Hebrew Highlights 45 - ADOPTION
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
Today I’d like to speak about a subject very dear to me personally, adoption. I have two adopted children of my own, and during the process, have grown to appreciate the true meaning of our spiritual adoption. Let’s start by reading DEU 14:2, “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Before I comment on this passage let’s read two more. First, HOS 11:1, “When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.”
Now, we’ll look at a New Testament reminder from the Apostle Paul in ROM 9:3-4, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises.”
My purpose for starting with these scriptures, is to remind us in the church that God first of all promised adoption to Israel. Those of us who are gentiles were added to the family later, as we see in ROM 8:15-17, & 23, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
If you give it some thought, you might wonder, “Why did God call us “adopted” sons?” After all, God is almighty. He is the creator. He could have just as easily changed our DNA to match His own, and miraculously made us His flesh-and-blood children during our rebirth process. Yet, for some reason, He decided to adopt us. Does this mean we are second-class sons? Not according to GAL 4:4-7, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” So, it looks as if we have the full rights of a natural-born son. Still, the question lingers, why adoption?
Well, here is where my experience as an adoptive parent comes in handy. When I we adopted our two children from Romania 11 years ago, I was taken to an orphanage with 250 children. I was faced with the task of choosing 2 of them to be my own. It’s hard to explain, but I was immediately drawn to two particular little people, as if the choice were predestined. This makes sense when we read EPH 1:5, 3:6, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
Just as I chose, decided, determined, and resolved to bring two new members into my family, so God has chosen us. When trying to explain to friends what adoption is like, I sometimes compare it to marriage. We actually pick out the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with, the person who will share our innermost secrets, and eventually receive our inheritance.
Though biological children can sometimes be “accidents”, adoption is always a matter of the will. I “desired” to embrace two wonderful children and call them my own. In the same way, God “yearns” for us to become His children.
Another interesting part of the adoption process is that the children are “prepared” for the process. They are cleaned up, inoculated, and their affairs are put in legal order. So does God want us to prepare ourselves, as we see in 2CO 6:17-18, “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.”
So then, our joining the family of God is no accident, either from His side or ours. He chooses us, and we prepare ourselves to be a worthy part of His eternal Kingdom.
The picture of His fatherhood is of course comparable to that of the earthly one we should be accustomed to. We fall down. He picks us up. We make mistakes. He teaches us. We cry. He comforts us. We rebel. He forgives. We get married. He walks us down the isle.
My children have learned not to be ashamed of being adopted. In fact, the share about it proudly, understanding that they have received a special place of love in our hearts. They are also happy to share that they have come from a point of being fatherless to the place of having 2 “Abbas”. An earthly one, and a Heavenly one.
Shalom, Shalom, from Jerusalem.