His love endures forever. (Psalm 118:2)
. . . give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love. (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31)
The Lord your God has chosen you . . . to be his people, his treasured possession . . . because the Lord loved you. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)
From the first pages of Genesis, we see the holy, just and righteous God wanting fellowship with human beings. In fact, He created them for that purpose. He delighted in their company in the cool of the day. Then, by preferring their own way to His, they lost that close companionship.
There were exceptions. Genesis chapters 5 & 6 record that Enoch and Noah walked with God. But after the flood and before Noah’s death, mankind had already returned to violent, evil ways.
Then the Lord set His focus on Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as on the nation that grew out of this family. We watch this love story unfold throughout the rest of the Old Testament. In the passage above from Deuteronomy, the Lord was assuring the people of Israel of His “unfailing love” for them. He spoke to Israel at times as a father but even more often as a lover and husband longing for them to return the love He felt for them.
When God found a tender heart like David’s, He expressed with immense delight, “I have found David . . . a man after my own heart.“ ( Acts 13:22) He even exclaimed to Israel, “I will sing for the one I love.” (Isaiah 5:1)
When the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon, God’s love for His people was so evident to her, she asserted, “Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel . . . . “ (1 Kings 10:9)
Even when Israel turned away from the Lord, His love for her remained. Hear His tender, deep lament in Hosea 11:8, “How can I give you up . . . ?”
The heavenly Father calls His Hebrew people, “My beloved,” (Jeremiah 11:15) and “the one I love.” (Jeremiah 12:7) He declares, “You are precious . . . in my sight . . . I love you,” (Isaiah 43:4) “my unfailing love for you will not be shaken.” (Isaiah 54:10)
The love of the Lord Jesus for His people, Israel, is never more poignant than on the day of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. “As he approached . . . the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace.” (Luke 19:41 & 42)
Even though the apostle Paul was sent to the Gentiles, the Lord gave him such a love for “his brothers . . . the people of Israel” that he states he could wish himself cut off from the Lord if it would mean that they would come to Him. (Romans 9:3)
Lord, we thank You for such extraordinary and eternal love for this people, Israel. We do not understand all the reasons why You chose to set Your love on a particular people, but we trust You, our just, wise and faithful God. Your plan is perfect! You will reveal to us what You want us to know.
By Wendy Beckett. Excerpted with permission from God Keeps Covenant: A Thirty-Day Study on God’s Love for Israel. Order from IFAresources.org or call 812 814-9690. Wendy Beckett is the U.S. Prayer Coordinator for Operation Exodus-Ebenezer Emergency Fund. She serves on both its International and U.S. boards. Early in her life, growing up in Toronto, Canada, Wendy developed a deep love for the Jewish people. After her six children grew up, Wendy was able to devote more time to intercession. By 1996, she was praying fervently for the Lord’s purposes to be fulfilled as He brought His Jewish people back to Israel. This devotional flows out of her study of this subject and her prayers.
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