March 2nd, 2017
Lent (Psalm 37:1-18; Deuteronomy 7:6-22; Titus 1; John 1:29-34)
6For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession. 7It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you-for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8It was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath that he swore to your ancestors, 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. 9Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10and who repays in their own person those who reject him. He does not delay but repays in their own person those who reject him. 11Therefore, observe diligently the commandment-the statutes, and the ordinances-that I am commanding you today.
Here, as Moses is giving a very long sermon and retelling the law to the people of God (nom0s=law, deutero=second), he is preparing them to enter the new land. This was a new generation of people who would be seeing the fulfillment of God’s promise to deliver the Hebrew people.
And he reminds them of their roots. They were not chosen by God because they were powerful or numerous or gifted. They were chosen out of pure love and faithfulness. They are a part of a story that started well before them with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. And the story will continue on beyond them as well (a thousand generations!).
Today, I needed to be told again (deuteronomied?) that God loves me because God has chosen to do so. I don’t bring anything that impresses God, so I don’t need to shy away from God when I feel I have failed or am weak. I am a part of a people who are deeply loved by God because God decides to do so and has a plan to bless the world through us. What makes us special and valuable is that we are with God and we are loved by God.
How could we respond to this good news today, that God loves us before we do anything or bring anything? I know, for one, it affects my disposition of obedience. As I enter this time of Lent and follow through with my commitment for fasting and abstaining, I am very aware that I am earning nothing with God. Instead, I am creating more room to experience God’s love and to obey with delight, knowing I am perfectly loved. My response today is one of intentional praise and thanksgiving for God’s perfect and abiding love.
How do you want to respond today?