Why Did God Work in Israel in the Age of Law?
The work that Jehovah did in the Israelites established among humanity God’s earthly place of origin, His sacred place where He was present. He confined His work to the Israelite people. At first, He did not work outside of Israel; instead, He chose a people He found suitable in order to restrict the scope of His work. Israel is the place where God created Adam and Eve, and out of the dust of that place Jehovah made man; it is the base of His work on earth. The Israelites, who are the descendants of Noah and of Adam, were the foundation of Jehovah’s work on earth.
The significance, purpose, and step of Jehovah’s work in Israel were to begin His work on the whole earth, gradually spreading to Gentile nations from its center in Israel. This is the principle according to which He works throughout the universe—to establish a model, then broaden it until all people in the universe have accepted His gospel. … Furthermore, the work He began in Israel was meant so that other peoples and nations (who in fact were not separate from Israel, but had branched off from the Israelites, yet were still descended from Adam and Eve) might receive the gospel of Jehovah from Israel, so that all creatures in the universe would revere Him and hold Him to be great.
from “The Work in the Age of Law” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
He began this work after creating mankind, and His work continued until the time of Jacob, when the twelve sons of Jacob became the twelve tribes of Israel. From that time onward, everyone in Israel became the people who were officially led by Him on earth, and Israel became the particular location on earth where He did His work. Jehovah made these people the first group of people among whom He did His official work on earth, and made the entire land of Israel the starting point for His work. He used them as the beginning of even greater work, so that all people born from Him on earth would know how to revere Him and live on earth. And so, the deeds of the Israelites became an example to be followed by the Gentiles, and what was said among the people of Israel became words to be heard by the Gentiles. For they were the first to receive the laws and commandments of Jehovah, and so too were they the first to know how to revere the ways of Jehovah. They were the human ancestors who knew the ways of Jehovah, and were the representative of mankind chosen by Jehovah.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Nothing was more symbolic than the first stage being carried out in Israel: The Israelites were the most holy and least corrupt of all peoples, and so the dawn of the new epoch in this land held the utmost significance. It can be said that mankind’s forefathers came from Israel, and that Israel was the birthplace of God’s work. In the beginning, these people were the most holy, and they all worshiped Jehovah, and God’s work in them was able to yield the greatest results. … because the people of Israel were the chosen ones—which is to say that they were the first to accept the work of Jehovah. They were the least corrupt of all mankind, and in the beginning, they were of a mind to look up to God and revere Him. They obeyed the words of Jehovah, and always served in the temple, and wore priestly robes or crowns. They were the earliest people to worship God, and the earliest object of His work. These people were a specimen and model for the whole of mankind. They were specimens and models of holiness and righteousness. People such as Job, Abraham, Lot, or Peter and Timothy—they were all Israelites, and the most holy of specimens and models. Israel was the earliest country to worship God among mankind, and more righteous people came from here than anywhere else. God worked in them in order that He could better manage mankind throughout the land in the future. Their achievements and the righteousness of their worship of Jehovah were recorded, so that they could serve as specimens and models to the people beyond Israel during the Age of Grace; and their actions have upheld several thousand years of work, right up until today.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh