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MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/election/elmss6.sam.htm
MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell
Part II: Examining Scripture On The Will-Related Doctrines
Chapter I: Examining God's Election Throughout Scripture
A. The Old Testament
2. Old Testament Passages On Divine Election With A Conclusion On Election in the Old Testament
- Since we corrected the major views on God's election relative to faith and justification through an inductive Bible study, we view how election is taught in the rest of Scripture to understand it better.
- We CONTINUE by viewing Old Testament PASSAGES that are key to the election debate.
- Genesis 18:19
- The NIV here reads: "For I [God] have chosen him [Abraham], so that he will direct his children . . ."
- The verb, yada' is rendered "chosen" here (though H. C. Leupold says one goes to far to translate this verb this way here, cf. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. 1, p. 545); Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 23.
- Though we differ with this translation based on our past study of the word, yada', this verse still would not teach Abraham received an immediate gift from God to believe because of such an election!
- Rather, such a "choice" here might speak of temporal blessings in accord with the context:
- God was en route at the time to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for its sin, cf. Genesis 18:33-19:28.
- In contrast to the fate of these cities, God said He would bless Abraham and his seed as he would rear them to obey His commands after his own example, Genesis 18:16-17.
- Also, yada' in this context better fits the meaning, "acknowledge as a friend," Ibid., Leupold; Abraham had just expressed friendship with God through hosting a meal for the Lord in keeping with Oriental customs, Gen. 18:1-8 (cf. R. Devaux, Ancient Israel, vol. 1, Social Institutions, p. 10).
- Anyway, just how God's will could be involved to affect Abraham's will in Genesis 18:19 is not given.
- 1 Samuel 16:1, 7-12; 2 Samuel 6:21: As these verses show God chose David for his office as king and not for justification, they offer no pertinent insight on our study on election as it might relate to salvation.
- 1 Kings 19:18
- This verse has God stating He reserved 7,000 Hebrews who had not bowed the knee to Baal, so one promoting a major election view might suggest God chose exactly these 7,000 people to be justified.
- However, the verse does not prove God chose these people to believe to be justified for these reasons:
- The number 7,000 could be an approximation typical of Ancient Near Eastern expressions, cf. Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, s. v. "Number," by W. White, Jr. (vol. 4, p. 459). Thus, there would be no proof God caused exactly 7,000 people to believe in Him for justification.
- Besides, these 7,000 could have already been believers in God, and God was thus revealing His plans for their physical preservation as a reward for obedience in accord with the Mosaic Covenant, Deut. 28:1-14. Thus, the preservation could have been a reward for believers alone.
- This verse can not be used to prove a major election stance where God elects people to justification.
- Jeremiah 1:5
- In the passage, God informs Jeremiah He "knew" Jeremiah prior to his birth.
- As the verb for "knew" is yada', a major election stance promoter might suggest the passage shows God elected Jeremiah to be justified prior to his birth. (cf. Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 703.
- Even were yada' to mean "chose" in contrast not only to our findings on the word study, but opposite the KJV, NASB, NIV and ESV, the verse would not prove Jeremiah was chosen to justification; rather, the verse could mean God merely had prescience of Jeremiah's faith, and thus chose him for his work.
- Thus, this verse can not be used to prove a major election stance.
- We summarize and conclude our examination of divine election in the Old Testament
- No Old Testament passage or word counters our definition of divine election, namely, that divine election is God's selection in eternity of those He viewed as belonging to Him through faith unto post-justification blessings alone in their relationship with God.
- Along with James I. Packer, we agree the Old Testament does not teach God's election results in justification, cf. The New Bible Dictionary, s. v. "Election," p. 357-361.
- In accord with our inductive study of 1 Peter 1:1-2, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 and Ephesians 1:4-5 that God's election does not result in justification, and that in contrast to the major election views, we conclude the Old Testament does not teach God's election results in justification, but in post-justification blessings.