I am wondering whether it was just random or whether instead there was something moral about them that other the tribes at the time didn’t have?
Also,regarding Baptist,some of us are blessed to be born into Catholic families and Baptised but regarding people who wern’t, to me it would seem kind of unfair that they would still have the punishment of original sin when they didn’t do anything wrong on their own accord,or perhaps I’m misunderstanding it?
It is generally believed that the Jewish people are G-d’s chosen people because it is they who accepted the responsibility of following the teachings of the Law (Torah). There is also a (minority) viewpoint that Jews were NOT G-d’s first choice as His chosen people; however, since other nations rejected the Law, G-d “settled” on the Jews.
There is one other very important point, involving the meaning of being the chosen people. It does NOT mean that Jews are superior in any way to other children of G-d. In other words, all are equal in the eyes of G-d. What it does mean is that the Jewish people have a particular responsibility to reveal their sanctification by G-d in receiving the Torah through their own personal and social behavior toward all of G-d’s creation, including not only other human beings but also animals and the care of the planet. This behavior consists, among other things, of treating one another with compassion and fairness in family relationships, as friends, as co-workers, as managers, as adversaries (even enemies), tending to the sick, the needy, the suffering, the vulnerable, and the ostracized, having respect (including prayer) for the dead and respect for ourselves, and showing kindness to animals, which means, for example, that it is required to feed pets before oneself and one’s human family because animals cannot delay their biological needs.
God set them apart from the other nations and revealed Himself to them as One God. They were chosen because the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity was to be born of them.
With regard to your second thought, we are finite (limited) and God is Infinite and knows what He is about. We don’t have to worry our heads about what He does and how He does it. (The theologians can do that…hopefully correctly!
I hope that what I wrote was helpful. I am sure others can expand on it.
Here’s the explanation Moses gave for God’s choice of the Jews:
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples; but it is because the Lord loves you, and is keeping the oath which he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)
So, God chose the Jews because of His promise to their faithful ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Why Abraham? Perhaps God called everyone on the earth at the time and Abraham was the only one to respond or was the first to respond in faith. Or perhaps God started calling people in alphabetical order and Abraham was the first to respond in faith.
The Catholic Church agrees with you. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."62 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.
1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"63 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism. (source)
Judaism does not focus on the Messiah. Yes, His coming is one of the tenets of the religion according to Maimonides; but the main concern is present-day earthly life and, in particular, leading a good and meaningful life according to the teachings of the Law. Judaism believes that even after the appearance of the Messiah, the Law still applies, indeed at that time in fuller force than ever.
I often wonder why God chose me to become so religious, but I know for certain it was not based on my own accord. I do often think that this was also true for the Jews, but be it as it may, I believe that the Jews occupy a special place in our world.
God, being omniscient, knew Abraham and his posterity would carry
out His will which of course includes the salvation of the whole world:
Gen 18:17-19: And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment;*** that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him***.
…God’s Choice is a Mystery… though there are hints in Scriptures… remember Cain and Abel? Both were Inspired to Sacrifice (Worship) to God… one gathered together things and offered them; the other purposefully chose the best of his flock to offer to God… the Hebrew people are descendants of Abraham (Abraham received the Oath and the Promise)… God’s Promise resided with those who were bonded to Him… Jacob is the first person that receives the Promise through Title:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]6Jacob came with all his people to Luz, which is now known as Bethel, in the land of Canaan.7He built an altar there and named the place for the God of Bethel, because God had revealed himself to him there when he was running away from his brother.
9When Jacob returned from Mesopotamia, God appeared to him again and blessed him.10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but from now on it will be Israel.” So God named him Israel.11 And God said to him, “I am Almighty God. Have many children. Nations will be descended from you, and you will be the ancestor of kings.12I will give you the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, and I will also give it to your descendants after you.”13Then God left him.14 There, where God had spoken to him, Jacob set up a memorial stone and consecrated it by pouring wine and olive oil on it.15He named the place Bethel.
(Genesis 35:6-7, 9-15)
…then while Jacob (Israel) is in Egypt Yahweh God Reveals:
22Then you must tell him that I, the Lord, say, ‘Israel is my first-born son.
…the Mystery: since God is Omniscient (all Knowing) and Omnipresent (the Eternal I AM–everything [past, present, future] is Present to God as Now) He is able to Know things that we cannot… He Chooses Abraham because he Believed in God and He Believed God… accordingly, the Promise made to Abraham is maintained through his descendants who held the same Fellowship with God, as Abraham did.
Notice though, Israel is God’s firstborn… not God’s only son!
…as for Baptism… you are confusing two separate issues: Original Sin and splintering of Christ’s Body.
Original Sin is what all humanity must suffer because of the Original Sin of Adam and Eve–it is our inheritance… the Ancient Serpent lied like crazy to Eve when he assured her that she would not die if she disobeyed Yahweh God’s Command… all humanity incurred in that Original Sin…
It is fortunate for a person to be born into the Catholic Church because he/she will be received into the Body of Christ early in his/her infancy (normally); so it seems that we have a leg up on non-Catholics… but that is only relative since not all Protestant hold the same belief system… some believe that Baptism is simply a symbolic gesture; some believe that Baptism is in deed a Sacrament… and there are those who do not wait for their children to be grown adults to receive the Sacrament of Baptism… conversely, there are Catholics who are seasonal Believers… these operate under the assumption that it is good enough to practice their Faith when it is “convenient” or “necessary.” These, of course, are diluting themselves since God does not judge by outward appearance.
Catholics, as well as non-Catholics, must engage God beyond the symbols and legalism!
I think of original sin as being what we call “human nature”. For some reason we are naturally selfish and inconsiderate. It takes grace to help us over come our natural tendencies to think of ourselves before others. Just watch two little two year old babies fighting over a toy and you will see human nature at its most innocent. It is what we are and we spend a life time learning how to love. Baptism gives us the grace we need to work toward that love.
I don’t think anyone can explain God’s reasoning as to why he chose the Jews. I often get amused when people ask the question, “Why did God do such and such?” We don’t have the capacity to understand the mind of God - period. Christ alone understood His father mind.
God chose the path of greatest possible humility. He was incarnate as a poor, humble person, and accepted the further humiliation of death on the cross.
In line with this, God chose the Jewish people as one of the least ‘admirable’ peoples (in purely human terms). He could have chosen the Greeks (with their wisdom), or the Romans (with their higher moral qualities), or the Germanic people (with their taller stature and superior courage and strength), Indeed, He could have chosen to have been born the Most August Emperor, bearing the name of Divine Ceasar, amongst the most noble and just Romans, and spoken as a most learned philosophy (like Marcus Aurelius).
But instead, He chose to be born the son on a most lowly people, without physical or cultural stature, in a remote part of the Empire- the son (as was thought) of a poor, humble carpenter, and an unwed Virgin, amongst a people with neither philosophy, nor military power, nor the Germanic or Roman strength of character.
As St Paul says, it pleased God to chose what was wretched in the sight of the world, to humble those who were strong.
No offence to Jewish people today- I am only talking about how things were seen in the 1st Century, when the Jewish people were a small and powerless minority.