Lent Devotional: Deuteronomy 7:6-13
by Jonathan Haefs
Deuteronomy 7:6-13 (click here)
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 repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. (Deuteronomy 7:7-10)
What assurance do you have that God loves you? What makes you think that God will keep on loving you day after day?
I know that my own heart is so fickle and prone to wander… prone to forget… just like the people of Israel in the Old Testament. God’s people were always forgetting, always wandering away from him. What assurance could they possibly have that he would continue to love them day after day… failure after failure?
Deuteronomy 7:7-8, “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…”
The people’s assurance of God’s love was not rooted in how lovely or faithful they were… it was and is rooted in the greatness of God’s own love and faithfulness! My assurance that God loves me and will continue to love me has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with him and the kind of God he is!
That is amazing Gospel good news!… but then you keep reading in Deuteronomy 7 and it seems like everything I’ve just said… everything God has just said seemingly comes unraveled by what he says next.
Deuteronomy 7:9, “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…”
Wait! So God’s faithfulness depends on my commandment keeping? I’m doomed!
Again and again in the Old Testament, we see these twin truths set side by side… God is loving and faithful towards his people… AND… he is just towards all who sin. How can both of those things be true? My hope hinges on how this is possible!
My hope… our hope… hinges on Christ!
Christ faithfully kept the commandments of God… and on the cross, he took on our unfaithfulness and gave us his faithfulness!
Through the cross, our assurance is made complete! God has shown himself to be the great-loving-faithful God by taking on flesh and keeping our side of the covenant as well as his own! And now HE is at work by HIS power transforming us into an a people who are actually faithful!
Again we arrive at the answer that our assurance that God loves us and will continue to love us has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with him and the kind of God he is!
Turn to him… trust in him… not in yourself! There is no assurance to be found in our fickle, wandering hearts! There is full and final assurance to be found in the eternally faithful heart of God!