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: Having exhorted Israel to prioritize God in all aspects of life and nurture a loving relationship with him, Moses cautions Israel not to put the Lord to the test (chapter 6). Instead, they must take possession of the Promised Land, showing no mercy to their enemies who will otherwise corrupt them and steal their affections away from the Lord (7:1-5). Why is this paramount? The above verses explain. Israel is holy to Yahweh; they are his prized possession (Hebrew: seg̱ullāh), whom he chose from all the earth’s other nations.
The Hebrew word seg̱ullāh (which expresses ownership and value), appears again in the Old Testament when David states he received his treasures for the building of the temple (1 Chronicles 29:3) and when Solomon says he has amassed for himself the treasures of kings (Ecclesiastes 2:8). In the New Testament, as the concept advances under our New Covenant of Grace, Paul writes about how we are God’s inheritance (Ephesians 1:14), a people his very own (Titus 2:14), and Peter adds we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV).
Takeaway: This reality of seg̱ullāh, God’s chosen people being his “prized possession,” is an underlying assumption of each of the Lord’s covenants with his people. From Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Christ, the promises and stipulations pronounced carry an understanding that we are not our own, that God created us to be holy as is he so that we can be in close communion. And our Lord will do whatever it takes to ensure that nothing or no one can interfere with preparing us for an eternity with him where we will glorify him and enjoy him forever.
Unquestionably, the Cross of Christ best symbolizes the extent of our Father’s affections for us expressed in the sacrifice of his most treasured possession and our Good Shepherd. Indeed, Jesus tells his disciples (and us), “I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:14-15 ESV). We are his prized possession, for he has willingly sacrificed his life to keep us firmly in his and his Father’s grasp (John 10:28-30). Chosen, treasured, and secure—we couldn’t ask for more. So our response? Glorify and enjoy him with our love and affection, gratitude, worship, and obedience.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you and your Son that we are your chosen and treasured possession and that our place with you in eternity is secure. Would you please help us to conduct our lives in a manner that demonstrates our gratitude, cooperating with your Holy Spirit to express our love for you with worshipful hearts lived out in obedience to your will? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling