Discovering God's Passionate Love ... in Deuteronomy of All Places
I am joining with a half dozen other guys to read through the whole Bible in four months. I just started Deuteronomy yesterday and was once again blown away by the depth of God’s love woven throughout these “books of the law.” In the midst of these sometimes tedious lists of rules and regulations, I find a paragraph or two that stops me in my tracks and brings me back to God’s purposes in it all.
One of those paragraphs is in Deuteronomy 7
"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, 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. You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.” (Deut. 7:6-11, emphasis mine)
I was reminded once again that God’s deepest desire is for us to know that we are “treasured” and “loved.” All throughout the books of the law God reminds His people that He is not putting these laws in place to arbitrarily make life difficult, but because He knows that without the boundaries we will turn away and run toward other gods – lesser gods.
When we worship another, we can’t at the same time worship Him. When we look to “stuff” to bring fulfillment, we can’t at the same time accept the blessings God desires to pour out on His people. When we are constantly living in relationships that are unholy, we can’t at the same time be in intimate relationship with the One who is the embodiment of perfect holiness.
And yet that’s exactly what He desires. To be in relationship with us. To remind us daily that we are chosen to be a people for His treasured possession. To remind us daily that the boundaries He sets are not to limit our freedom, but are in fact, designed to do the opposite – to release us into the freedom that comes from knowing that your Creator loves you. And He does…