Do you ever wonder why God has claimed you for his own? Sometimes people sound so smug about salvation that I wonder if they have ever read this passage!
“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.
(Deuteronomy 7:6-8 ESV)
Yes, God chose Israel, and declared them to be a “holy people” and a “treasured possession” but did you notice the reason God gives for choosing them? Not because they were more numerous, which in the ancient world meant powerful and successful because only those strong enough to control the food supply could grow their population; and it wasn’t because they impressed God more than all the other nations on the earth; God chose them because he had promised Abraham and he loved them because of he had promised to love them.
Sometimes I hear the strident tones of people who boast of their salvation and promise dire judgments for all the unsaved and it sounds as though they believe that they are “better” than everyone else because they are God’s “holy” people and all these sinners are worthless. But God doesn’t say it that way, and I wish no follower of Jesus would say it that way either. God loves people because he is a faithful promise-keeping God, he loves everything he has made. He doesn’t love what we do necessarily, and he really doesn’t love “the way we are,” but he loves us and longs for us to become what we could be, the person we should be. When we talk about being God’s people, and in Jesus Christ, we are God’s people, we need to remember it isn’t God who got the great deal, but us who received what we did not earn or deserve.
Lord thank you for the faithfulness of your promises, for the unfailing love that forgives us and makes us yours; teach us to speak of your grace that reaches to everyone!