"Most Treasured Possession" by MRabbi Hillel Ben Yochanan." © 2014 Second Edition by Nehr HaOlam Publications. "In this study, we review the meaning of G-d’s most treasured possession, explain the reasons why Israel is identified as such and continues to be identified as such, reveal two instances when Hashem continues to identify Israel as His most treasured possession, and express the biblical hope that most Messianic Jews look forward to."
Hashem’s most treasured possession; it is the affectionate condition where The Heavenly Father carefully guards that which He Himself considers to have a special ownership of a select group of people in which He is in control of. In six biblical references, you’ll notice just exactly who Hashem considers to be His most treasured possession, chiefly being the children of Israel. In fact, the Bible reasons that “[…] Hashem has chosen Jacob to be His own (custodian), Israel to be His treasured possession” (Psalm 135:4, NIV). Quite often than not, outsiders perceive a select chosen few as “a small group of people who enjoy special privileges or treatment, typically in a way thought to be unfair”(Oxford English Dictionary 2013); yet, regardless of how outsiders may feel, think or reason, we simply cannot ignore the fact that Hashem in His infinite wisdom has carefully weighed out His options and chose Israel as His most treasured possession. If anything, the Bible found it necessary to reiterate this idea that many are quick to dismiss: “You (i.e., Israel) are the children of Hashem your Elohim. […] Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, Hashem has chosen you to be His treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 14:1-2, NIV). As a result, the Heavenly Father considers Israel to be His holy people (reference Deuteronomy 14:2).
Out of the number of people that were readily available to Him, why did the Heavenly Father choose the people of Israel? The Bible reasons that the He chose Israel because of the love that Hashem continue to have towards the Patriarchs (i.e., Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and because of His continuing desire to keep the oath that He has sworn to them (i.e., the Patriarchs): “[…] Hashem set His affection on your ancestors and loved them, and He chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today” (Deuteronomy 10:15, NIV).
Thus, out of the love that the Heavenly Father has towards the Patriarchs, the Bible reveals that Hashem presented His covenant of love towards the people of Israel, and they accepted.
7 Hashem did not set His affection on you and chose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because Hashem loved you and kept the oath He swore to your ancestors that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh King of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that Hashem your Elohim is Elohim; He is the faithful Elohim, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 7:7-9, NIV).
So, when Hashem presented His covenant of love as contained within Torah, the people of Israel responded to this gesture; they declared that Hashem is their Elohim.
17You have declared this day that Hashem is your Elohim and that you will walk in obedience to Him, that you will keep His decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to Him. 18 And Hashem has declared this day that you are His people, His treasured possession as He promised, and that you are to keep all His commands. 19 He has declared that He will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations He has made and that you will be a people holy to Hashem your Elohim, as He promised (Deuteronomy 26:17-9, NIV).
As a result of the Heavenly Father’s election of the Israeli people along with Israel’s accepting this covenant of love contained in Torah, Israel became G-d’s Most Treasured Possession and Hashem chose to be their sovereign deity.
Previously, this study has stated that outsiders may tend perceive a select chosen few as “a small group of people who enjoy special privileges or treatment, typically in a way thought to be unfair” (OED 2013). Some contend that Israel shouldn't be enjoying those special privileges. The fact of the matter is that “[…] as far as election is concerned, they (i.e., Israel) are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for Hashem’s gifts and His call are irrevocable” (Romans 11:28-9, NIV). Notice that the term irrevocable is a descriptive adjective that identifies the kind of calling that Hashem has made towards Israel, “not able to be changed or reversed” (OED 2013). In other words, there’s nothing that anyone can say or do to discredit the fact that Hashem “[…] is the faithful Elohim, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments”(Deuteronomy 7:9, NIV).
Though many may reject the idea that Israel continues to be Hashem’s most treasured possession, the Bible reveal two instances where Hashem continues to declare Israel as such.
4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep My covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites (Exodus 19:4-6, NIV).
When a descendant of the household of Israel remains fully obedient to the terms of the love covenant that Hashem presented thousands of years ago within the context of Torah, then Hashem declares that person to be His most treasured possession. This declaration does not cease; rather, it is an ongoing declaration to such an extent that they are considered to be members of the universal dominion where the Heaven Father exercises His Sovereignty! When a Jew remains faithful to the binding terms that Hashem has presented, he is declared to be a member of G-d’s Kingdom here on earth as well as identified as being set-apart in comparison to the rest of the nations that are currently present here on the earth.
The second instance when Hashem declares Israel to be His most treasured possession takes place as follows which foretells a future event.
17 “On the day when I act,” says Hashem Almighty, “they (i.e., Israel) will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve Elohim and those who do not (Malachi 3:17-8, NIV).
In this second instance, we see how the Heavenly Father will once again deal favorably towards the people of Israel. It appears that He will act on behalf of their favor in the same manner that He dealt with Israel when they were enslaved in the land of the Egypt. Yes, the Heavenly Father does not desire for all to perish; however, He will act on behalf of Israel, rescue us, and redeem us from the nations of the earth to gather us once again to the land of our inheritance. It is then that Hashem will once again declare Israel to be His most treasured possession.
After reviewing several key passages that reveals the identity of Hashem’s most treasured possession, this study will now end with this thought that Messianic Jews hold true to.
Peter once said, 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Messiah Yeshua” (2 Peter 1:10-11, NIV).
We know that Peter’s letter was addressed to Jewish believers in Messiah (reference 2 Peter 1:1). He reminds the people of Israel“For you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Hashem’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). How can these Jewish believers in Messiah confirm that their calling and their election was sure? What could possibly help them from stumbling and take upon themselves the identity of being G-d’s Kingdom? By declaring that Hashem is their Elohim and remaining faithfully obedient to the covenant of love that Hashem stipulated in Torah.
In this study, we have reviewed the meaning of G-d’s most treasured possession. This study also explains the reasons why Israel is identified as such and continues to be identified as such. This study also reveals two instances when Hashem continues to identify Israel as His most treasured possession.
To conclude, we look forward to that eventful day as once foretold in the Book of Revelations:
24 The nations will walk in its light (i.e., Torah), and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city (of Jerusalem). 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelations 21: 24-7).
© 2014 by Nehr HaOlam Publications.
Winslow, New Jersey, USA
All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures were taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
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