It’s great to be chosen! I remember as a boy, waiting in a state of mild panic as names were read off one by one for the chance to play on one of the two teams. I didn’t care which team, I just wanted to be chosen. Even if my anxiety revealed a personality disorder, I wanted to play.
How unimaginably great to be chosen by God! In 2:9, Peter borrows four designations used in the Old Testament for the people of God and assigns them to the New Testament church. We are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” The very first designation for the believer is that we are a “chosen people.” It was God’s eternal plan that a certain group of people be chosen from the human race for a specific purpose. Israel was that nation. God selected them, blessed them with his presence, taught them through his law how they should live, granted them victory in battle, and provided them (a nomadic people) a promised land. What Peter is now saying is that those who have responded in faith to the message of Jesus have become the New Testament continuation of God’s decision to choose a special people for a special purpose.
And what is that purpose? With typical clarity Peter says it is “that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful life” (v.9). Why did God choose us? The answer is crystal clear – that we might declare his redemptive plan to bring people out of the darkness of sin into the light of his presence. What a message! And what a privilege to be granted the honor of sharing this life-changing message.
It intrigues me that God chose a fisherman to articulate this truth to the early church. Truth often comes from unexpected places and from individuals seemingly ill prepared for such a monumental declaration. But, laying down his fishing pole, as it were, Peter declares the truth that our salvation was not an accident but the result of a plan carefully laid out before time began.
We are a vital part of that great plan to honor God with our praise as we explain how we emerged from spiritual darkness into the bright light of eternity. The story of redemption is the most thrilling story of all time. Someone said all novels are the same: they start with a problem, in comes the hero and the result is deeply satisfying. In God’s true “novel” the problem is sin, the hero is Christ, and the solution is restoration to fellowship through faith in Christ. It is the story the elect are privileged to share as the dark days of history are suffused with the light of eternity.