An Approved Standing Before Jehovah
The fact that at one time a person may have been a recipient of divine favor does not in itself guarantee his continuing to be an approved servant of Jehovah. The Israelites, for example, were delivered from bondage in Egypt and brought into the land of Canaan. Nevertheless, their becoming God’s chosen people did not secure for them an unchangeable relationship with the Most High. When they turned to idolatry and in other ways disregarded Jehovah’s law, their having been chosen by Jehovah for the sake of their faithful forefathers lost its significance. Through his prophet Amos, the Almighty declared: “‘Are you not like the sons of the Cushites to me, O sons of Israel?’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘Did I not bring Israel itself up out of the land of Egypt, and the Philistines out of Crete, and Syria out of Kir?’”—Amos 9:7.
The Israelites may have prided themselves in having been chosen by God. But because of their unfaithfulness, they had no better standing with Jehovah than did the Cushites. Their circumcision really had no value. Centuries later the apostle Paul highlighted the same point, saying: “Circumcision is, in fact, of benefit only if you practice law; but if you are a transgressor of law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.”—Rom. 2:25.
Similarly, Israel’s having been brought out of Egypt did not in itself assure their continuing to have a fine standing before Jehovah God. In the case of the unfaithful Israelites, the marvelous deliverance of their forefathers from Egypt was no more a guarantee of continued divine favor than was the fact that the Philistines and Syrians were living in areas other than their earlier dwelling places.
This forcefully emphasizes that an approved standing before God does not depend on national, tribal or family background. A mere profession of being a servant of the Most High means little. The individual must be one who does the will of Jehovah God.