Daily Devotional – Monday, July 5, 2021
“Are you Israelites more important to me than the Ethiopians?” asks the LORD. “I brought Israel out of Egypt, but I also brought the Philistines from Crete and led the Arameans out of Kir.” (Amos 9:7, NLT)
It is obvious from the prophet Amos’ words, that some of the people of Israel had begun to view their status as ‘specially chosen by God’ to mean that God would not punish them. But Amos is clear. Their ‘special’ designation, did not make them any more loved by God than other nation nor any less accountable to follow His directions. God has been working out His plan for all people, around the world, throughout the entire expanse of time, since the very beginning.
I wonder how many of us who claim to be Christ followers, who identify as ‘Christian’—God’s specially chosen people—need to be reminded of this fact. Our designation is about the role God has called us to play in the salvation and redemption of the world from sin; it is not to be viewed as in anyway superior to others who are not believers. Remember Jesus’ story of the lost sheep? The Shepherd leaves the 99 who are safely in the flock, to go and find the missing one. God’s desire is that all people will come back into a relationship with Him. He is not willing for any to be lost (2 Peter 3:9).
In Amos’ day, the prophet used God’s care of the enemies of Israel to provide a needed reality check. Yes, they had been chosen by God for a special task; theirs was to bring others to a knowledge of God. It was through the Israelite nation that God would have descend His promised Messiah for the world. However, their disobedience would not be ignored for this fact. God is not an overly indulgent parent, ready to turn a blind eye to His children’s misdeeds. Just as He had punished Israel’s enemies, He would also provide justice through punishment of Israel.
We would do well to remember that God loves all people equally. Our use and/or abuse of freewill may cause Him to have to respond with rewards or punishment, but we should not therefore conclude that God plays favourites. He loves all, cares for all, disciplines all. It is up to us to choose how we would have Him respond to us.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!