Summary: Israel was God's "chosen" people but they still had to choose Him. We choose God and necome His chosen
1. One man tells of driving a long and lonely road, the last 65 miles of it unpaved, in order to watch Hopi Indian ceremonial dances in Arizona. After the dances, he returned to his car only to find that it had a flat tire. He put on the spare and drove to the only service station on the Hopi reservation.
"Do you fix flats?" he inquired of the attendant.
"Yes," was the answer.
"How much do you charge?" he asked.
With a twinkle in his eye, the man replied, "What difference does it make?"
This is what has been called a "Hobson's choice." A Hobson's choice is a situation that forces a person to accept whatever is offered or go without. According to Barbara Berliner (THE BOOK OF ANSWERS, Simon & Schuster Inc., 1990), the phrase was inspired by sixteenth-century entrepreneur Thomas Hobson, who hired out horses in strict rotation at Cambridge University. There was no choosing by the customer -- it was strictly Hobson's choice.
But most of the time we really DO have a choice and the choice we make DOES make a difference. We may not always believe it. We may feel as if we have no choice ... we HAVE to do such and such. But we usually do have a choice. When we realize that most of what we do we do by choice, then we are taking control of our own lives.
2. The nation of Israel is referred to as God’s “Chosen people.” – Deuteronomy 7:6 6 “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (also 14:2)
3. Jesus is God’s “Chosen One” – Luke 23:35 5 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”
4. WE are a “Chosen People” when we choose the LORD – Isaiah 56:3-8
In 1984 political scientists, Donald Lutz and Charles Hyneman of the U of Houston wrote a paper on the most influential sources to the political though of our Founding Fathers. They isolated 3,154 direct quotes and determined the sources of the quotes. The Bible was the number one source with 34% of the quotes. A French legal philosopher was next with 8.3%; an English jurist had 7.9% of the quotes (much of his thought came from scripture). 75% of the citations of the period came from reprinted sermons.
This means that the FF were choosing God’s direction by citing scripture. Most of the FF used the Bible as a guide for their daily lives and then applied it to the life of the nation.
I. God’s Great Emphasis on Choice
A. Choosing God is Demonstrated by Leaders – Joshua 24:14-15
“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
B. Choosing God is Illustrated by Nations – Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
1. Israel was “chosen” for the sake of the world but still had to choose God
2. The Other Nations could choose too
a. Nineveh because of the preaching of Jonah
b. Nations through the years
• Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar
• Cyrus (“My Anointed, Messiah) and Persia
• Roman Empire – England - America
II. Choosing People Become Chosen People
A. Israel’s Choice at Sinai – Exodus 19:7-8 7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
2. Precious but responsible (no pass b/c “chosen”) – Deuteronomy 26:18-19 18 And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, 19 and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.”