The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers. (Deuteronomy 7:6–8, NIV 1984).
“I [God] will make your [Abraham] descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 26:3–4, NIV 1984).
“In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 3:4–6, NIV 1984).
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:34-36, 43, NIV 1984).
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, NIV 1984).
“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” (Romans 11:25, NIV 1984).
My Musings – I love a great mystery. And this one is the greatest. He picked a wandering nomad, who become a chosen people and nation. Through this one nation, “all nations on earth will be blessed.” What that exact blessing would be was a mystery until fully revealed through the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although looking back, it was prophesied in great detail hundreds of years before. Like all great mysteries, all the clues were there but did not come together until the climax.
But in large part, His chosen people rejected Him. “A hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” The next great mystery, all nations will not only blessed, but become “heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” So how would this be? How would the “full number of Gentiles” be reached? How would the “greatest story ever told” get beyond the borders of Judaea to “the ends of the earth?” God commissioned His Church and widespread persecution scattered the earlier believers to the “four corners” of the world. And when the full number is in, the hardening will be softened and His chosen people will in large part finally accept Him.
My Advice – You want to be among the “full number.” God went to great lengths to make it possible. And when you are, you are among the commissioned to take the news to others so they can be among the “full number” too. “A great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language.” (Revelation 7:9, NIV 1984).