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Jews as God's Chosen People

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Introduction

Essay - Judaism: God's Chosen People Q1a) Explain what is meant by the term 'the chosen people'. (33 marks) Q1b) 'The Jews would never have survived without God's special love.' Discuss. (17 marks) A1a) The chosen people are the Jews. God chose them to be the nation to carry the Jewish faith on in history. They were "chosen among all nations." A covenant is a legal document that sets out the terms of a relationship between two individuals. A dominant party establishes the terms of the covenant relationship, and a submissive party commits itself to being obedient to those terms. The Old Testament covenants are made between man and God and sets out the basis for their future relationship, drawing on the experiences of the past. The covenants are God's initiative; man accepts the terms and attempts to be obedient to them, although he frequently fails. There are six main features involved in a covenantal relationship. There are the promises; these are made by the author of the covenant and are the result of his gracious favour, e.g. God's promise to Abraham to give him a son. Secondly the commitment; commitment to obedience, faithfulness and exclusive worship of God is required of the recipients of the promises. ...read more.

Middle

The Sinai Covenant is an expansion of the Abrahamic Covenant. The Sinai Covenant makes the original (Abrahamic) covenant universal. The Sinai Covenant is made with the whole nation rather than just with an individual. It brings with it a new dimension into the relationship between God and Man. It shows obedience to laws as demanded by God. God's protective act in Exodus becomes the basis of the commitment to him. This covenant is sealed in blood as shown in Exodus 24. The threat to the covenant is demonstrated by the worship of the golden calf. In the Davidic covenant God promises that he will establish for him a dynasty that will last forever. This promise also comes with the hope of a Messiah. A future free from conflict is not out of grasp for the Jews. Despite the destruction of Jerusalem and Israel's identity as a powerful nation, the Davidic covenant assures them that God's will be made known through David's descendents. After they were exiled God still used his covenanted people to make his name and nature known. Jeremiah's vision of a new covenant promises a covenant based on personal commitment that is written on the heart of man rather than on tablets of stone. ...read more.

Conclusion

God's special love can have negative consequences for example the Destruction of the Temple, when God used Nebuchadnezzar as a 'rod of his anger' to punish his chosen people who had ignored his law and strayed from his path. God however, never abandons his chosen people entirely, despite punishment the covenantal relationship remains. On the other hand, Jews are regarded with hostility and suspicion e.g. Holocaust and Anti-Semitism. The special love they show for God has caused them lots of problems. If God loves his people so much why did God not intervene in all attacks/persecution of the Jews? For example, God intervened when the Israelites were being persecuted by the Egyptians in Exodus however, he did not intervene in the gas chamber of concentration camps when six million Jews lost their lives. God did not show himself in the same way he did during Exodus. He was experienced as absence, therefore, his presence was not known and many of his chosen people died convinced there was no God. Due to the Jews relationship with God they were made to suffer by the Nazi's, so God's love cost them dear. In conclusion, I believe God's love has limitations. He picks and chooses when he helps his chosen people. However, Jews still love God in fact after the attacks, on the Jews which I have mentioned above, their love for God grows stronger. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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