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Scripture: "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." Deuteronomy 7:6 (NIV).   
Tomato Seed


    Several years ago, Israel had a display at the Ohio State Fair. I still have a packet of tomato seed that they were handing out as souvenirs. (I passed out plants yhast I stasrted from those seeds to members of our congregation who had recently visited Israel.) Part of the display showed how they overcame the difficulties of growing crops in that arid, water-scarce region, by various methods of irrigation. In modern times, they use 'drip' irrigation, by running a water supply hose with an outlet at each plant to slowly drip water directly at the root of the plant, thus not wasting scarce water by moistening soil that will only evaporate the precious resource without benefitting growth.
   Many of our Ohio and midwestern farming methods would not work there. I think most of our farmers would look at the mountains and hills, the parched sands,  rocks and salt sea, and move on to more fertile land elsewhere. So why did God pick out this place for the chosen people?
    The Promised Land was astride trade routes between Africa (Egypt) and the countries of Asia Minor and Europe. Even in Jesus day, Israel (Palestine) was an important land route for the Romans. Nations then, as now, fought to control  this vital trade link.
    The descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) were to be an example, a witness to the nations, of the power and might of God. They were to be People of the Covenant, an agreement wherein  God would keep His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. (Deut.7:9b)
        Unfortunately, many did not keep his commands. Eventually Christ (Messiah)  became the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance  (Hebrews 9:15). It is, however, still an agreement between God and His people who love Him. We are to be witnesses, no less than those of the first covenant Matt. 28:19,20.  Now, read Hebrews 10:26-31.
     5/25/97
  
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