A BLESSED LIFE: Chosen Heritage
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!” – Psalm 33:12
This beatitude is not a generic blessing for any nation that CHOOSES to have the Lord as its God.
This is talking specifically about the blessedness of ancient Israel as a special nation. The psalmist here has no other nation in mind except his own, which is ancient Israel to us. That was not a nation that chose the Lord as its God, but rather it was a nation that God himself chose as his heritage. And God expressed that special choice by establishing his covenant with Israel, thus revealing himself to them as the Covenant Lord forever. That was a blessed nation.
The application of this beatitude for us is not in declaring our nations as God-fearing or Christian so as to claim that we are nations who God is the Covenant Lord. There is no nation God has entered into covenant with except ancient Israel, not even modern Israel. All the covenants of God were fulfilled and replaced by a superior covenant that God established with the blood of his son Jesus, and we become beneficiaries of that covenant not by citizenship in an earthly state, but by membership in his universal Church, the communion of all those across all nationalities and generations who are saved by grace through their faith in Christ. This is why the Apostle Peter, no longer writing to the citizens of Israel but to members of the church of Jesus, declares that it is now Christians who are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that they may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
The application of this beatitude lies in our participation as members of the new nation, the new Israel, that Christ has chosen, established, and over which he is the head, namely His Church. To be part of that Church is to have a blessed life, for it is to be part of God’s new and everlasting nation, the Israel of God, whose capital is a New Jerusalem being built in heaven without human hands, whose citizens are not those who are Jews outwardly by race and circumcised physically by ritual, but are Jews inwardly by faith and circumcised spiritually by regeneration. Wherever you go, finding and connecting with other Christians, however few, should be a greater priority than finding people who are of the same age, gender, nationality, race, vocation, politics, leisure, or income as you. You are Israel and you are blessed.