God’s Treasured PossessionAugust 5, 2021 - 12:00 am
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.”— Deuteronomy 14:2
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Re’eh, which means “see,” from Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17.
We are so fortunate to live in the days of the ingathering of the Jewish people to our homeland, just as foretold in the Bible over 3,000 years ago. We are even more privileged to partner with God in this holy and prophetic work through The Fellowship!
I often think about the centuries of Jews who endured the long and difficult exile, waiting and believing in God’s ultimate redemption of His people. As the “chosen” people of God, they must have wondered “chosen for what?” as they suffered from persecution and powerlessness, crying out and praying for God’s promises to be revealed.
How do we understand what it means to be a chosen people? What exactly are we chosen for?
God’s Treasured Possession
In this week’s Torah portion, we learn from Deuteronomy 14:2, that we were chosen to be God’s treasured possession. But what exactly does that mean? The Hebrew word for “treasured possession” is segula, and elsewhere in the Bible, segula refers to the treasures of kings. (See Ecclesiastes 2:8.)
But segula is not only a valuable item in the king’s treasure. In ancient Hebrew, segula also means a “trust,” such as money that is put away for a future purpose. This is what the prophet Malachi meant when he used the word segula in his prophecy of the end times: “On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession [segula]” (Malachi 3:17).
Perhaps this is what we mean when we say that Israel is the “chosen people.” God, our king, has protected us and guarded us, only to bring us out in the open when the time is right to fulfil our purpose.
Today, Israel has emerged from the darkness of exile to shine as a world leader. We survived for 2,000 years because we are God’s treasured possession, chosen to shine His light to the world. And now, Christians have been grafted onto the rich olive tree of Israel and called to be light: “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Your turn: What hidden treasure has God chosen you for? How can you spread God’s light to those around you?