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Vol.  10  No. 3 March 2008  Page 8
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Priscilla's Page By Marilyn LaStrape *Editor's Note*

Marilyn LaStrape

Becoming the Choice of God

By Marilyn LaStrape

   According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, “choice” means to be chosen out by reason of suitability; selected. Its special significance is to select by the act of taking, rather than by showing preference or favor; taking for oneself, as of a choice made by God.

    In the third month after the children of Israel had been delivered from Egyptian bondage, God sent Moses with a very special message to them. He said, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine” (Exodus 19:3b-5).

    God instructed Moses to tell Israel just how vital their relationship with Him was to be. “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him” (Exodus 19:6-7).

    God gave Moses further instructions regarding this divine selection process. Israel became the choice of God because He had set His love on them. Moses commanded the people to remember the LORD their God and all He had done for them. “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you(Deuteronomy 7:6-7a).

    Israel became the choice of God because of the wickedness of the nations, those out of harmony with Him; and to keep the promise He had made to their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moses reminded Israel of their rebellion before they were to cross over the Jordan River into the land of Canaan. “It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness from the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD” (Deuteronomy 9:5,7).

    In Deuteronomy 14:1-21, Moses gave Israel God’s law concerning food that was acceptable and not acceptable for them to eat. He again reminded them, “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 14:2).

    Peter tells us that we too have been chosen by God, a royal priesthood, who are now His people. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

    Perhaps this divine selection reached its pinnacle when God chose Mary to be the mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord! God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary with the message of messages! “And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the LORD is with you; blessed are you among women’” (Luke 1:28)!

    Mary was troubled by his saying and wondered what kind of greeting this was. Gabriel told her not to be afraid for she had found favor with God. He went on to tell her she would conceive and bring forth a Son and call His name Jesus. “Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man’” (Luke 1:34)?

    The exceeding, abundant power of God above all that we ask or think was clearly evident in Gabriel’s response! “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35b). No word from God is without power or impossible of fulfillment. Mary’s belief in that power and her submissive, obedient response is priceless! “Then Mary said, ‘Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word’” (Luke 1:38a). Mary had no questions, no doubts, no fears and no worries. Her response was rooted in total, unwavering belief in and acceptance of what Gabriel had told her!

    We, like Mary and all others, become the choice of God based upon our obedience to His commands and our attitude and commitment to His revealed truth. [This article is worthy of careful consideration on more than one front, and it is a sample of the excellently written and studious articles from the pen of our sister Marilyn LaStrape. For this and all she does in the cause of Christ we are heartily thankful. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

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