“You are my favorite!” Said God….to everyone.
On the eve of the invasion, not d-day, Jericho day, Joshua had a visitor.
“13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[e] have for his servant?”’
The Fighting was about to start and every man woman and child in side the walls of Jericho would be dead within a week (with the exception of Rahab and her family).
15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Still God had not taken sides. All people are Gods creation. All of us are his kids. Even in this situation on the eve of destruction God had not taken sides.
Another example of this is found in the book of Jonah.
Jonah had tried to escape going to Nineveh. Ninevites were an enemy of the nation of Israel. The were horribly cruel. I can’t substantiate this here but I have heard that Ninevites would skin their prisoners alive and disembowel pregnant women. They were wicked and evil yet God sent Jonah to warn them of his coming Judgement.
He walked through the city and proclaimed Gods coming judgement and the city repented so God did not judge them. This made Jonah angry.
“4 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”’
The last example is from the Gospel of John. A familiar verse. I will add a few on the end to give it more context.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
God does play favorites but we are all his favorites. We can choose to accept this or reject but the offer is extended to every person who draws a breath.
What will you decide today?
(Originally posted 1/31/2017)