God’s Choosen People

Written by Joel on April 10th, 2008

I have always found it difficult to think of God as playing favorites. He loves everyone equally after all doesn’t he? I grew up with this presupposition largely due to the Protestant church’s ignorance of the Old Testament. It was a rare Sunday for me to hear the Word of God from the law and the prophets, much less hear anyone preach on it.

I took my first Old Testament class this past quarter – on the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible. (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy)

Primarily it is the story of God’s chosen people, the Israelites. God picks them, by grace, to be his people. The relationship between God and Israel is sealed in the Covenant. God promises that “out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Ex. 19:5-6 NIV) This promise was not unconditional, it required the strict obedience of Israel under the leadership of Moses.

God’s holy people make the habit of getting into trouble and not trusting God nor his appointed leader. In Numbers 12 Miriam and Aaron speak against Moses because he had a Cushite wife. God is furious that anyone would dare “speak against [his] servant” (Num. 12:8 NIV) God struck Miriam with leprosy and sent her to sit outside of the camp for a week.

Apparently God does have favorites and apparently God does care about our actions. Perhaps I ought to be careful about questioning the authorities which God puts in place.

This Biblical insight has challenged me to consider the possibility that perhaps God has a chosen manifestation of his Church in the modern day. That perhaps it does matter how and what we do within our churches. Perhaps God has a chosen leader (the Pope?) set in place to guide and lead his chosen people today.

Roman Catholics often point to Mt 16:18-20 as a rationale for the office of the Pope. It basically says that Jesus gave the “keys to heaven” to Peter. That whatever he decided would be bound both on Earth and in heaven.

Now many Protestant leaders will challenge this verse for a number of reasons, but I at least must consider the possibility that God’s character has not been altered; That he may have a chosen people, and he may have an appointed leader. What if all of that is found in the Roman Catholic Church? Who am I to question the great authority of God?


 

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