When Isaiah was reviewing Israel’s history he began with the call of Abraham. Isaiah 51:2 says, “God chose Abraham and Sarah to be your ancestors. The LORD blessed Abraham, and from that one man came many descendants.” 22 mineThere has been much debate over the basis of God’s selection of Abraham. Did God look down and see someone who was better than all the others around? Did God choose Abraham and Sarah because they were special? In my opinion it was quite the opposite. Abraham and Sarah lived in the plains of Shinar in the city of Ur. They were in the heart of pagan idolatry. The idols from Ur went with them from Ur to Haran and show up again when Jacob attempts to leave Haran running from his father-in-law. No, Abraham and Sarah were sinners just like everyone else. God did not choose them because they were special, but they became special because God chose them.

You see when God closed the gates to the Garden of Eden he also closed the gates to intimacy with himself. Mankind has looked longingly with burning hearts at the closed gates to paradise from that moment on. The void in every human life is the loss of intimacy with God that was the consequence of sin. There was no more walking with God in the cool of the evening in Paradise. But God chooses people. He chose Noah. It made Noah special, however, because God spoke to him. The same is true for Abraham. God’s choice is made when God opens up an intimate conversation with people. Noah, Abraham, and God’s chosen nation, Israel, are all special because God spoke to them.

Nobody is special today either. But we become special because God has chosen to speak to us. He has opened up an avenue of true communion with Him to us. Through Christ we’ve been chosen. Paul says in Ephesians 1:3-4 that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in that He has chosen us in Christ. In 1 Peter 2:9, we are actually called “a chosen people.” No, we are not special in and of ourselves, but we certainly become as special as Noah and Abraham and Israel itself because God chose to speak to us, as the author of Hebrews tells us, “through His Son.” Maxie Dunnam says, “How we perceive ourselves, who we think ourselves to be, determines the direction of our lives and shapes our relationships. To accept at the depth of our being that we are chosen by God is the antidote for our insecurity, our neurotic fears, our striving to be accepted, and our self-depreciation.”