To demonstrate love, care, righteousness and mercy you need people. To demonstrate the kingdom of God you need a society or a nation. God chose the weakest and most dysfunctional people, the Jews, when they were slaves in Egypt in order to demonstrate to the world what the kingdom of God looks like.
Israel was chosen to demonstrate the kingdom of God to the world. The kingdom of God is the society or community under God’s rule. God is looking for people He can rule over, but entry into His kingdom is voluntary. However, in the case of Israel, the Jews were chosen to form a nation that reflects God’s righteous lordship on the earth. Israel is called to reflect the image of God.
God gave Israel her leader, Moses, and through him gave her His Law. The Jews were supposed to build their whole society on God’s values and principles which were embodied in the Law. By doing that, their society would be built on God’s foundation, His Word.
Have a look at Paul’s words about the nature of the Law which was given to the Jewish people.
Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. – Romans 2:17-20 (NKJV)
The Apostle Paul emphasizes the fact that the Law contains the form of truth and knowledge. In the Greek text, the word “form” is “μορφωσιν (morfosis)” which can be translated as “shape, the form befitting a thing or truly expressing the fact or embodiment.” Paul says that God gave Israel a pattern for building a nation. God’s Law is not only a gift to Israel, but to all the nations of the world. The nation that will build their society on God’s values, principles, and standards will be blessed by God.
There is no strategy in the Law for building a society, but there is a pattern for it. We have to discover the values and principles which are in the Law. Strategy comes from the Holy Spirit!
To deliver the Jews from Egypt and bring them into the Promised Land was not God’s final plan for them. His plan for them was to be a society which builds and functions on His values and principles.
The Jews needed to learn how to choose their leaders and how these leaders were supposed to govern the people. They needed to know how to live together as one nation under the One True God, because they had never lived as a unified society with one religion. The Jews needed to know how to live in God’s Promised Land and cultivate it. They also needed to understand the values of education, work ethics, family responsibilities, care for the poor, widows and strangers and many other vital truths for a healthy society, which are found in God’s Law.
The unique role was given to the priesthood. The priesthood was chosen by God Himself and not by the people. God chose the tribe of Levi to serve Him more closely and to know and understand His ways and intentions for Israel. The Levites were called to instruct people in God’s Word. Interestingly, they were the first doctors and responsible for the medical care of the people.
Most of the Old Testament is an account of God and the nation of Israel. As a society their lives were to express the values of God’s Kingdom.
God blessed Israel in the days of Solomon. When the queen of Sheba arrived in Israel and “came to test him with hard questions” (1 Kings 10:1), she was amazed by the prosperity of the nation.
However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard. Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness. – 1 Kings 10:7-9 (NKJV)
People will see and understand the Kingdom of God through us, the people of the Kingdom. Not only by our words, but by our works. Israel was not to change the world, but to witness to the world about God’s ways and character.
Today, the Body of Messiah is not called to change the world, but to be a witnesses to the world as salt and light. If we serve our nations as salt and light, the Lord will change our nations. We are called to witness to our nations about the values, principles, and standards of the kingdom of God.
In Matthew 24, Yeshua prophesied that before His return every nation will have an opportunity to build its foundation on God’s kingdom values and principles. We need to take responsibility to pray and work so that our own nations will be one of them.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. – Matthew 24:14 (NKJV)
On the pages of the Bible we can read how Israel failed to pursue God’s standards and values most of the time. Like all of us, the Jews needed God’s redemptive grace. But their failure did not cancel God’s call and promises for them. The modern restoration of the Jewish State of Israel is a confirmation of God’s faithfulness.
Paul wrote in Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” God’s gifts to Israel in the form of the Promised Land, the Mosaic Law, and the privilege of knowing Him are still applicable today. But more than that, God’s calling on Israel to be His nation; a nation of priests, His special possession, a light of God in this world, a people that display His name and character still remain.
God will not withdraw His gifts from Israel. God will not withdraw His call from Israel to be a light to the nations and an instrument of His redemptive purposes. He did not choose Israel because she was better than other nations, and He will not forsake her because of her unbelief and disobedience. Israel has been and will be an object of God’s care and attention forever. God created the Jews for Himself. Israel is about God’s faithfulness and glory.
When Yeshua returns and sets up His throne in Jerusalem, the nations of the world will come and learn His ways for building societies on His values and principles. Israel will be the first nation to serve God in complete obedience to His Word and to walk in holiness in every aspect of life. Israel, as a priestly nation, will be teaching the nations about God’s eternal principles for life.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. – Isaiah 2:2-3 (NKJV)
But you shall be named the priests of the Lord, they shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast. – Isaiah 61:6 (NKJV)