“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 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.” Deuteronomy 7:6-8
What a majestic passage. Whatever it is that you labor in today, whatever struggle or triumph you have encountered, will you stop and swim in this truth? We’re talking about election, and the pleasure that it brings God. Election, for all the strife and division it has brought in the past, is a truth you and I need today. One of my new seminary books is titled “The Deep Things of God,” and I expect perhaps to encounter this doctrine, for we are indeed treading in deep waters. “Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
By election we mean that God, in his infinite wisdom, has chosen some people to receive his favor and everlasting life, and others he has passed over and left to everlasting death. Ephesians 1 offers that “he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will.” Contrary to much of Christendom, God actually takes great pleasure in election. It brings joy to his heart. It is one of the things that makes him tick. He has made our souls alive not because we were worthy, or good-looking, or wealthy, or “good;” he has made us his own people simply because he loves us. He loves us because he loves us! Yet, because of sin, this quiet thread of self righteousness creeps into everything we do. We long so badly to have a part in our redemption. We want a reason that God came to us. And yet, do we really want a reason? If there is some worthy reason God came to me, then in the blink of an eye that can be taken away. You see, the moment we exclude election, we bring in ourselves into the game, and in that game we should be very scared indeed.
So today, if you happen to be thinking very highly of yourself, or particularly down on yourself, know that you are the elect of God Almighty, his chosen people, not because you are worthy, but because he loves you. “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is kindled quickly. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 2