First – let me apologize for my absence the last couple of days. I was home sick on Monday with a stomach bug when my wife fell on the ice and hit her head. Not the best start to a busy week. But we’re both slowly recovering, and here I am writing again.
“But the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.”
(Deut. 32:9 ESV)
Have you ever looked at something for so long you’ve forgotten it’s even there? Have you ever missed the forest for the trees? I remember the first time I ever went to the Circus. Ringling Bros. had come to Kansas City and my grandparents took the family. I sat next to Aunt Jane in wild-eyed wonder at the spectacle before me, taking it all in. Aunt Jane was excited too. All she could talk about on the drive to the Circus, as we waited for the show to start, and all through the evening, was how much she wanted to see the Tight Rope Walkers. That was all she really cared about. She couldn’t wait to see them.
And she talked right through their performance – missing the whole thing. She was so caught up in the anticipation of the act that she missed the act entirely. No one knew she wasn’t watching it, she was talking about it while it was happening. When the show was over, she expressed her disappointment that the Tight-Rope Walkers didn’t perform, that’s when we realized what had happened. Sometimes its hard for us to see the things that are right in front of us.
I’ve kind of had that realization lately with the passage given above.
One of the first songs I can remember from Sunday School is: “The Lord is mine and I am His, His banner over me is love.”
I know from my study of Scripture of God’s immeasurable love for His people, a love so great that He would send His only begotten Son to pay the price for our guilt, so that we might be presented as Christ bride, holy and blameless, without spot or blemish.
As a Presbyterian, I can recite from heart the key components of the doctrine of election, how God has chosen His people to be set apart as a holy people, a royal nation.
I was even swept away by David Crowder’s lyrics in the song “How He Loves”: “We are His portion, He is our prize, Drawn to Redemption by the grace in His eyes…”
Last Sunday I preached on the love story of God in Hosea 3. This week I’m preaching on the love song of God in Zephaniah 3.
This was all around me, but know I see it. We are God’s special treasure. A.W. Pink wrote, “How overwhelming the thought that the great God should deem Himself the richer because of our faith, our love and worship! Surely this is one of the most marvellous truths revealed in Holy writ – that God should pick up poor sinners and make them His inheritance!”
God delights in His people (see Deut 30:9; Ps 35:27, 37:23; 147:10; Is 62:4; Zeph 3:17). God loves to love those who love Him. John Piper wrote, “God does not do you good out of some constraint or coercion. He is free! And in his freedom he overflows in joy to do you good.”
God did not send His Son to redeem us from slavery to sin and death so that we might become slaves to a despotic and tyrannical god. No. God so loved us that He sent His Son so that we, who were once not a people, might be called the people of God; so that we, who once knew no mercy, might receive mercy (1 Peter 2:10). “Behold, what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are” (1 John 3:1)
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6). May God’s grace, and the knowledge of His love for us, strengthen us to walk worthy of such a calling.