[this post was contributed by Alex Rover]
One of the first questions when I first realized my election as a chosen child of God, adopted as his son and called to be Christian, was: “why me”? Meditating upon the story of Joseph’s election can help us avoid the trap of seeing our election as something of a triumph over others. Election is a call to serve others, and a blessing for the individual at the same time.
The blessing of a Father is a significant inheritance. According to Psalm 37:11 and Matthew 5:5, there is such an inheritance in store for the meek. I cannot help but imagine that the personal qualities of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph must have played an important role in their calling. If there is truth to this measure, then there is no allowance for a smug triumphalism over others who are not chosen. After all, election is meaningless unless there are others who are not elect. 
Joseph was in fact elected twice, once by his father Jacob, and once by his heavenly Father, as evidenced by his two early dreams. It is this last election that matters most, since humanity’s choices are often superficial. Rachel was Jacob’s true love, and her children were his most beloved, hence Joseph was favored by Jacob for what appears to be superficial reasons at first – never mind young Joseph’s personality.  Not so with God. In 1 Samuel 13:14 we read that God chose David “after his own heart” – not after his human appearance.
In the case of Joseph, how do we understand the concept of how God chooses people with the image of an inexperienced youngster perhaps indiscreetly bringing bad reports of his brothers to his Father? (Genesis 37:2) In God’s providence, he knows the man Joseph will become. It is this Joseph who is shaped to become the man after God’s heart.  This must be how God elects, think of the transformations of Saul and Moses. The “narrow path” of such transformation is one of enduring hardship (Matthew 7:13,14), hence the need for meekness.
Consequently, when we are called to partake of Christ and join the ranks of chosen children of our Heavenly Father, the question of “why me”, does not require us to look for supreme qualities within us presently, other than the willingness to be shaped by God. There is no reason for elevating ourselves over our brothers.
Joseph’s moving story of endurance throughout slavery and imprisonment illustrates how God elects and transforms us. God may have chosen us before the dawn of time, but we cannot be sure of our election until we experience his correction. (Hebrews 12:6) That we respond to such correction with meekness is crucial, and verily makes it impossible to harbor a smug religious triumphalism in our hearts.
I am reminded of the words in Isaiah 64:6 “And now, O Lord, thou art our father, and we are clay: and thou art our maker, and we all are the works of thy hands.” (DR) This so beautifully illustrates the concept of choosenness in the story of Joseph. The elect allow God to shape them as truly masterful works of his hands, people after “God’s own heart”.
 Relative to the countless children of Adam who will be blessed, a limited amount are called, offered as first fruits of the harvest to bless the others. The first fruits are offered to the Father so that many more can be blessed. Not everyone can be first fruits, or there would be none left to bless through them.
However, let it be clear that we are not promoting a view that only a tiny group is called. Many are indeed called. (Matthew 22:14) How we respond to such calling, and how we live according to it, entirely affects our final sealing as elect. It is a narrow road, but not a hopeless road.
 Surely Jacob loved Rachel for more than her appearance. Love based on appearance would not have lasted long, and her qualities made her a “woman after his own heart.” The Scriptures leave little doubt about it that Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son because he was the firstborn of Rachel. Consider just one reason: After Joseph was presumed dead by his father, Judah spoke of Benjamin, the only other child of Rachel:
Genesis 44:19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20 And we answered, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young son born to him in his old age. His brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’
This gives us some insight into the election of Joseph as the favorite son. In fact, Jacob loved this only remaining son of Rachel so much that even Judah thought Benjamin’s life was worth more to his Father than his own. What kind of personality would Benjamin need to possess to eclipse that of the self-sacrificing Judah – assuming that his personality was the main driving factor in Jacob’s decision?
 This is reassuring for young ones who seek to partake of the memorial supper. Even though we may feel unworthy, our calling is between us and our heavenly Father alone. The account of young Joseph reinforces the idea that by Divine Providence even those who are perhaps not yet made whole in the new person can still be called, since God makes us fit through a refining process.
Excuse me. In my comment I said that heavenly Jerusalem is said to be almost 1,400 feet tall..
THAT WAS A MISTAKE. HEAVENLY JERUSALEM IS SAID TO BE ALMOST 1,400 MILES TALL. That excludes it from being a structure built of steel, wood, and cement. It is spiritual, built of materials humans cannot percieve.
I might be wrong about this, but it seems to me that many people believe that beings in the spiritual realm do not have solid bodies. That’s not what the scriptures state when describing things in the spiritual realm. Those things are always described having solid bodies. Take as just one example the four living creatures. But that’s only one example. Everything there is described as solid, including God and Christ. The spirit realm consists of dimensions our solid bodies cannot enter, with solid things that can enter and exist there. As a comparison we are like a flat two… Read more »
Thanks Alex, an interesting topic. One that can create division. However, m view is that ELECT has nothing to do with being more than another. In my opinion it has to do with condition of the heart. Anyone with the right motives (the meek, the peacemakers etc) are elect to be saved and receive eternal life. But being elect requires responsibility to behave / live in such a way that is justifies you elect status. Like with the illustration by Jesus regarding the wedding for which many were invited (elect) but about all declined their invitation (neglected appreciation for being… Read more »
For me it is like this; they are going to be with the Anointed One as Anointed ones.BUT that is NOT to stay in heavens: THEY are the new heavens ON EARTH. They are the firstborn of the new creation, helping all the others of God’s children. They are the branches on the true vine; the rest of us are the fruit…. They are the ones coming WITH the Anointed One … down to earth. They are the ones who judge, BY THE WAY THEY THEMSELVES BEHAVE, THE WAY THEY MANAGE THEIR GIFTS, THE WAY THEY THEMSELVES TREATH OTHERS AND… Read more »
To Alex, Katrina and Meleti, I am well aware that this topic engenders a lot of strong, entrenched opinions and sometimes, hard feelings, and I would not wish to add to that. I won’t debate what I’m about to say, because I told Meleti I wouldn’t do that on this forum so as not to be a distraction, but I feel what follows is a legitimate response to the original article. As Meleti and some others are aware, I am firmly convinced that no one is going to heaven. Because of coming to that conclusion, I find the Bible makes… Read more »
hi qspf, with all respect to your viewpoint, I don’t see it having any bearing on the arguments in this article. I don’t recall mentioning anywhere in my article the destination (heaven, earth) of the elect. Nevertheless, thanks for your contribution and I will read it a few times more to understand where you are coming from. I recently met someone else who has the same belief, so please don’t take these words as an argument with your point of view. Your penultimate paragraph: “Because we are all together, there is no reason to segregate people, for instance, by allowing… Read more »
Hi qspf, I wonder if a consideration of the “new creation” might help here as well. Although a new creation is what its name suggests – that is, something new – it is not something altogether unfamiliar to us. In light of other beings having usurped their divinely mandated boundaries, wouldn’t it be a crushing blow to the enemy if a new creation was permitted the very prerogatives that these other beings were denied? Of course, this is speculation. Yet, with this is mind, perhaps God gives to others the privilege that some thought to steal for themselves (cf. Ps.… Read more »
Hello Vox Ratio, Thank you for your thoughtful reply. As to what exactly the “new creation” is, we have to face that the Bible’s account of this tells us very little, and most attempts to understand it end up in speculation. With this in mind, I can tell you how it seems to me. I see the new creation as follows: When anointed ones of the past are resurrected, that occurs on the earth, and they will be full-fledged humans, no more and no less. However, they will be “transformed in a twinkling of an eye” in the sense that… Read more »
I see the point that qspf is making, but what Vox Ratio says resonates with me more, as it seems to allow for much of what qspf believes but also answers the questions which a belief in a fleshly-body-only resurrection fails to answer. I think that a study of the use of “heaven” and “heavens” would be fruitful in this regard. For example, the phrase “kingdom of heaven” does not appear in the NWT, but “kingdom of the heavens” does, some 33 times. Why is heaven sometimes plural? However, we are in the comment section here which isn’t really set… Read more »
“Then Jesus said to them, Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him. And suppose the one inside answers, Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything. I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he… Read more »
Qspf, you are absolutely correct! There is a bit more to the picture that i can elaborate on too, but you pretty much have hit the head on the nail and have said pretty much everything i was going to. Its really upbuilding to find others who share the same views as myself. Ive been looking on the internet for ages, as it almost has felt like I was the only one who felt this way. If i was to say this to any brothers, i would be D/F and labelled apostate. I really do wonder if others have similar… Read more »
My entry of a few days ago is not here. Was it removed?
I just checked both the Trash and the Spam folder but didn’t find any posts from you. So it wasn’t removed.
It’s funny but I thought of the calling the opposite, “why not me?” My JW indoctrination had me constantly deflecting the calling , something I believe is deliberately contrived by the GB, I was just looking through the old song book, song 142 the first line says”oh guard your heart you sons of god if you would win life’s prize” this sentiment is only possible if one is seeking to be a son,contrary to what’s presented in the WT literature . I can’t help but think of Jesus words that many would seek to be in the kingdom , but… Read more »
i see everything here form posts to comments very watchtowerish… hey guys i just read that there’s these pyramid on a dwarf planet Ceres, could it be aliens?
Rather than engage in vague insults, why don’t you point out what you object to. From your comment it seems to me that you haven’t really read the articles on this site.
John 3:3 “Jesus replied, Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.” It is being born again, (a spiritual rebirth) that makes us a Christian – one of the elect. This rebirth comes through the seed of the Gospel “This is the meaning of the parable: the seed is the word of God” Luke 8:11 (The Gospel is the good news of the Kingdom of God) “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply from… Read more »
I agree Meliti and thank you Alex for your scriptures, I do have a problem with the favouritism thing being from a large family one was always favourite with my father and mother, but made most of us feel not up to par so to speak. But it is different with Jehovah, I know.
We know that Jehovah is impartial. (Acts 10:34) However, we also know that some are chosen and some rejected. (Mt 24:40, 41) Therefore, the election process cannot be based on favoritism, but on some other basis.
So those elected are favorites, but not because they are first born? but because of their qualities, how many first born proved faithful? one two maybe?
I don’t like the idea of favorites it creates a them and us group of Christians.
Who are the anointed going to rule over or serve is maybe a better word then, other Christians, or the resurrected ones?
We are all Sons and Daughters of God.
And I am not to certain that the 144,000 are literal.
Hi Katrina, Not every human is a son and daughter of God, otherwise the concept of adoption as sons and daughters would be meaningless. Why adopt your own children? (He does not adopt the Lost Son, but rather welcomes him back in the family). We are separated from God through sin. God is Holy and cannot commune with that which is unholy. Redemption is required. Yet redemption through the seed. Why was Israel chosen among the nations? Why did God not just call for a world government? Why apparently favor one over the other? The words “elect”, “chosen”, “called”, “first… Read more »