Dr. Dan Hayden •
When the people of New York City rallied with such great courage and determination in the aftermath of the Twin Towers disaster of September 11, 2001, I was deeply moved and proud – for they were my people. You see, I was raised in New York, and for a time worked in Manhattan. These people were my people, and they had the admiration of the entire world. Yes, I was proud of them.
When we think of our heritage and our roots, the people out of which we have come, it does our hearts good when those people make us proud of who they were, and thus, who we are. Well, God feels the same way about His people. He wants them to be people of honor so that He is not ashamed for others to know that they are His people.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
This verse has often been quoted with regard to the future of America, and if America did these things, I’m sure God would be true to His word and would heal our land. But strictly speaking, Americans are not the people of God. America is as pagan as any other nation, and God is not obligated to us any more than He is to the nation of Brazil or the nation of India or Russia.
The people of God in the Old Testament were those of the nation of Israel. But in our day, the people of God are the true believers in Jesus Christ.
The word “people” is a general Hebrew word used to refer to a congregated unit. It is not a word for nation, but refers to any collection of people.
You see, we as believers in Christ are the people of God. We belong to Him, and He wants us to make Him “proud.” He wants us to act with honor and dignity – to be people of moral and spiritual integrity – so that He can say with great joy, “Those are My people!”
So – are you a person of moral and spiritual integrity? Is God honored by your actions and pleased to be associated with you? ■