By Mark Mayberry
The expression, “my people,” occurs 230 times in 217 verses in the NASB. It reflects a closeness, a familiarity, a family relationship. Such blessings are found in both the physical and spiritual realms.
As the people of God, we share a special relationship with Him. The descendants of Abraham were divinely chosen to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Gen. 12:1-3; 18:19; Exod. 19:5-6). Avoiding all forms of idolatry, the Israelites were commanded to keep God’s statutes and reverence His sanctuary. By so doing, they would enjoy God’s continued favor: “Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. ‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Lev. 26:1-13, esp. vv. 11-12). Today, the Lord grants a similar offer to Jew and Gentile alike. This special relationship is ours, not by birthright or merit, but by divine adoption and grace (Rom. 8:14-17; 9:19-33; cf. Hos. 1:1-11).
As the people of God, we enjoy special rights. Such was true for ancient Israel, not only practically, but also prophetically (Jer. 31:31-34; 32:36-44). Such is also true for disciples of Christ. The right to become children of God is granted to all those who receive Him (John 1:9-13). The right to eat of the tree of life and enter the gates of heaven is granted to those who wash their robes (Rev. 22:14-15).
As the people of God, we share a special responsibility. Such was true for Israel of old (Jer. 11:1-17). It remains true for contemporary Christians (2 Cor. 6:14-18). Let us avoid the perils and pitfalls of disobedience, recognizing that failure carries devastating consequences (Jer. 4:22; Hos. 4:6; 11:7).
Do you desire to be a part of God’s family, to benefit from His blessings, to know His grace and forgiveness? You need to be washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:13-17; Titus 3:5-7). You need to walk in the light of His word (Ps. 89:14-15; 1 John 1:5-10).