It’s that kind of word. My friend, dictionary.com, defines peculiar, when used as an adjective, with these words: strange; queer; odd, uncommon; unusual, and, distinctive in nature or character from others. For those who want a Greek definition, Vine’s Expository Dictionary has this to add, “of one’s own possession,” and this noun definition is not even a little bit odd, because dictionary.com says the same when we drop down to its usage as a noun, “a property or privilege belonging exclusively or characteristically to a person.” The Bible uses the word seven times, and six of those refer to God’s people belonging peculiarly to Him. I like it.
All the definitions fit nicely. In 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) God says of us, “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.” Four wonderful
descriptive things are said about us in that verse, and to be those four things to God definitely speaks of us as being peculiar. We belong to God and we are exclusively His (Lucifer has no claim to us whatsoever, and he couldn’t get us by any means.) We are only God’s! I like that too.
And should we want to follow the evolution of the word “peculiar” down to our times, “we are an odd bunch!” We are a people who believe that God wrote His words in a Book, and that He preserved them for us to guide our lives. We gather together on a regular basis to worship the LORD Jesus Christ. We believe that not only do we belong to him, but that our time, our talent, and our tithes (as the preaching goes) also all belong to Him. And when we practice all of the above, the world thinks we have taken a turn to the strange side of things. You can check the context of 1 Peter 4:4 “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you,” but most of us reading this will easily remember how strange our old buddies thought it was when they began to observe that we were acting like “New Creatures in Christ” (2 Co 5:17). As a matter of fact, I still marvel at how peculiar our life is now compared to what it was before we knew Christ. I like that too.
1 Peter 2:9 also tells us that part of our peculiarity is that we show forth the praises of the One who has called us out of darkness. Jesus is the Light, Jesus lit the Light, and by the grace of God we came to it! We must never stop praising Christ, and that, not just in our private prayer and study time, but out there in the market place. And when we do that,
they really think we’re strange! Heaven is a peculiar place, I would say. No sickness, no death, no viruses, streets of gold, and the very presence of God Almighty. And we’re going there! Strange, isn’t it? We’re different, particularly because of Who we belong to. We’re a peculiar people headed for a peculiar place. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 asks “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.” I like it!
The gate to Heaven is strait, and the way to it narrow, and Jesus said there were few that would find it. The world is crazy (without wisdom) and where they’re heading, I certainly don’t want to go – I want no part of it. As we show them the infinite praises of Jesus, let’s just be thankful that we are His peculiar people! I belong to Christ, and I love it!
Love and Prayers to you all,