Chosen by God
Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. Then those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. They stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth part of the day, and for another fourth they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God. Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the Lord their God. Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.”
And Ezra said: “You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you. You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham; and you found his heart faithful before you, and made with him a covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and you have fulfilled your promise, for you are righteous.
Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles1
Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Jesus Teaches and Heals2
He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. “
There is a certain honor associated with being chosen. Some of us live for those moments. Others live in dread of them. Most of us are a mix of both, depending upon the situation. There are at least two different factors in determining our response to being chosen.
1. Who chooses us.
Being chosen creates and shapes a relationship between the Chooser and the Chosen. Standards and expectations are created – sometimes overnight. The 12 disciples may have had good impressions of Jesus, but I guarantee things changed the moment He called them out. Brides and grooms may have gotten to the point in life where they just want to be married and not alone anymore, but it makes an enormous difference who you marry, and, once you are officially wed, things usually change. Knowing (or not knowing) just who chose us matters.
2. What we are chosen for.
The “what” makes a big difference as well. We have very different responses to winning the lottery for $1 million and having your name drawn f. the military draft. It makes a difference in commitment as well. We can always refuse, but some callings involve a longer decision time than others. It is easier to be chosen to teach a bible study than to become a foreign missionary, for example. Yet sometimes, the greater the commitment the harder it is to refuse.
When we truly think about the truth that God, the creator of everything, chose us to be His servants, messengers, and adopted children, it is hard to refuse. The only way we can escape the call is to ignore it or at least claim ignorance. Any attempt to take God seriously is going to change our lives?
Who has chosen you?
What has God chosen you for?