God and Israel
(Why does God favour Israel
over other nations?)

QUESTION: If we all people of Jehovah, why did God talk to only people of Israel, not to people of other countries such as India? [The questioner is from India.]

ANSWER: Those are good questions. Let's see what the Bible can tell us. We need to consider a number of points.

God is the Creator of all things, including our earth and its inhabitants. "By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him" (Col. 1:16). He made it all, and He made it for Himself (cf. Rom. 11:36).

Being the Creator gives the Lord the rights of ownership over what He has made. (As an illustration, if you make a table, out of your own materials, on your own time, by your own efforts, it's yours. You have a right to do with it as you choose.)

Similarly, "The earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein" (Ps. 24:1; cf. Heb. 3:3-4).  That means God, as the Creator of all, is also the sovereign ruler over the nations, with the right to determine their territory, and their destiny.

"The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses" (Dan. 4:25; cf. vs. 35). "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you: When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples" (Deut. 32:7-8). "He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings" (Acts 17:26).

Now let's think specifically about Israel. In that case, a sovereign God determined to create an entirely new nation, one that had not existed before. He chose one man, Abraham, and promised to make of him a great nation (Israel), and to give them a land of their own, in perpetuity.

"The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia [also known as Chaldea, or Babylon]" (Acts 7:2). To him God said, "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation...To your descendants I will give this land" (Gen. 12:1-2, 7). "I [God] give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession" (Gen. 17:8).

As to why the Lord has done this, it is an extension of His rights of ownership over all. In sovereign grace He has chosen to give the nation of Israel an exalted position. He said to them:

"You are a holy [set apart] people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers" (Deut. 7:6-8).

Then, "You are My witnesses," says the LORD, "and My servant whom I have chosen" (Isa. 43:10; cf. vs. 12). God blessed Israel in a special way so that they would be a witness of His power and His grace to the nations of the world (cf. Ps. 67:1-2; 98:2-3). In keeping with this role, the Lord gave them His holy Word. "What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God" (Rom. 3:1-2).

Can we argue with God that this is unfair, and He had no right to do this? Hardly! He is God. "Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for dishonour?" (Rom. 9:21).

But does that mean the Lord has forgotten or neglected India or other nations? Not at all. It was through the nation of Israel that the Saviour has come to die for the sins of all. "Of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen" (Rom. 9:5).

Christ, in His death on the cross, paid the debt of sin owed not only by the Jews, but by all. "He Himself is the propitiation [the fully satisfaction of God's justice] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world" (I Jn. 2:2). "For God so loved the world [all the peoples of the earth] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3:16).

That is the message of the gospel, and it is to be shared with all people in every corner of the globe. The commission of the Lord Jesus is: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature [i.e. the whole human race]" (Mk. 16:15). "Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations" (Lk. 24:47). That has been done, and is being done in many ways today that the apostles did not have access to–radio, the Internet, and so on.

As to India, there is strong evidence (outside the Bible) to suggest that the Apostle Thomas took the gospel to India in AD 52. I understand that in southwest India, a group of "Thomas Christians" still worship in a church that is said to have been founded by him.

In modern times, I had a classmate in Bible college named Anand Chaudhari, a former Brahman priest, whom God wonderfully saved. After his training, he returned to India to minister. He got permission from Dr. Vernon McGee to translate and broadcast his popular Through the Bible radio messages. Many, many were saved through that ministry. God has definitely not forgotten India.

Finally, you describe us all as "people of Jehovah." In a sense we are, in that God made us. "For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring'" (Acts 17:28).

However, only those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and are born again by the Spirit of God are the children of God, and part of His forever family (Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 3:26). Only these are the spiritual offspring of God. That is exactly why the gospel needs to continue to go out–so that others will have the opportunity to hear, to believe, and be saved (Rom. 10:13-14).