But you are a chosen race a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
Have you ever felt the excitement of being chosen for something? Maybe a schoolmate chose you as a best friend. Maybe during P.E. class you were chosen first by the team captain. Maybe the teacher chose you to answer the question out of all the kids who held up their hand. Maybe you have been chosen by your boss to receive a promotion, a pay increase or to assist on an important project.
Have you ever thought about how an orphan feels when, out of all the kids in the orphanage, the prospective parents chooses him or her? Well, that is exactly what happened when God chose us. The Greek word used for chosen means to select, elect, or favorite. The Greek word used for race (generation in the KJ) means “kin.” In other words God selected us to be kin to him; he adopted us (Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5).
God also made us a royal priesthood; members of the kingly sacred order. He made us a holy nation; a sacred tribe and a peculiar (KJ) people (his own possession). The Greek word used for peculiar means acquisition, purchased, or possession. God paid a price for us to be kin to him (1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23). We have been bought, redeemed by the blood of Jesus to be a people for his own possession (Revelation 5:9).
Why did he purchase us? Was it because we deserved it? Was it because he loves us? Certainly he loves us, but the purpose for our purchase goes much deeper. Peter says the reason God chose us is that we may proclaim the excellencies (praises KJ) of him who called us. The Greek word used for proclaim means to publish and celebrate. To publish means to bring to the attention of the public. Certainly this goes way beyond what happens on Sunday morning during church.
We are to publish the praises (Gr. valor, virtue, excellent) or excellencies of him who called us. The word excellencies derives from the word excellence which means the state, quality or condition of excelling; superiority, pre-eminence, something in which a person or thing excels, a surpassing feature or virtue. Our means of publication is not only what we say, sing or write but also how we live.
So, God bought us and made us his own that we might show and tell the world that he is more excellent than any being; that he surpasses all in might and morality.
Do you proclaim God’s excellencies by what you say and how you live?
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Peter 2:4-5