Tuesday, February 28, 2023

God's Standards

It's hard to understand what is happening in the Old Testament when God starts to favor Israel and cast out the other nations before them. For the longest time, one of the complaints has been that God seems to like one peoples more than another, so He moves heaven and earth for them. And if that's the case, then is it true that you can be a good person and still experience the curse simply because God loves someone else more than He loves you? 

It's scary to think about. It's not the kind of God we would want to worship. How could we ever know where we really stand? How could we know whether we are loved or really loved? Whether we are one of the peoples He would move heaven and earth for...or one of the peoples He would just...move? 

Thankfully, God leaves no doubt about why He's casting out the peoples He's casting out: they're sinners. 

They are a people who live contrary to the way that God desires for humans to live. They are a people who worship in perverse and profane ways, who worship gods other than Him, who do despicable things - the very kinds of things God tells His people not to do. And when He tells His people not to do them? He says plainly that these are the very same things He's casting these other peoples out of the Promised Land for. 

Even when God casts His own people out of His own community, He's clear about why. He says plainly what it is that makes them unclean and why being unclean isn't compatible with being in His community. 

Never is it because He "loves this person more." Never is it because "so-and-so is just a better human being." No, it always goes back to God's standard for living and the ways that persons are not holding their end of that covenant. 

So we don't have to worry about whether we're loved or really loved: we are truly loved, and God is - and always has been - very clear about His love for His people and His standard for the way we ought to live. 

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