Sunday, October 27 2013
You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; Amos 3:2a
A small, skinny boy stood out in the middle of a parched recreation field with the dry wind whistling through his hair. He was desperately trying to look calm and unconcerned about the event unfolding before him. It was nothing new really. Every week the P.E. class would exit out the side doors and head over to the sports grounds adjacent to the school building. Every week it would be announced what game would be played. And every week his stomach would tie up in knots while the team captains would pick their teams from the group of boys. It seemed like it was the same story being reread - the same song being played over again. They would get down to the last couple of boys, and once again, he would be left out to stand on the side, while everyone else played. As the teams would run off to play kickball, baseball and soccer, the field looked like it went on forever. He was unable to even hear what they were saying to each other when they ran off. His side of the playground always felt cold.
But something different happened today. He thought he heard his name called by one of the captains, but knew that it just could not be. He had terribly embarrassed himself twice before thinking he had been selected and ran over to the team, only to be laughed at and jeered all the way back to where he stood before. So he held his place, looking down at his worn shoes. His name was yelled this time. “Are you deaf or what?” said the team captain. In a sense of indescribable excitement, he felt the blood rush through him. He kept telling himself to play it cool, but the silly ear-to-ear grin plastered across his face could not be hidden. Today he had been picked. Today he had been chosen. And today he would do everything within his power to prove his gratitude to the other boy, who in his mercy, gave him a chance to be a part of the team.
In the sacred Scriptures, we read that God chose Israel out of the pack of humanity. In Amos 3:1-2, He refers to them as the “entire family that He brought up from the land of Egypt;” and says, “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth.” Out of all the people in creation, God selected this puny little group of people who had been enslaved for some 400 years (“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples” Deuteronomy 7:7). Though they leaped for joy to be brought into the team of God, they soon forgot what it meant to be picked by God. They began to presume on the fact that they had been chosen and were in a covenant relationship with the Lord. They had long forgotten the days of feeling like they had been left out and left behind. As their pride swelled at being the chosen ones, they felt as if they could sin with impunity.
To be chosen does not mean one is absolved from accountability or responsibility. In fact, the elect of God are more liable for their actions than anyone else. Just as we would expect an elected official to be accountable to the people for their actions, in a much greater sense, the elect of God are accountable for every single deed, from first to last (And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36). It has always been the temptation of man to think once he is saved he can sail on the waves of lukewarmness. At first, he is zealous for being selected and accepted; however, after a while his salvation is taken for granted. Instead of being a servant to the King, he becomes a servant unto himself.
Let us never forget the thrill of when God pointed at us and said, “I choose you.”
Keep the Faith.