Why did God choose Israel to be His chosen people?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Ari Ariel HaNaviy Messianic Jew and Torah Teacher with Messianic Congregation 'The Harvest'
Why did God choose Israel to be His chosen people?

There is a humorous saying that goes, “How odd of God to choose the Jews.” The complexity of one’s answer to this seemingly simple question depends on their definition of who they believe Isra'el to be. The entity known as “chosen Isra'el” is a complex biblical concept, portrayed in the Bible as existing on two levels (Rom 9:6-8), and therefore the question as to why God chose them deserves a detailed (hopefully not confusing) answer. 

In contemplating the magnitude of the mystery of why God chose Isra'el as his representatives, we affirm that, despite Isra'el’s ups and downs, her position as God's "chosen" reveals the perfect plans of the Father for all to behold (Rom. 11:33-36). Thus, despite, Isra'el’s imperfections, in the end, the Bible promises that “all Isra'el will be saved” (Rom. 11:25-27).

In order to understand the successes, failures and responsibilities commensurate with being “chosen according to God’s good pleasure” (Phil 2:13), one needs to understand that chosen Isra'el exists on two levels, National Isra'el, and Remnant Isra'el, with Gentile Christians as “wild olive branches” being grafted, not into National Isra'el, but into Remnant Isra'el alongside the Messianic Jews (Rom. 11:17-24). 

What is more, Remnant Isra'el and National Isra'el both exist on one single Olive Tree, nourished by the “roots” of the Patriarchs (Rom. 11:17,18). God does not have two trees. God does not have two brides. God has not rejected his bride National Isra'el (Rom. 11:1, 2; Rom. 11:28, 29); he is able to graft unsaved branches back in if they do not persist in unbelief (Rom. 11:23, 24).

Chosen National “unsaved” Isra'el
•	The bride of God (Is 54:5; Jer 3:4; Jer 31:32; Ez 16:8)
•	Covenant membership/righteousness, rooted in “Law/ethnicity,” is limited and temporal (Rom. 2:17-25; Rom. 3:20, 28; Rom. 4:14; Rom. 9:31, 32; Rom. 10:3, 5; Gal 2:16, 21; Gal 3:2, 5, 10, 11; Gal 5:18)
•	Circumcised in flesh only (Rom. 2:28; Gal 6:12, 13)
•	Children of the flesh (Rom. 9:3-7)
•	Mount Sinai/earthly Jerusalem (Gal 4:21-25)
•	Torah observance is done by the flesh, and receives praise from men (Matt 23:5, 6; Rom 2:29; Rom. 8:7, 8)
•	Under bondage/condemnation (Gal 4:1-5, 8; Gal 5:2-4)
•	Priesthood rooted in Aaron (Ex 28:1; Heb 7:5, 11, 16)
•	Receive temporal atonement and ritual purification of the flesh only (Lev 16:16; Heb 9:13)

Chosen Remnant “saved” Isra'el
•	The bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2; Rev 21:9)
•	Covenant membership/righteousness, rooted in “faith,” is genuine and lasting (Rom. 3:21, 22, 28; Rom. 4:16, 22; Rom. 5:1; Rom. 9:30; Rom. 10:6-13; Gal 2:16; Gal 3:7-11, 14; Gal 5:18)
•	Circumcised in flesh and heart (Rom. 2:29; Rom. 9:27)
•	Children of the promise (Rom. 9:8)
•	Heavenly Jerusalem (Gal 4:26, 28, 31)
•	Following God's commands is done by the Spirit, and receives praise from God (Rom. 2:29; Rom. 8:9)
•	No longer under bondage/condemnation (Rom. 8:1; Gal 4:6, 7, 26, 31; Gal 5:1)
•	Priesthood rooted in Melchizadek/Yeshua (Heb 5:6; Heb 6:20; Heb 7:11, 15, 16, 17)
•	Receive lasting atonement and spiritual purification of the conscience (Heb 9:14)

Combining what we just listed about National Isra'el and Remnant Isra'el, we can outline these brief points about God’s choosing of Isra'el and why:
•	To be a kingdom of priests and holy nation (Ex 19:6; 1 Pet 2:9)
•	To showcase God’s nearness to his people and his righteous Torah to the world (Deut 4:5-9)
•	To safeguard the oracles of God (Rom. 3:2)
•	To be his firstborn son (Ex 4:22)
•	To be his bride (Is 54:5; Jer 3:4; Jer 31:32; Ez 16:8)
•	To bring the Messiah into the world (Matt 1:1; Gal 4:4)
•	Because he first loved her (Deut 7:7-9; Eph 5:25-27)

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