“Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations.” 36:22
Smack dab in the middle of these beautiful chapters of Israel’s redemption is a crucial reminder: they do not deserve to be redeemed. God is revealing his holiness to the other nations by gathering up Israel and bringing them back to their land.
Pause and think about your own rescue story. Are you deserving of God’s mercy in your life? I don’t say that to make you feel ashamed. But to feel freed! It’s so easy to slip into performing for God. Earning our place with him. But he tells us plainly that no, we don’t earn a thing. We never could! It’d be hopeless.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” Ephesians 2:4-5
Do you find yourself spiritually performing? I catch myself doing this when I read my Bible because I think it puts me in a better position with him, not because I’m drawn to spend time with him.
Do you feel unloveable? You are deeply and unconditionally loved, and there is nothing you can do about it.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
What motivates you to be in relationship with God?