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God’s Precious Possession

God’s Precious Possession

MAY 13, 2021

/ Articles / God’s Precious Possession

“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. 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… (Deut. 7:6-9).

God declared that the people are holy. They are not holy because their superior behavior. They are holy, which at its root means to be set apart, because God set them apart for himself. It was not their responsibility to make themselves holy. It was their responsibility to walk in the reality of that holiness, to work out the practical implications of what it means to be holy.

These next set of verses are some of the sweetest in all the Bible.

God chose Israel. He did not choose Israel because they “more in number than any other people” (verse 7a). In fact, they were “the fewest of all peoples” (verse 7b). They were smaller than the nations with whom they were about to contend. They were not great in any way. They were not smarter than other people, they were not wealthier, they were not more skilled, and they were not more righteous.

God chose them for one reason only, he loved them.

The tone of this passage is uncommonly tender. Moses says that God not only chose Israel to be his people, he also chose them to be his “treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (verse 6b). God could have chosen any people he wanted. He chose Israel. And he chose them so that he could treasure them.

My wife has several sets of antique glass dishes that are treasured possessions for her. When we moved, she packed each piece with extra care. She would not let me pack them. She did it herself. Each piece was wrapped carefully with bubble wrap and tape and then cautiously placed in a sturdy box. The boxes that held her glass did not go on the moving truck. She carried them in her car. She took extra care of them because they are treasured possessions and precious to her.

“His love for Israel is not conditioned on anything commendable in them. They were not more powerful, numerous, or moral than any of the other nations when God chose them.  The only basis of their choosing was God’s electing love.  The same is true for us. An honest reflection must admit that before God made you his child, there was nothing that would commend you to him. Our best actions were corrupted by impure motives, our hearts were selfish, our worship phony. God simply chose to make us recipients of his love. God woos us with his love.”[1]

God is faithful. He is loyal and unchanging. His commitment never wavers. To those in the covenant community he is faithful to a “thousand generations.” You are God’s treasured possession. You are precious to him. He takes special care of you. He watches over you and protects you. Why? For one reason only. He chose to love you.

Adapted from Deuteronomy: Love and Grace in the Law of God by Barry Smith.

[1] Deuteronomy: More Grace; More Love: Living in Covenant with God, George Robertson, Christian Education and Publications, 2006, p. 73.

Barry Smith

Barry Smith

Barry’s aim is to prepare the Church to minister well in prisons so that prisoners are prepared to minister well in the Church. This is accomplished through service in complementary […]

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