1 Peter 2:9 King James Version (KJV)
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
A Peculiar People
By Mrs. E. G. White
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11·14.
All Heaven is interested in our salvation, and I would that our minds were spiritualized, that we might fully realize this great fact. Although Christians will experience trials and difficulties, they should be the happiest people on the earth; for if they are obedient children, they can address God as their Father and Friend. “As a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” God has a deep interest in those who are striving to obey His precepts.
Although the children of God may at times be placed in situations that are trying and full of sorrow, they need not imagine that the Lord has forsaken them. Joseph was cast into prison without any provocation, and it seemed that God had forgotten him; but Joseph trusted in the Lord. He had been true to the Lord under temptation, declaring, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
And the Lord did not forsake him. Heaven gave him wisdom to answer the tempter, and a firm purpose to resist evil. If one of us were called to go through such trial as Joseph endured, would we have borne [it] without complaint and murmuring? He forgot his own trials, and sought to help others. Even in the prison he made himself a necessity and a blessing.
Look at the case of Daniel in Babylon. He was surrounded with all the luxury of the king’s court, but he refused to participate in the banquets of extravagance. He would not defile himself with a portion of the king’s meat, or take of his wine. When men have the principle that will enable them to stand amid temptation, as did Daniel, the God of heaven will look upon them with approval, and will send them needed help and strength at the moment of their trial. If Daniel had weakly yielded to temptation to indulge appetite, he would have placed himself in a position where he could not have received the wisdom and grace the Lord had for him. He would have brought upon himself physical and mental weakness.
God does not take any man into connection with Himself, to give him wisdom and grace, unless He places himself in right relation to the precepts and principles of truth. Man has a work to do to close the door against temptation. He must build a wall around himself, and then God will train his powers for the highest use. It is not possible for us to tell what a man may become, and what he may achieve through the power and grace of Christ. The reason why we are so weak in moral power, is that we are continually venturing on Satan’s ground. We should be careful where we go, and see to it that we take no backward steps. For when professed Christians do not live up to the light that God gives them, they can do more harm than open sinners.
When Daniel had been exalted in the court of Babylon, he was not free from trial and temptation. The wise men of the court were filled with envy, and plotted for his destruction. . . .
Through the trial that was permitted to come upon Daniel, great good resulted to the nation; for it gave opportunity to call the attention of great and small to the fact that God was able and willing to save him who trusted in Him. Daniel showed to the nation that Jehovah was a living God. He brought out chapters in his experience showing that God had manifested Himself to His servant in a remarkable manner. He told them how he had stood before them as a prophet of the Most High God, and that no earthly power had the right to interfere with a man’s personal relation to his God. Thus God was manifested above every king, emperor, or statesman, as the one to be honored and obeyed.
Daniel was counted peculiar, and every man who makes God his counselor, and who seeks Him in simplicity of heart, will be counted peculiar by the world. But this is the faith we need, this is the experience that we must have; for Christ has died to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. We should live with an eye single to His glory, and then we shall be able to gain the victory over the world. We must come out from the world and be separate, if we would be the sons of God, the heirs of heaven. If we do this, we shall enter in through the gates into the city, we shall have a right to the tree of life, and we shall see the King in His beauty.