God's Special Treasure!
by James Smith, 1860
"For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure!" Deuteronomy 7:6
By nature all people are alike. Descended from one parent, partaking of one and the same nature, and involved in the same guilt and condemnation: "there is no difference — for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Nature in Abraham was no better than in Pharaoh; nor were the Israelites to be preferred to the Egyptians. But when man has no right — God sees fit to exercise grace. And for the glory of his great name, to manifest his divine nature, and to accomplish his deep and holy purposes — he did put a difference between Israel and the Egyptians. Hence Moses told them, "The Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure!" Deuteronomy 7:6.
Therefore the people were to dwell alone, and not to be reckoned among the nations. But Israel after the flesh is but a type of the true or spiritual Israel; the people whom God has chosen in his Son, to enjoy salvation, and partake of everlasting glory. The words are, if possible, more applicable to them — than to those of whom they were originally spoken!
Observe, the design.God intended them to be his own, particularly — a special people unto himself. As he said by the prophet, "This people have I formed for myself, they shall snow forth my praise." He highly prizes them. Yes, it is impossible to say how highly he prizes them. Those are wondrous words, "For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel for his own special treasure."
Did the shepherd prize his flock? God calls his people, "his flock, his beautiful flock."
Does the miser prize his wealth? God says of his people, "You shall be a special treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine."
Does the prince prize his jewels? God says of his people, "They shall be mine, in that day when I make up my jewels!"
Does the bridegroom prize his beloved and dearly purchased bride? It is written, "As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you!"
Does the reigning monarch prize his crown? God has said, "You shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God."
What wondrous love, such expressions as these represent! How precious must the Lord's people be to him! Truly they are his special treasure!
God CHOSE them to be special unto himself. He chose out from among others. He chose in preference to others. He chose them to bring them near to himself, that they may know him! And by the most wondrous ways — he brings them to the knowledge of himself, as he is revealed in Jesus.
He chose them, that they might need him; and so need him as not to be able to do without him. Therefore they are brought to feel their need of his grace, wisdom, strength, and presence. Nor can they be supplied from any other source, or be happy — but only as they realize his presence and his love. This shows that he chose them that they might enjoy his presence, and be forever with him. His tabernacle was pitched in the midst of the typical people, and the symbol of his presence was always with him. His spiritual presence is ever with his spiritual people — and he will soon collect them all into his glorious presence — and have them near to himself forever!
He chose them out from others on purpose that they may be a special people unto himself — and in so doing, he acted FREELY. It was not on account of anything he saw in them, or on account of anything he expected from them; but in the exercise of his most free and holy sovereignty — he chose them to participate in the glory of his Son.
In choosing them, he acted also DELIBERATELY. It was no hasty choice. His thoughts had been eternally filled with them. His heart had been eternally set upon them. Therefore he chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world; before his works of old.
In choosing them he acted WISELY — as he really desired to have them. For each one of them is ready to confess that if God had not chosen them, they would never have chosen him! The nature regulates the choice; and as our nature is carnal and impure — we would never have chosen God, who is spiritual and holy.
His choice was just an early expression of His LOVE. The love that chose them — would do anything for them, and give anything to them! Therefore God spared not His own Son — but delivered Him up for them all; and in so doing gave them the assurance that also He will freely give them all things in Christ.
O the wonders couched in electing love!
This act of choosing such creatures as we are to be a special people unto himself — displays such grace, such condescension, such infinite wisdom and love! It seems to say, "The Lord has need of you." And, indeed, if he is to display all the glorious perfections of his nature, if he is to communicate of his infinite fullness to creatures, if he is to appear as God, in the most wondrous and astonishing manner — he does need us!
As the mother needs the child to empty the full breast;
as the Father needs the Son to share and enjoy his possessions with him;
as the bridegroom needs the bride to satisfy the deep love that is hid in his heart towards her;
so God, our covenant God, may be said to need us.
God's election says, "The Lord loves you!" Loves us! Yes, and with a love that is eternal, immutable, sovereign, infinite, and free! All the love of God is lavished upon us as His special people in Christ. Oh, those wondrous words of Jesus, "You have loved them — AS You have loved Me!"
Beloved, if God has chosen us to be a special people unto himself — then let it be the ruling object of our lives, to be specially for God! And as God desires to have us near to himself — let it be a daily effort to get near, and keep near to him.
But few among the worldly wise,
But few of nobler race,
Obtain the favor of your eyes,
Almighty King of grace!
He takes the men of lowest name
— For sons and heirs of God!
And thus he pours abundant shame,
On honorable blood.
He calls the fool, and makes him know
The mysteries of his grace,
To bring aspiring wisdom low,
And all its pride abase!
Nature has all its glories lost,
When brought before his throne;
No flesh shall in his presence boast,
But in the Lord alone!