Arminian Today

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The Ground for Israel’s Election

I was reading Deuteronomy 7:6-8 this morning and I noticed what was the ground for God’s sovereign choosing of Israel.  Notice the text (NKJV):

6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

The New Geneva Study Bible adds the following note about verse 8.

The election of Israel as a holy nation set apart for God (vv.6-7) was grounded, not in any merit or intrinsic goodness of Israel, but in God’s love and in His faithfulness to the covenant promises made to the patriarchs (Deuteronomy 6:10).  God’s election of the church is based on His oath to Jesus, the son of Abraham, the Son of God (Psalm 110:4; John 17:6).

I fully agree.  It was the love of God that motivated Him to bring His people out of bondage (Exodus 2:24-25).  God had swore to Abraham to give him the land of promise (Genesis 17:7-8).  God’s promise to His people was based on His love for them and He demonstrated that love by delivering His people out of Egypt (Joshua 24:1-13).  But the basis for His election of Israel is clear: it was not they who chose Yahweh but rather He chose them because of His great love for them.

What great love is this?  That God would choose to save even one person amazes me.  I became a disciple of Jesus in 1992 and over the years I have not always been faithful.  I have sinned against Him.  I have violated His laws and transgressed His commands.  But I am amazed that He still loves me and does not cast me aside (John 6:37).  He would be just to destroy me for breaking His commands but He is faithful and just to forgive me when I cry out to Him just as the Israelites did (Psalm 107:6).  God called His people to obey Him (Deuteronomy 7:9-11) but He was ever loving and good toward them despite their failures.  That amazes me.  His love amazes me.

The basis for my election and your election is not you.  It is God.  It is His love that motivated Him to save you.  God does not choose us because He sees us striving to enter into His rest in our own free will power.  He loves us and saves us even while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:6-8).  It was His love that motivated Him to send His Son to die for our sins (John 3:16).  Scripture even tells us that God is love (1 John 4:16) and we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).  No doubt it was also God’s holiness that motivates Him to send His Son but over and over again we see that it was God’s love that was manifested in the giving of His Son.

This destroys pride.  We are not chosen because we hold to a certain form of theology or, like Israel, because there is intrinsic goodness in us but because of the love of God.  God reached down and saved us by His grace (Ephesians 2:4).  It was God who first sent His Son, drew you unto Himself through the cross (John 12:32) and He saves you not because of your worth or your goodness or your prayers but because of His great saving love.

What love is this!



Written by The Seeking Disciple

11/25/2012 at 10:30 AM

Posted in Election, Love

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. If we say the same by analogy we get God electing the church, as you say. Entrance into Israel was by birth—though really by faith as not all Israel was Israel, and the faithful like Ruth and Rahab were grafted in. Likewise the entrance into the church is by faith. God saves by his power, even us who have failed him, yet who have faith in him who justifies! I am so grateful I am saved by God’s power and not my works.


    11/26/2012 at 1:12 AM

    • Amen! We are saved by God’s grace through faith and thus we become the elect of God as we enter into a covenant relationship with Him through His Son.

  2. But… what about John 16:27? (I mean “because”…)


    11/26/2012 at 5:23 PM

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