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!