China claims they will in the future be the most exceptional nation based on the prediction that they will have the largest economy in the world. They are presently the nation with the largest population.
However, using the Bible as the benchmark, let’s see if the most exceptional nation can be determined, and the criteria for that determination.
Let’s begin with one of the smallest nations in the world based on area and population.
In 2090 BC God called a man named Abram to leave his country east of the Euphrates River and journey to a new land to begin an entirely new nation.
“Get out of your country… to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation…and in you all the families on earth shall be blessed.’” Genesis 12:1-3
Time passed and 645 years later, after Israel’s Egyptian bondage and a 40 year journey through the wilderness, God led them across the River Jordan to what was then known as Canaan.
However, during the 40 years of testing on their journey, God spoke to them again.
“For 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.” Deuteronomy 7:6
Israel did not earn their status; they were the recipients of God’s grace and the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.
“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…” Deuteronomy 7:7-8
God revealed His standard of righteousness to Israel and made them an example for all the other nations. Israel’s requirement was to obey all of God’s commandments and laws. It was all about obedience.
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandment which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.” Deuteronomy 28:1
And following that proclamation the Bible reveals in detail the blessings that Israel would receive as a nation if they obeyed all of His commandments.
However, the Bible also details the numerous curses that He would bring on His chosen nation if they didn’t obey His commandments.
“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments… that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you…” Deuteronomy 28:15
The curses listed were extensive, even though Israel was God’s chosen nation. However, consider just one curse that may be very appropriate to the nations today.
“The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him…” Deuteronomy 28:43-44
And even though God chose Israel, they had the choice to remain in good standing by obeying His commandments.
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God… and to keep His commandments…But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear and are drawn away…I announce to you today that you shall surely perish…” Deuteronomy 30:15-18a
And then just prior to Israel crossing over the Jordan River, God spoke to Moses and told him in advance that Israel would bring disaster on themselves for disobedience.
“Then it shall be, when many evils and troubles have come upon them…for I know the inclination of their behavior today, even before I have brought them to the land of which I swore to give them.” Deuteronomy 31:21
What then, will be the future of Israel?
Hint: The covenant God made with Abraham was ratified unilaterally by God Himself. Read Genesis 15:12-18
To be continued.