God still chooses. (Although to us it is often a puzzle why.)
This is the second part of ‘From Moses to Donald Trump.’
In last week’s post we ‘skipped’ through the Old Testament looking at the way God chose leaders… and not always what we would call ‘good’ ones, at least not by our standards.
In the New Testament, God showed He was still in charge of the affairs of men.
God chooses Elizabeth
Who is she, you might ask. Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist. Like others before her, Elizabeth was barren. (In those days, being unable to bear a child was a shame to a woman.)
He had chosen a couple from the priestly line, Elizabeth and Zechariah to be the parents of the one who would announce the birth of the Messiah.
In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
Luke 1: 5 – 7
Before he had been born, God had chosen John the Baptist for this special purpose… to prepare the way for the coming Savior, Jesus Christ.
God chooses Mary
Mary was given the news that her elderly cousin Elizabeth was pregnant when the angel Gabriel came to her to announce that she had been chosen to bear the Savior.
(Mary’s reaction to that is recorded in the Bible. Luke 1: 34 – 38)
Mary visited the couple immediately after receiving this revelation that she, would miraculously conceive a son.
Historical records are mostly silent about Jesus’ young years, with a couple of exceptions – that He grew in grace and stature and wisdom Luke 2: 40 as well as the incident when He was twelve years old and remained at the Temple after Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, causing Mary and Joseph to worry. Luke 2: 46 – 48
The disciples are chosen, and trained.
I do nothing on My own initiative,
John 8: 38 (part)
So, Who was it chose the disciples? Did Jesus choose them on His Father’s guidance?
The Bible does not answer directly, but gives examples of times Jesus said He ‘always did the Father’s will.’
As He walked the country announcing the ‘good news of the Kingdom of God,’ He was also training the disciples.
Even so, they still expected the Messiah to be the conqueror who would drive out the Romans and restore Israel. It took the resurrection of Jesus and His opening the scriptures (Old Testament) for them to understand.
Jesus chooses Saul of Tarsus
A more unlikely person would be hard to find. Saul, who was renamed Paul, was a Pharisee. He persecuted the followers of the Way, as Christians of that time called themselves. But he was the one chosen to take the good news to the Gentiles. Jews did not like Gentiles, and the hierarchy of Jews in Jerusalem hated Paul and tried to kill him.
The people God chooses can be puzzling to us.
In the last century there have been some ‘good’ leaders and some terrible leaders. In our day, we in Western countries believe that we choose the leaders. Do we?
In Britain currently the country is divided in opinion about the leadership.
In Australia – another Prime minister has been replaced while in office.
In the US – I have never seen a US President so disliked, as the current president, Donald Trump.
Yet, if we believe that God chooses…
By him times and years are changed: by him kings are taken away and kings are lifted up: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those whose minds are awake:
Daniel 2: 21 (Bible in Basic English)
Then we have to believe that God is still on His throne and as it says in Daniel 4: 17 that ‘the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and give kingship to whoever He wants.’
It’s not only in the Old Testament…
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Romans 13: 1 NIV
Just a small observation… it does not say they have to be worthy of the position.
Continuing to consider the time and seasons