1 Peter 2:9 says "but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (KJV)." There is a lot said in those few verses. But the word I will hang on today is "peculiar."
When we use this word I think it has a negative connotation. If I am 'peculiar' there is something not quite right with me. If I have 'peculiar' mannerisms you might look at me sideways or avoid me altogether. So ... why does God seem to like this designation? "you are a ... peculiar people."
Maybe the answer to the above question is simple. This passage is reflective on many descriptions of God's people in the Old Testament. God reminds the people they are not called to conform to society ... they are called to be different from their neighbors. Because of 'peculiar' dietary laws followed by the Hebrews, they lived longer and more healthy lives than their pagan neighbors. The neighbors thought this was odd but they probably longed for what they saw as the blessing of long life. In fact, this was exactly what God said would happen when they obeyed Him, stating "if you love and obey the Lord you will live long in the land (Deuteronomy 30:20)." But even more vital God tells the Hebrew people that their peculiarity will not just bless them but it will spread out to bless the whole world. So ... our peculiar nature is so we can become a blessing to the world ... a high calling indeed!
But this passage describes another calling. It is a calling of gratitude. It is a calling of enlightened realization. It is a calling of greatest blessing. It is a command to realize who and what we are by worshiping the God who is worthy of all praises! The NRSV (1 Peter 2:9) says it this way ... we are all these things "in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of Him who has called you out of darkness into His glorious light!" We are peculiar because we have changed addresses. We no longer have to live in the dark. We no longer function in what Anthony Evans calls "the economy of the world." We are not slaves ... and we are not in bondage to the whims of the world. We live in the light of God's grace and truth! Psalm 27 said ... "The Lord is my light and salvation ... what shall I fear?" Fearless people filled with light are strange, weird and peculiar. I want to be one of those people! Randy