Learning to Study the Bible (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations —Deuteronomy 7:9
Start by observing the context of the verse. Take time this week to read through Deuteronomy 5-7.
That We Might Know Him
God gives us the Bible that we might know Him. One of the first things we should ask when we read a portion of the Bible is, “What does this passage teach me about God?” There’s a logic we can apply: Since God has put this passage in the Bible, and since He gave us the Bible that we might know Him, then we can know Him better through it.
God gives us Himself in His promises, that we might know Him. This new year in Fighter Verses begins with a command to know that Yahweh is our God and He is faithful (when you see “LORD” in all caps in your Bible, it is the translation for Yahweh). This declaration and recognition of the LORD’s (Yahweh’s) faithfulness to us is fitting at all times—but we would have to agree that 2020 especially has been a year filled with suffering and testing. As we begin 2021, let’s look to the One, who, in all our times, keeps His covenant and will never fail us. He has promised and He is faithful. His Word is true.
Faithful, Steadfast Love
Deuteronomy 7:9 starts right out with the command to know that the LORD our God is God. We can know there is no god besides Yahweh. Know the LORD is our sovereign, reigning God. We learn not only is He sovereign and faithful—but He is also steadfast in His love and is the covenant-keeping God.
Deuteronomy is a book that recounts God’s glorious ways and miraculous deeds. It looks back and reminds us in history, from Exodus through Numbers, of His faithfulness to Moses and His chosen people. It is a reminder of future promises, of God’s covenant “steadfast love” that is working in us who believe today; to love Him with the love He gives us—this love that drives us to keep His commands for the blessing of children yet to be born.
God has been faithful, He is faithful, and He will be faithful to a thousand coming generations. He is the covenant-keeper, not because of anything in us that is lovable, wise, or noble (Deuteronomy 7:1-9), but because He first loved us and took initiative to make a covenant with us, weak and undeserving sinners as we are. He chose us to be His possession.
God wants us to know Him and His covenant-keeping love and faithfulness through Christ Jesus.
Is there a condition to the promise in Deuteronomy 7:9? Yes. It is for those who love God and keep His commandments. The condition of this blessing is fulfilled in Christ Jesus for all those who believe. For we could not love God without His loving us first in sending Jesus to save us. We could not lovingly worship, obey, or serve Him without Jesus first meeting the demands of the law on our behalf. “For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, emphasis added).
Who can benefit from this promise? A thousand generations. (See also, John 17:3, 2 Corinthians 1:20, Hebrews 1:1-3.)
A thousand generations are affected by what we believe and do today. Our impact begins with our heart’s response to God when we learn of His faithfulness to us, His love for us, His covenant with us in Christ Jesus. What is our reasonable response? Let us worship the LORD our God with our lives; He is God, the faithful God. Give thanks to Him and obey Him from a heart full of love for Him. May the coming generations see this in you and want to know the LORD, too!