Have you ever said something that you regretted? Maybe an insult toward a sibling or a parent in a quick bout of anger? Why do we do that to the very people who love us and provide for us time and time again? I know that I certainly have made this mistake. Looking back on my life in middle and high school, I not only see times when I said things that I regret, but I also see many situations where my dad bent over backwards to bless me despite my bad attitude. I used to LOVE horses. I mean, I was obsessed. My dad knew I loved horses, and he spent hours building a barn and arena with his own two hands just to bless me. Looking back, how I treated my family from time to time are some of my biggest regrets from my teen years. But because of the constant love, mercy, and blessings my parents showed me despite my rebellion, I was able to see characteristics of my heavenly Father through them such as the One who is faithful even when I am not.
My teenage relationship with my parents is similar to God’s relationship with the Israelites. God knew their tendency to forget what He did for them. We see in Deuteronomy 7 God speaking through Moses to remind His people of a foundational characteristic of Himself that we need to be reminded of often since we also have a tendency to forget what God has done for us.
Faithful Promise Keeper
Up to this point in the Bible, God has repeatedly displayed His love and faithfulness to the Israelites through many different examples. When in verse 8 God reminds His people that He is keeping His commandment, this truth is backed with years and several examples of how He has already fulfilled that promise. Our Father is a holy and faithful God who keeps His promises. Verses 8 and 9 point to our faithful Father’s steadfast love that has been displayed through His fulfillment of His covenant (or unbreakable promise) made to Abraham back in Genesis 12. The provision of the Father is evidenced all over the Bible as He provides, brings out of captivity, guides, and forgives. God’s faithfulness is evident as He fulfills His promise to His people in every mess up, mistake, doubt, and battle. This unbreakable promise and steadfast love is ultimately fulfilled through Jesus as He came to earth as the ultimate sacrifice to provide a way for sinful, unfaithful humans to experience eternal life with Him.
As sinful humans it can be easy to think that we got something great because we did something to deserve it. This is not always the case, and here God is reminding His people that HE is the reason they were chosen and have received His blessings. In verse 7, God reminds the people that they were not chosen because of their greatness (they’re actually the opposite of great), but rather they were chosen because of God’s character…because He loves them and is keeping His Word to them. I am so thankful my parents had grace with me when I was a teenager. If I had gotten what I deserved, I would have been homeless and starving and definitely would not have a hand-made barn. Boy am I thankful that God is faithful to me despite my downfalls! God fulfills His promise of faithfulness despite human mistakes because that is who He is (verse 8; Psalm 105:8). It kind of reminds me of a yo-yo: God is the finger and we are the yo-yo on the string. I’ll admit there are times in life when my circumstances and lack of time in the Word cause me to feel like God is not faithful. However, those thoughts do not change the truth that God is faithful no matter what my opinion of Him is. God is consistently faithful, and I must realize the truth of who He is and “yo-yo” back up to Him and His truth.
Obeying Our Promise Keeper
Verse 9 begins with a command…know. How should we respond to our 100% faithful God who never goes back on His promises, who has proven His faithfulness time and time again, and who intentionally seeks us out? We are to know the truth of His character and be careful to obey His commandments (verses 9, 11). This is serious stuff: God is real, God is loving, God is faithful, God provides, and God is just. Because God is a just and pure God who can only accept perfection into His presence, we must be careful to obey all He has commanded. The Bible teaches that the law’s purpose is to show us the reality of our sins, to show that only God is good. These laws God has set in place are not to “prevent fun,” as I previously thought, but to protect His children from the lies of the world. Thankfully, God has provided a way through Jesus – the fulfillment of His promise and law – to accept us sinful beings into His presence. All we need to do is have faith in the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10). When I realize the love of God throughout history towards His people ultimately displayed by His Son dying for sinful, rebellious me, I cannot help but respond with my obedience. I want to pursue holiness because Christ is holy (1 Peter 1:13-16). The Bible teaches that we cannot serve two masters in this life (Matthew 6:24). We must choose to serve and obey God alone or to serve and obey ourselves and this world. Jesus requires us to deny ourselves and follow Him (Luke 9:23). Verse 10 shows a serious reality of the payment sinners deserve apart from Christ. Are you pursing God in obedience and responding to the truth of who He is?
When I don’t feel like anyone could ever be faithful toward me because I have messed up so many times, when I begin to believe the lies of the world and forget the truth of God’s character, when I am tempted to go to that party with my friends because it looks like fun, I must remember that God is good, God is faithful, and God is serious about my commitment to Him and response to the truth of who He is. Sister, I challenge you to think about where you stand in relation to this truth in Deuteronomy? Are you pursuing a relationship with the One who is faithful? Are you placing your faith in His Son and obeying Him? I challenge you to write a letter to God acknowledging how you have seen His faithfulness in the past and how you see His faithfulness now. Our Father is a faithful promise keeper who will never let you down.
Lord, thank You that You are forever faithful. Thank You for proving that You are worthy of my obedience. Thank You for letting me see and understand more of who You are. I confess that I forget Your faithfulness and how worthy You are of praise. Help me to remember Your character and have a greater passion for Your Word so that I can combat the lies of this world and pursue You.
2 Chronicles 6:14
2 Timothy 2:13