God’s Chosen People Are Peculiar

Are God’s people strange? Did God declare Israel a “weird” people? What exactly did Apostle Peter mean when he wrote that God’s people are a peculiar people?

1 Peter 2:9 “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 marvellous light:”

Many times, as God’s people (true Christians) interact with unsaved co-workers, neighbors, family, or friends, they are looked upon as if they are weird or strange. This happens because of the godly moral views that they stand for and the way that they dress and conduct themselves. The “world” (or unsaved people) may consider God’s people strange and weird but is that what God thinks of His people? 

Exodus 19:5 “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”

As God showed Himself to Israel, He declared that if they obeyed and kept His covenant, that they would be His chosen peculiar treasure above all people. But what does that mean? Let’s look at some definitions of the word peculiar.

PECU’LIARadjective [Latin peculiaris, from peculium, one’s own property.]

1. Appropriate; belonging to a person and to him only. (Noah Webster 1828)

As used in the phrase “peculiar people” in 1 Peter 2:9 , is derived from the Lat. peculium, and denotes, as rendered in the Revised Version (“a people for God’s own possession”), a special possession or property. The church is the “property” of God, his “purchased possession.”

The Latin peculium means “private property,” so that “peculiar” properly equals “pertaining to the individual.” In modern English the word has usually degenerated into a half-colloquial form for “extraordinary,” but in Biblical English it is a thoroughly dignified term for “esp. one’s own”; compare the “peculiar treasure” of the king in Ecclesiastes 2:8 (the King James Version). Hence, “peculiar people” (the King James Version Deuteronomy 14:2, etc.) means a people especially possessed by God and particularly prized by Him. (Easton Bible Dictionary)

Keep these definitions in mind as you read the scriptures below and it will give you a much deeper understanding of what is being expressed.

Deuteronomy 14:2 “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”

Deuteronomy 26:18 “And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;”

Titus 2:14 “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

How special it would have been in the Old Testament to know that you were God’s prized possession! Sadly, the Israelites struggled to understand that being God’s very own special treasure meant living differently than the surrounding nations. God expected them to serve and worship Him exclusively and follow His commandments. God has not changed.

Jesus Paid It All

It is the same for God’s people today, but even greater when we consider how (as we read earlier in Titus) that Christ gave himself for us “that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.” God’s people are redeemed—Jesus Christ paid the price to purchase them as God’s peculiar people! 

1 Corinthians 6:19 - 20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

In salvation, there is a transfer of ownership. God’s people are set free from sin—not set free to do as they please, but free from the bondage of sin. They become God’s possession, and there is no better place to be!

Stand Out

God has always wanted His people to be distinct and exclusive so that He can be glorified through them. Even today, God’s people will be distinct and different from the ungodly and unbelievers, causing them to stand out from the rest of the world in dress, in conduct, in mindset, and so on. Time and again, God delivered Israel to show the rest of the world that He is the true God, that He alone is God, and that there is none other besides Him. Through His peculiar people, God will still show His mighty power and strength when they follow His Will in their lives. God’s people understand exactly how He feels about them and unashamedly trust and commit themselves to Him.

2 Timothy 1:12 “…I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

Truly becoming God’s possession means committing all to Him. God’s people can be at rest when placing themselves in His keeping, knowing that He knows best. Jesus Christ paid a great price to possess His people. And as most people take good care of the things they consider to be valuable possessions, just think about how much more God takes care of His possessions—His peculiar treasure! It’s true that the world views God’s people as strange or weird, but the reality is, they are God’s special treasure and the apple of His eye.

Dear friend, have you experienced this wonderful transfer of ownership in your own heart and life? To learn more about what it takes to be one of God’s peculiar people, please contact us—we’d love to hear from you!