by Tony Nester

Unnatural Selection
Tony R. Nester
Exodus 19:1-6

Evolution has been in the news a lot lately because of the way some people use the theory to explain the way people behave. One part of the theory is the concept of natural selection -- that nature selects favorable changes that lead to the survival of the fittest.

Did you know, for example, that some scientists think that the feelings of love that develop in us are the result of the chemicals that have evolved in the human brain? One theory proposes that couples that achieve life-long marriages have an abundance of oxytocin, a chemical that produces a calming affect in the brain.

In contrast to natural selection the Bible emphasizes God's preference for "unnatural selection." When God selected the Israelites to be His "chosen people" it wasn't because they were evolving as a superior race.

Deuteronomy 7:7 specifically reports that the Israelites were not a very good bet for survival:

"It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you--for you were the fewest of all peoples." (Deuteronomy 7:7 NRSV)

They were the fewest and the weakest -- nothing more than slaves in Egypt. God made an unnatural selection in choosing them.

Not only were they few and weak, they did not have much spiritual promise.

Four times in the Book of Exodus alone the Israelites are called "stiff-necked" people. "Stiff-necked" means that they were unyielding, un-teachable and unlikely to honor God's purposes for them.

Thus it was that God made an "unnatural selection" in choosing them to be His people. Anyone but God would have selected some more promising group to be the chosen people.

This is important to remember because our human sinfulness makes us want to claim a superior status over others. People like to tell themselves that they are the superior group, the better nation, the spiritually best church. It's a sinful t ...

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