July 20, 2020

Ben Kiowski
“6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.7 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
Deuteronomy 7:6-9

I am always intrigued at myself and others when we determine in our own minds that our goodness or piety merits the affection of God. The Israelites are an easy target for our ire and judgement as we read their struggles under the covenant of the Law. We often think, “what is their problem…why can’t they obey?” God has chosen them specifically out of his kindness and favor with no respect to their station in the world (v.7). How could they be so faithless? How could they forget so quickly the favor of God upon them?

As is usually the case, when I look upon any other aghast at their folly, I am reminded by the Holy Spirit of my own! When confronted with my own wandering, the story of the Israelites becomes mine. It is I who have strayed…it is my heart that wanders…it is my rebellion that forgets God. Further, the reality of God’s choosing the Israelites to be his people, delivered from bondage and redeemed by the mighty hand of God, permeates the narrative of my life. It is I who have been chosen by God through the mystery of his unmerited favor. Rather than my mustering of righteousness and noble intent, it is his faithfulness and fulfilled promises to me that render favor. There is no goodness or whit, power or station that elevates me or gives me an identity. No, it is his choosing me…and all people…through the brilliant and unsearchable wisdom of his redemption through the finished work of Jesus on the cross that fulfills his covenant, solidifies his faithfulness, and chooses us all to be heirs to the Kingdom of God. To God be the glory forever, amen!