The Conditional Benefits of God’s Unconditional Love (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
Moses is clear in verses 6-8 that the LORD’s favor on Israel is not due to their inherent significance, but to his own particular love for them. It was not because they were special or great that he chose them and redeemed them. He chose them and redeemed them unconditionally because he loves them and is faithful to his promises.
So Moses calls on the people to know the LORD for who he is—the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love. But wait, there is more. What about the glaring condition that acts like a rudder to the course of this verse? God’s faithfulness and love is for those who love him and keep his commandments.
God’s particular love is for a particular people, and the particular people described in verse 9 are those who love him and keep his commandments. How does God’s conditional faithfulness and love in verse 9 fit with the unconditional faithfulness and love described in verses 6-8?
The condition of loving God and keeping his commandments in verse 9 is as dependent upon his grace as is the unconditional situation described in verses 7-8. Conditions are not the same as meritorious works. God’s faithfulness and love is for those who love him and keep his commandments, and those who do this only do so because of God’s free grace at work within them.
This faithfulness and steadfast love of God in Deuteronomy 7:9 has been fully revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for sinners. And God’s faithfulness and love revealed preeminently in Christ is still conditional. The work of Christ and all its benefits are only for whosoever believes (John 3:16) and only for the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26).
Trust in Jesus. Put your faith in him! And know that our believing and having faith is never once a result of our own resources or ability. It is grace, grace, grace.
So let us hear Deuteronomy 7:9 and know the LORD for who he is, being reminded of his marvelous grace to make us the beneficiaries of such wonder.
Why did God set his love upon the people of Israel (vv. 6-8)?
What is the basis of Moses’ instruction for the people of Israel to “Know therefore that the LORD is God…”?
What is the relationship between conditions, like our faith, and grace?
How does this affect your fight of faith?