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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Set His Heart On Me

One of my personal quests in life is to know Who God is and how He relates to me. I've recently started going through my compact NIV concordance, looking up texts that are found under "Know" and reading the passages around those texts to get an idea from Scripture of Who God is. My order goes something like this: Verse reference, summary of concept, summary of context, and personal application. Sometimes if there is a confusing section in the verse, I will do a cross-reference to see what that confusing word or phrase means, which can be kind of fun and take me off on a number of "rabbit trails" as my Bible teacher in college used to say!

Today I'm looking at Deuteronomy 7: 9.

Knowing God~He is God; He is faithful

Deuteronomy starts out by Moses recalling the history of the Israelites, from the time of their rebellion in the desert when God decreed that they would wander in the wilderness for 40 years until now. It is almost like a farewell speech, a blessing, and an admonition to obey God, remember how He has been faithful and protected them, and a reminder to keep His laws so they will be blessed in the promised land. Moses is preparing them to carry on without him, and to assume the responsibility of transitioning from slaves to God's chosen people. (Deut. 27:9)

Deuteronomy 7: 1-11 are some really neat verses. My favourite are: "For 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. It 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. It 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. Know 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, and who repays in their own person those who reject Him." ~Deut. 7:6-10, NRSV

Moses reminds the Israelites that they are God's chosen people, and tells them why He has chosen them, because He loves them and because He made a promise to their ancestors that He would redeem them. After listing God's attributes, Moses says, this is how you can know that your God is God, because He is faithful and loyal to His covenant.

Somehow God keeps His covenant even though the Israelites continued to mess up and rebel. Somehow, like David, He looked at His people and realized they were human, trying their best to do the right thing and yet helpless on their own to be holy. Perhaps He honored their faith as of greater significance than their inability to live perfect lives.

What can I take away from this? How can I recognize and know God in my life? When I see God's faithfulness in my life and when I notice that He is keeping His promises. He has said that I am holy to Him, chosen, a treasured possession, loved, redeemed from slavery, and God has set His heart on me. I like that phrase, "set His heart on you," because it sounds like God has not only made up His mind that He cares about me, but that His heart is fully committed as well. When we have our hearts set on something, we won't rest until that particular thing, whether it be a new car, a boyfriend, or a cute pair of shoes has become ours. We devote all our energy to pursuing it. We choose to invest our time to achieving our goal. And we do it because we want to. Kind of a neat picture about how God cares about us, and all because He wants to.

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