We all use pet names or nicknames to address those we love. We call our spouses/children “honey” or “darling”, or if you’re in the south “sweetie” or “sugar”. I’m sure you get the point, however, there are often times we overlook the places in scripture which God uses those types of terms to refer to his people. When God commissions Moses to go back to Egypt, He refers to Israel as His “firstborn son” (Ex. 4:22) which was a place of honor and blessing. Before entering the promised land, Moses reminds the people the God had chosen Israel from among all the nations to be His “treasured possession.” But there is another place in which God uses one of these terms of endearment that we should take note of, especially since Paul reminds us that the Gentile believers (non-Jews/Israelites) are ingrafted branches into the tree that is Israel, God’s firstborn, His treasured possession.
Recorded in the Song of Moses (Deut. 32:1-43), God refers to Israel as Yeshurun, which is another term of endearment. Yeshurun means “upright one” and refers to the same people God calls his treasured possesion, but we should take note of how it’s used:
Yeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior. (Deuteronomy 32:15)
There is much more that follows in the subsequent verses. You should read them. Moses saw this day coming and actually predicted what would happen when the people had all they “needed.” They forsook the LORD and forgot all about Him. Judges 2:10 reminds us that after Joshua died, the next generation “knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for them.” How? How could God’s firstborn, His treasured possession, the upright one turn away from his Father. Maybe its a slow drift. Maybe it looks something like the prodigal son. Or maybe we just become so “self sufficient” that we don’t think we need the LORD.
I think its ironic how the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, left His throne to become a servant. Calls fishermen to follow him and not princes. Eats with sinners and tax collectors and not the religious elite. Then He reminds all who listen to him that it is the “poor in spirit” that will be blessed, and following Him will most assuredly draw persecution of some kind and requires his followers to deny themselves. And let’s not forget how He teaches His disciples to pray, “give us this day our DAILY bread.” It is my prayer that we at SCC do not become like the Yeshurun described in Deuteronomy. Instead, especially with revival approaching, I pray that we are making straight the path of the LORD. The maintenance of our relationship with Christ takes a daily effort. Consuming our “daily bread.” This week, take inventory of your own heart. What needs to change? What needs to continue? Remember, you are God’s treasured possession!
You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Sonship. and by him we cry “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:15-16)
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