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D'varim/Deuteronomy 29:12 ... so that He causes you to be established today for Him as a people
TheSforno explains that HaShem's intent in entering the covenant - which He forges (v. 11) - is to establish the people of Israel as His people. Moshe has just explained to the people that everyone in the whole of Israelite society was present there and included in the covenant - from the princes, elders and officers to the children, the women and those who carried out the menial tasks of chopping the wood and drawing the water - the whole nation is embraced in the covenant; each individual is important and not only is no-one excluded, but there is a positive inclusion, a drawing in of every person to make the whole.
The book of Revelation tells us that there is "an eternal gospel to preach to those who live upon the earth, and to every tribe and tongue and people" (Revelation 14:6, NASB) because G-d is calling people from all the peoples of the earth to be a part of Yeshua's people for all eternity. "The L-rd is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9, NASB). G-d desires repentance for all men so that all might come to know Him, as we say in theAmidah in synagogue each day: "Blessed are you, O L-rd, who desires repentance". The prophet Isaiah encouraged Gentiles to enter into relationship with the Living G-d when he wrote, "As for the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai to serve Him ... all who keep Shabbat ... and hold fast to My covenant, I will bring them to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer" (Isaiah 56:6-7, CJB). Yet in all G-d's inclusiveness, Israel as a nation, as a special covenant people, stands apart as the unique people-group that G-d specifically called and chose to be a people-group rather than a collection of individual people.
There is a measure of deliberateness about this - this is G-d's plan and purpose. As the song of the 24 elders says, "at the cost of blood you ransomed for G-d persons from every tribe, language, people and nation. You made them into a kingdom for G-d to rule" (Revelation 5:9-10, CJB). G-d wants to have a kingdom of people with whom He can be in relationship, who will love Him and whom He can bless. This is so important to grasp: none of us fell into the kingdom by mistake; none of us just happened to be in the right place at the right time to hear the gospel and become a believer by accident. We are all here by design. Although G-d gave each of us free choice - He values us too highly to force us to know Him - He has nevertheless chosen each of us, called us to Him and delights in each of us as we grow into the image of Yeshua.
Further Study: Colossians 1:5-6; John 10:14-16
Application: Do you ever feel like the last spoon in the draw? As though you somehow got picked up with the others by mistake and don't really belong in the kingdom? Today is a good day to know that you are special and chosen and that G-d wanted you to be a unique and special part of His kingdom.
© Jonathan Allen, 2005
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