Question: Why did God choose Israel as His chosen people? RMM
A good question not easily answered.
However, the fact you asked the question in this particular way shows that I need to go back into history before the land we know as Israel even existed.
But to answer your question, we must go back to when God first chose Abraham.
Because Adam and Eve rejected God’s authority and conceded to the nachash, (translated as snake but in Hebrew, this word does not mean a reptile but rather is idiomatic for a deceiver – and God’s challenger), they in essence, gave the authority of Earth and man to principalities and the rulers of darkness. God had no choice but to remove his now unaligned creatures (Adam and Eve, i.e., man) from His perfect paradise.
The consequence of that disastrous choice was that every nation and region of the planet now had a fallen wicked ruler placed in authority. And the religions that resulted from these powers (or spiritual strongholds) were pagan, occultic, and demanded appeasement.
But, from time to time, God would relate and communicate with righteous men such as Enoch and Noach but it was Abram (who we know as Abraham) from the land of Ur (aka Babylonia) that God found trustworthy so much that He made a compact (we call it a covenant) with him and his generations after that.
This contractual agreement with Abraham was the beginning of God restoring the whole world unto Himself. God demanded that Abraham put away the idols and pagan ways of the world. He would then teach him His ways of character and behavior. God would bless Him, protect his family and in so doing according to the covenant, three things would happen.
- God would make this family become His nation (where God would be their God, watching over them, winning their battles and connecting His Name to their identity – The God of Israel. Remember, the other nations were pagan and had their wicked authorities ruling over them — rulers such as Baal, Tammuz, Molech, Ra, Astarte, and the like.
- God would give these uprooted Chaldeans their own land. A land that would be named after Abraham’s grandson, Jacob later renamed by God as “Israel.”
- God would bless the whole world by a significant promise within this same covenant; a Savior would come from Jacob’s line that would open the covenantal promises to all that would “crossover” to trust Him as Abraham did. This trust would override the principalities and powers over the nations thereby creating a holy nation of “Hebrews” who have crossed over through the cross to the One true God.
It was Abraham—this humble Babylonian man that God called to “cross over.”
The word “Hebrew” actually means one who crosses over, and the inference is “crossing over from paganism to trust the One True God of Creation.”
Whether referencing a language or a people, today, the word Hebrew may have a different connotation in the minds of the world, but this is the etymology of the word.
God had to choose someone to start this elaborate process of redemption and restoration. He began with Abraham then Isaac then Jacob. This family was by no means perfect, but they had a Covenant Keeping God watching over His promises to bring them to pass.
So you see, Israel began not as a place but as a person.
Yisrael is the name given to Jacob in Genesis 32:28 after he wrestled with the Messenger of God, who then bestowed upon him the Hebrew name Yisrael. Later, the twelve sons of Jacob (aka Yisrael) became the forefathers of the Twelve Tribes of Israel—whose offspring were given a national identity as they became known as the Israelites.
We, from every nation, now have access to this covenant through the promised Savior that came through the Hebrew people. We in the nations are no longer subject to the rulers and principalities and powers over this Earth but instead are called to be grafted into the covenantal promises God made with His chosen one – this is why Abraham is called Father Abraham, Father of many nations. And why the Israelites are God’s chosen people.
Isn’t Biblical history fascinating!