“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and relays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them.” –Deuteronomy 7:6-10
After reading this passage I find myself singing the words: “Amazing love, how can it be that you my King would die for me?! Amazing love, I know it’s true and it’s my joy to honor You in all I do!”
You see, even though these words were spoken by Moses thousands of years ago to a people called the Israelites, who were the chosen people of God, they still apply to me now!
As the passage says the Israelites were a people loved by God not because of any attribute of theirs but simply because He promised their fathers many years before that He would love them and prosper them and give them a land flowing with milk and honey! Why He made that promise isn’t explicitly stated in the passage, but I think we can gather from the Lord’s proclamation of love over them and from His track record that He chose them simply because He loves them! There is no telling why He loves them, He just does! And that is some amazing love right there!
These Israelites, just like any of us, were not easy to love by any means. In fact, within the preceding three books (Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus) the Israelites, and those whom they would descend from, continuously fail to follow the Lord and glorify and honor Him as they have been commanded. Now you would think after thousands of years of one generation after another failing Him, the Lord would give up on them and His plan to love and eventually save them all together, right? I mean, that’s what I would do, wouldn’t you? Well, praise the Lord that He is not like us, but instead we are like Him! Praise the Lord who is very very long-suffering and who has not given up on us, but instead has chosen for himself a people whom he has condescended to make in His likeness!
Notice that I am using the word “us”? That’s because not only do we serve a loving God who keeps all of His promises, including the ones to destroy those who hate Him as well as prosper those who love Him, but we also serve a God who is constant. He. Never. Ever. Changes. So the same long-suffering God who chose the Israelites back in Old Testament times is still bringing a chosen people to Himself even now! The Israelites were the first peoples in a long line of chosen sinners to be redeemed by the love and grace of the Lord.
The way in which we are forgiven and redeemed and restored to our original place as His people is certainly different because of the atoning and redeeming blood of Jesus (a far better and more permanent sacrifice than the animal offerings of the Jews). However, the Lord’s heart for His people and His desire to bring us back to Him, to the way it was before we fell, has never changed and will never change! These joyful proclamations of faithfulness and love from the heart of the Lord are for all of his people!
Rejoice in this truth!
“…All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will if my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” — Jesus, John 6:37-40
“…My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” — Jesus, John 10:27-30