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.
Love is a common English word. Do you ever wonder where love comes from. Where love begins. Where love entered the world in the first place.
The scripture lesson above offers a clue. Some of us have heard the phrase ‘no strings attached’ which generally means a shallow relationship with no commitment on either part.
The book of Deuteronomy was written ‘after the fact’ of an enormous rescue.
Q. What might the bolded phrase (above) tell us about God’s character of connection?
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
We humans make our attempts to find accurate words to match our personal experiences. The person who composed Psalm 100 uses the bolded phrase (above) to describe God’s love.
Qs. As you think about your relationships of love between family members, friends, spouse and/or God what words do you use to describe them?
Does steadfast make your list?
How far does steadfast love extend?
‘Come, let us return to the Lord;
for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us;
he has struck down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord;
his appearing is as sure as the dawn;
he will come to us like the showers,
like the spring rains that water the earth.’
What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?
What shall I do with you, O Judah?
Your love is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.
Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets,
I have killed them by the words of my mouth,
and my judgement goes forth as the light.
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings.
The prophet Hosea was talking to people who had ‘lost their way.’ Really, really lost their way. Really, really, really lost their way. It is not book for the faint of heart. But the book of Hosea is about human experience.
Qs. I’ve bolded two phrases in the lesson above. Is it possible to live outside the God’s love?
Where am I at in life when I finally discover it is time make a ‘re-turn’ to God?