Verses of the Week: I Peter 2:9-10 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
Encouraging Thought: In Deuteronomy 14:2, God told Israel, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” Israel was chosen to be God’s holy people, God’s special people; unique and separate from all other nations. Then when Jesus came and established His church, Jewish believers were still very much a part of God’s chosen and peculiar people. But God had now extended His holiness to Gentile believers, including them among His chosen people.
Israel knew the living and true God while Gentile nations all around them lived in complete spiritual darkness. But when Jesus came and sent Israeli believers into the world with His Gospel message, God called Gentiles “out of darkness into His marvellous light.” Back in Old Testament days, only the Israelites could claim to be God’s people, but today, Gentile believers are also the people of God. We should praise God continually with a thankful heart because we have experienced His grace and mercy.
Words of Wisdom: How many times has a father told his son, “Son, you bear my name. Don’t bring it shame or smudge our family name with dirt or scandal.” Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…”
When God chose Israel, he did far more than protect them from their enemies. He gave them His holy name. No longer were they to live like the ungodly heathen nations because that would bring reproach to His name. He expected His people to live holy, separated lives. In Leviticus 20:26, He says, “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.”
God held His people Israel to a higher standard than the heathen nations. And when God received Gentile believers as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, we also became God’s people, and He holds Christians to a higher standard than the lost. Why? Because we represent Him in all we do. We bear His holy name. I Peter 1:16 says, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Where is that written? Leviticus 20:26. In Leviticus, He was talking to Israel. In I Peter, He’s addressing Gentile believers.