Genesis 17:3-5: "Abram fell on his face and God talked with him, saying, 'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you WILL be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I WILL make you the father of a multitude of nations.'"
As I read this Scripture above and the others below, I kept asking the question, "What does the nation of Israel have to do with me?". God says many things in the Old Testament about what HE WILL do for His chosen people, but how is this important in my life today? The more I read, the more I understood. God's chosen people are a mirror for us to peer into to see ourselves. God created this nation to set apart as His own, to pursue and to love, to groom and to grow, to forgive and to redeem. Their lives and their stories are meant to speak to us about God's heart and our hearts today. Their wanderings mirror our wanderings. God's passionate pursuit over Israel resembles His same ardent pursuit over each of us presently. And let's not forget, the Messiah was born through this nation... and not only was this Savior meant for this chosen people, He is meant for each one of us. Because of the birth, death, and resurrection of the One who was prophesied and longed for from one Israelite generation to the next, WE TOO have a Savior. We have been gracefully grafted into God's family. We too are a "people of His own possession" (1 Peter 2:9).
Take a few minutes and think about the Israel's story and how it relates to your story, your heritage. I can say without hesitation that my family of origin has had many wilderness wanderings. We, as a family unit, have experienced the full cycle of rebelling, then crying out, then repentance, then forgiveness, then rest. Our family can declare, our God is a redeeming God! My individual story is much the same. In different stages of my life, the Lord had to chase me down, and bring me back to Himself. As a teenager, I chased the idol of becoming an Olympic swimmer; every night, I dreamt of (worshipped) this "gold medal" experience, and every day for a dozen years, I trained for it. By God's grace, He did not allow me hold this lesser god. As a young wife, I put my husband on a pedestal, expecting him to meet the needs that only Christ could meet. In these years, I learned that Christ indeed is my All in All. As I raised our four kids, the Lord had to reel me back in at times, making sure I was putting Christ as the cornerstone of these impressionable hearts rather than trying to create "A+ kids". (In this case the "A's " stand for: Academics, Athletics, Arts, Appearance. When in the right perspective, these various gifts are glorifying to the Lord; but when the gifts become idols, they turn to man-made glitter). In these years, God gently reminded me that it's not my responsibility to create the perfect son (or daughter) but to daily point them to the Perfect Son. On and on, God has chased me down in my fleshly wanderings. I'm thankful for His divine capture every time. He disciplines in love. He teaches with grace. I am His daughter, in His family.
Soul Sisters, you are His. You belong to Him. He loves you with the same fervor that He loves the nation that He made promises to throughout history. Your generational and individual wanderings are not beyond His reach. He promises forgiveness, redemption, and rest. And HE WILL do it because He said so.
FURTHER: Genesis 26:24; Genesis 35:9-12; Psalm 132:10-18; Hosea 11:1-4; Matthew 1:1-17
You created the nation of Israel to show us Your character. You are holy, You are love, Your are patient. You are forgiving, You are steadfast, You are good. Thank You for revealing Yourself to us as we read about Your passionate pursuit of the Isrealites. From this nation, Jesus our Messiah came! He is the answer to our wandering heart. Catch me in Your loving arms; groom and grow me one more time. Today, I want to be who You say that I am: Your cherished possession. In Your Name, Amen.