. Zion is also the name of a mountain nearby. But through King David, the name Zion eventually became somewhat synonymous with Jerusalem, specifically representing God’s presence among His people there.
Now back to why God chose Israel as His people and the city David helped to establish as His dwelling place. It wasn’t because there was something inherently superior about the people of Israel. They didn’t have greater numbers (Deuteronomy 7:7-9), nor was their conduct consistently obedient to God (Judges 6:1; 2 Kings 17:7; Ezekiel 9:9). But the Word repeatedly singles out key figures in Israel’s history who God formed covenants with—David, Abraham, Solomon, Jacob (Israel), and Moses for example. It is because of God’s memory of their faithfulness that God continued to work in and through them, finding a small remnant of prophets, priests and peoples within Israel that remained faithful to Him.
But what’s more significant is that each of these covenantal figures was chosen by God. It was God’s choice that made them special, and it was their faithfulness that moved God to choose them. Which means being special in God’s eyes isn’t a matter of bloodlines or nationality, it is a matter of faithfulness. And many stories in the Bible make this clear: Rahab (Joshua 2, 6:22-25), Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-15), and the Centurion with the sick servant (Matthew 8:5-13). None were of Israel, but they received God’s favour for their display of faith.
This is good news for us. The truth is before you even began seeking God, He chose you first. No matter where you come from, or what your history has been, if you follow God faithfully, He will make His dwelling place with you and prepare for you a home in the eternal Zion to come.
Ephesians 1:3-5 – 3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4) even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5) he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.