Sunday, 9 October 2016

No pride

Deuteronomy 9. Full of warning to Israel that future defeat of enemies will not be because of their strength or goodness but because of God's mercy, grace and power. "But when God pushes them out ahead of you, don’t start thinking to yourselves, “It’s because of all the good I’ve done that God has brought me in here to dispossess these nations.” Actually it’s because of all the evil these nations have done. No, it’s nothing good that you’ve done, no record for decency that you’ve built up, that got you here; it’s because of the vile wickedness of these nations that God, your God, is dispossessing them before you so that he can keep his promised word to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
And then God says it again... and goes on and on about their wickedness:
Know this and don’t ever forget it: It’s not because of any good that you’ve done that God is giving you this good land to own. Anything but!" (vv4 - 6)

It all comes down to pride, the belief that we are self-reliant. How we make an idol of it!  How we prize self-sufficiency in strong, independent people.

The Gospel turns this all upside down. We are to be dependent on God, as helpless before him as babes...we are not deserving of anything the Lord Almighty, maker of heaven and earth has done but IN HIS MERCY he gives us grace. He showers us with blessings and good fortune. He protects and cares for his. None of this is on our own merits for which we can take credit. None.

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