God loves us because he loves us.
Maybe at first glance that phrase sounds strange, even a little unintelligent. But as a believer in Jesus, this is an incredibly important truth to believe. It’s a truth that outflows and expands from the truth of the gospel. And the ramifications of this massive truth are eternal. Once we grasp this truth, it has explosive, life-shattering effects on the way we live and act. But what does this phrase even mean? Where do I even get this?
In Deuteronomy 7:6-8, God says this about his redeemed people. He says,
“6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, 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.”
In his explanation as to the why of God’s redemption and salvation of Israel, He says “I didn’t love you because you were anything great. No. I loved you because I love you” (vv. 7-8). Redundant much? Well, maybe. But I think God is trying to make a point here in saying this. What God is trying to say here in his explanation of his great love and salvation is that he didn’t save Israel because they deserved any type of saving. I mean, Israel wasn’t any more holy or reputable than any of the other nations of peoples of the world. They were just as sinful, just as stubborn, and just as helpless as any other nation. In fact God said that they were the smallest of all nations. Puny. Helpless. Lost. In bondage. I mean, they were the last people that God should’ve saved. And yet God loved them. And it had nothing to do with they’re righteousness or goodness or moral uprightness. No, he loved them simply because he chose to love them. I mean you could even say that he loved them despite their lackluster merit. Almost insulting, no?
Well, you could take that as insulting. I mean if one of your best friends came up to you and said, “hey you know that I don’t hang out with you because you’re so cool right? In fact, you’re actually a pretty lame person and really hard to get along with. But, I hang out with you because I chose to love you”. That may be a sucker punch to that ego of yours. It could cause your heart to sink to the recesses of your stomach. Maybe you might throw a small tantrum, and reply back, “well you know you’re not so great yourself, pal!”.
But you could also receive that type of love with assurance. I mean sure, Israel was small, puny even, and without defense. They didn’t really have any hope of earning any type of love, and yet God chose to love them despite their undeserving demeanor. That’s kind of insulting — but all this talk about puny-ness and such can also lead someone to think, “man, if God loves me where I’m at now — small, sinful, stubborn — well, He must really love me! I can’t screw that type of love up, because it has nothing to do with me!” This type of love — the type that loves someone even when they don’t deserve it — is real love. It’s unconditional. It’s omni-love. It doesn’t take into account the beauty of the one loved. It just loves. It doesn’t care how ugly you are, or insecure, or messed up — it just loves. I mean, sure you’re pretty screwed up Israel, but look at the unending love of your God!
And this was what God was trying communicate to Israel. They were a small undeserving nation, and it took an unconditional, unending, impartial love to break through and rescue them. And that love will always last — why? — because it wasn’t based on Israel’s greatness to begin with, and will never be about their greatness or merit. God’s love toward them will always be based simply on his love for them, and never on their deserving greatness.
And Christian, God has and is loving you the same. Paul picks up on this same principle, and says in 1 Corinthians 1:26, “For consider your calling brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many powerful, not many were noble. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise…” Hey Corinthians — you guys were the scum of society when God saved you. You weren’t cool or hip. You weren’t moral or an upstanding citizen. And yet despite you being foolish, God chose to love you. Christian, this is your relationship with God. You weren’t anything special. You weren’t doing anything deserving of any type of love — and yet God chose to love you! Why? Well…because he loves you.
This is the ground of our assurance as Christians — he loves us because he loves us. We are screwed up and deserving of death, and yet he chose to love us anyways. We are messy, sinful, angry, proud, and self-centered. And yet God still loves us. We are small, puny, and were in a hopeless situation of sin and death. And yet God loves us.
He loves us because he loves us. That’s it. Yea it’s offensive because it means that you’re pretty messed up. But it’s also eternally comforting. Because that means that Jesus’ blood on the cross bought me an unending, inexhaustible, unquenchable, eternal love. It means I can’t screw it up. I can’t lose God’s love — because I didn’t earn it in the first place! I mean, it’s not based on my greatness. This is true love. God loves me because he loves me — what a life-altering, ego-destroying, explosive truth!