For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
What was God’s ultimate plan for Israel? They would be a nation through which God would be revealed to other nations. They were to be His witnesses. They were to glorify Him and make Him known to a world who noticed something different about them as they lived holy lives in dedication to the one true God. But in a lot of ways, they failed at that. They fell into the snare of sin and worshiped idols. They messed up. Just like Adam and Eve messed up. Just like others in the Bible who God intended to use messed up.
Today the church is to fulfill a purpose similar to that of ancient Israel—to make God known, to be witnesses for Him to a lost world around us so that others can be saved. But we’re still messing up. We’re still failing Him. It even seems sometimes, when sin has crept into the church and some have turned completely from the truth of God’s Word, that we are opposing His purposes. But He keeps using us. He knows our limitations and failures, and yet He keeps employing people in His work and plans.
It’s not about our failures. God knew what He was working with. He knows our weaknesses. And He keeps on working out His plans. Things move forward. His name is still being proclaimed in the world. People still believe in Him and seek to follow Him with all their hearts. He is still speaking to our world, doing what He pleases, bringing it all closer and closer to its ultimate end. And we can have a part in that. We can be faithful to His cause. We can be used, redeemed when we fail, and used again.
God doesn’t stop working even if we have. It may seem like everything was such a disaster for Israel and that our failures are catastrophic and everything is so messed up in this world beyond any help. But God works in the midst of mess. He uses those things anyway. This nation that was supposed to conquer the land and rest in their blessings fell short of that. They didn’t reach their full potential. In many ways, it seems like this world fell short of what it ultimately should have been. But God’s not done with Israel. He’s not done with this world. He’s not done with us. In the end, God will make everything right that went so wrong. A new heaven and a new earth will replace these here now so we can live how God intended us to live forever.