God’s Word for You
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, May 6, 2015
22 “You shall be my people,
and I will be your God.
This is the summary of the covenant between God and his people, and it is the usual formula used by God to state this relationship (Genesis 17:7-8; Exodus 6:7; Leviticus 26:12; Ezekiel 36:28). In Jeremiah, we find this promise three times: Jeremiah 7:23, 11:4, and here. There is a variation on this when Ruth places herself under the covenant as she promises her loyalty to Naomi (Ruth 1:17-18).
It is an overwhelming promise of pure gospel. When God promises “You shall be my people,” he brings us under his protection in every way. He will provide us with the holiness necessary to be with him. “The benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22). Another benefit we reap from being God’s people is the ability to live lives that can please God. This is impossible for someone still in their sins, but for everyone with faith in Christ, we have the comfort that he “himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Living for God’s righteousness means living as God’s servants (1 Peter 2:16), showing respect for everyone whether they are our neighbors, our relatives, our government, or our enemies. It even means putting up with suffering for the sake of the gospel, since “if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God” (1 Peter 2:20).
When God promises “I will be your God,” he shows us just how vast his protection is. He sends his angels to guard over us in ways we never fully understand (Daniel 10:13; Psalm 91:11-12). He showers us with his blessings, from daily bread to luxuries and everything in between. He listens to our prayers and he answers them (1 John 5:14). Having the LORD as our God means knowing that there is nothing lacking in our salvation; nothing more that needs to be done. It means being able to pray: “You have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5). So through ordinary means in nature, through extraordinary means like miracles and angels, and through the superb atoning work of Christ on the cross, God provides us with everything we need.
He who to this day has fed me
And to many joys has led me
Is and ever shall me mine.
He who ever gently schools me,
He who daily guides and rules me
Will remain my help divine.
(“All Depends on Our Possessing” Christian Worship 421 vs. 2)
Pastor Timothy Smith
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