Last week I talked about the nation of Israel and what scripture had to say concerning Israel in the land of Canaan. And this week I'd like to just talk about the vital role that Israel plays in Salvitic history, salvation history. If you remember, last week I went through very quickly a brief review and it was very brief, brief review of the history of the Bible. Basically trying to lay out the entire history of the Bible in five minutes took me a little over six minutes, which I'm still, even though I'm not supposed to, I am quite proud of. Anyway, I entitled these sets of sermons the Beleaguered I heard Israel referred to by a theologian when I was doing my research as the Beleaguered. And I thought that was so appropriate. Webster's Dictionary defines beleaguered as someone that is in or something that is in a very difficult situation, quote a very difficult situation. And considering the history of Israel, beleaguered is a good word to describe God's chosen people from the very beginning of time to their very existence until this very moment and hour in which they are at war once again. Between all the wars and all the exile periods, and conquerings by foreign nations, scatterings and dispersions and harsh judgment by God over the years, the sin, the idol worship, destruction of the temple, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, Israel's entire history is that of a nation that eternally seems to be, quote, in a very difficult situation.
Being special, being God's chosen people is not a tough job to have. I heard it said somewhere or I read it somewhere. I got to tell you, this is a confession. As some of you may know, I sometimes forget a lot of names and I cannot remember where I heard this, but I know I heard it somewhere and it might have been from a Jewish rabbi. But as it goes, as he says, is, you know why the Jewish people are God's chosen people? And the response is because no one would ever volunteer that God had to choose them and take them. Israel literally means one who struggles or wrestles with God, and they are a people of struggle and they are always in a difficult situation. And all of this makes you wonder, why did God choose them? Why?
Stay tuned for part 2.