The biblical notion of “election”—that God chooses a particular people—can be a tough pill to swallow in a modern, globalist society. Those who might not be very familiar with the Bible (and even those who are) sometimes object that the idea of election encourages the “exclusion” of others. However, while the God of Israel “chooses” (בחר; bahar) and “blesses” (ברך; barakh) a specific people (i.e., Israel), that God still blesses the non-elect in much the same way.

For instance, when the Lord chooses Abram (אברם; Avram) to be the “exalted father” (אב רם; av ram) of what would become the nation of Israel, God says, “I will make of you a great nation (גוי גדול; goy gadol)” (Gen 12:2). When Abram has two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, God chooses the latter child to carry on the lineage that would undergird the promise to the Israelite nation (see Gen 21:12). However, this does not mean that God dispenses with the unelected Ishmael.

Rather, the Lord blesses Ishmael in much the same way that God blesses Abram. After Sarah expels Ishmael and his mother Hagar to the wilderness, God rescues these two unelected people from certain death and makes promises to them that mirror the promises to the chosen seed. The angel of the Lord tells Hagar, “Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Rise! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation (גוי גדול; goy gadol)” (Gen 21:18). Thus, while Ishmael is not “elected” or “chosen” in the same way as Isaac, God’s election does not preclude similar blessings to the non-elect. Therefore, the Bible’s understanding of election does not carry with it the idea of “exclusion”; rather, while God can elect a special nation, the Lord still blesses and cares for those who are not a part of that chosen nation.

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101 COMMENTS

  1. There is election to life and election to death. God chooses full stop. Romans 11.
    An election of a president means the other is rejected.
    • Thats a bit of a stretch on the choice of example. A presidential election is not comparable to Gods election. The whole idea is for people regardless of race, color, creed, or nationsl origin, if you repent and come unto Jesus Christ you will be saved. That includes an Israelite or a Muslim, or any otber faith by the way. "There is no other name wherby man may be saved except the name of Jesus The Christ"

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    • Electing a president means choosing a majority, that's all, and even temporarily.
    • When people hear about this they think that asking themselves am I a chosen or if I'm not and doing good things while God did choose that I will go to hell some people say but God chose us we didn't choose him through Jesus.
  2. First God told Abraham about Ismael's Blessing . Then he told Hagar. The amazing part is that Ishmael was Blessed as First heritage born Son by starting First with 12 kids. Twelve is considered as a seed amount for a nation. The sum number on each side of the corner of a 7 X 7 Matrix grid, Kingdom or Nation. You see this pattern again in Grandson Jacob, the promised seed nation as second. Otherwise, Issac would have had twelve kids, also, to keep it balanced at the start.
  3. How about
    Jacob and Esaw, and the other son of Tamar who according to the attending midwife was the firstborn, and it seems that she was a credible witness; what happened to Zarah?
    • Adrian, Esau also became pretty well off. He prospered in wealth and numbers enough to make Jacob shiver in his boots. He also seems to have learned forgiveness, if you discount the whole breaking-his-teeth-on-Jacob's-marble-neck thing.
    • i just recently taught on this topic, it is believed that Zarah even though he did go do Egypt may have left Egypt and went to the Islands of the UK, much write up about it. The symbols of names in England are of the Lion, Judah!

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  4. Shalom, rabbi, but did it ever say to go into the land, n make homless or refugees, n put the original inhabitants out of the land,.. That was for caananites centuries ago.. But u said is a modern world! So modern weapons?! Now the Sanhedrin said let his blood be on us, (curse), so on whom will todays bloodshedding be?! If we obey torah or bible.. It said touch not God's annointed, both sides are annointed? Right? Plz help me, Shalom i did not post, ever, how can u say duplicate comment, this is how we behave? Chosen nation?
    • You need to read the Book of Genesis starting in chapter 12 and read all of the book and you will see clearly what Adonai is saying concerning His people Yisrael and how He told them to conquer Canaan and He Adonai promised the land to His people the Hebrews .
    • What you are not mentioning is that the Canaanites practiced human sacrifice, including their own infant children. They were thus deemed evil and worthy of death.

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    • In all of this Genesis 15 is confusing me as to who it is relative to. The last time I checked Abram or Avram only had one son, period for the promise made to and for him.

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  5. Thank you that was very interesting & informative!! To learn how to pronounce the words & the beautiful way their letters are written!! Thank you, again!!!
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