Scripture: 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. Deuteronomy 7:6 ESV
Observation: In chapter 7, as in most of the book of Deuteronomy, Moses provides immigration protocol to the new generation of Israelites who are about to enter the Promise Land. Moses wants them to remember more than anything else that they are Yahweh’s chosen people—chosen to be holy to their God and his treasured possession (verse 6 above). And for this reason, when God grants them victory over foreign resistance, they must not compromise their privileged position set apart to Yahweh as his cherished people. They must continue to separate themselves from godless humans and their abominable religious practices that desecrate all that is holy. And they must courageously oust the enemy from the Lord’s sacred Promise Land lest these pagans seduce them away from their Lover.
Takeaway: As the writer of the book of Judges tells us, the next generation soon did what was right in their own eyes and whored after the evil, self-indulgent practices of their neighbors. The pull of sin would always compromise good intentions. And the ebb and flow of corrupt leadership with an occasional, intermittent godly king would result in exile, Judah’s eventual return, and finally, enemy occupation by the time of Christ’s arrival. Thus, Israel needed a Savior, the Father’s treasured possession, to reclaim their privileged position as God’s chosen people.
So how do we, the adopted children of God, respond in this age of our New Covenant? By courageously waging war against the principalities of darkness who spawn evil through flesh and blood (Ephesian 6:12). Still, even though the battle is in the spiritual realm, we interact with humans, and we humans can make life difficult for each other. Unwittingly spurred by Satan, we seduce or coerce others to approve of and join with us in our self-indulgent, godless lifestyles. And like the Israelites, there’s only one sure way to resist: firmly secure in our minds and our hearts that we are God’s chosen, treasured possession. In other words, fall in love with the One who first loved us and offered his most treasured possession to woo us into eternity with him. And it begins by repeatedly reading and reflecting on his love letters and talking to him and others about him so that we desire to please him above all else.
Prayer: We thank you for giving us your most treasured possession in Christ. Would you please deepen our love and affection for you and your Son that we might live holy lives set apart to you as your treasured possession? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling