The idea of God’s choosing is both frightening and alluring. If God can choose anyone he wants for any reason that he wants – or no reason at all – then there is a chance he will not choose me. That is a frightening thought, to be left out of God’s circle of blessing.
And yet, we can be chosen. Even with all our moral warts and wrinkles, God can choose us. He is not constrained only to pick the best and the brightest and the most ethically competent among us. He could choose me. And that leaves us filled with hope and in awe of God’s grace.
The people of Israel are unlike any nation on earth because they have been chosen by God. They are “a people dwelling alone and not counting itself among the nations.” They are alone because God made them the center of his plan of redemption for the world. That plan emerged out of this rather ordinary people who were made peculiar because of God’s choosing.
There’s not another people like Israel. Out of the aloneness of Israel came Jesus Christ. Through the suffering and resurrection of Jesus, a bunch of “wild olive shoots” can now become part of the God’s chosen people (Romans 11:17).
And we, too, now are part of this people of God dwelling alone and not counting itself among the nations. Do you understand yourself as set apart and holy among the people of the world?
There will be some people who will be standing off in the distance – in the “crags” and “hills” – looking out toward this people camped out in the plains of Moab. Our great hope in this life must be they will come join us. It is certain there are others who have been chosen (John 10:27).
We should be looking for them.