Moses rehearsed with the people God’s commandments and called them to faithfulness when they entered the Promised Land: “Now this is the commandment-- the statutes and the rules-- that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it” (6:1). Furthermore, Moses said to the people, “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers” (7:6-8).
God loved Israel and chose Israel, not the other way around. Here is the doctrine of election, which should be to Israel and to us not a problematic doctrine but a great encouragement. Because he has loved us with an everlasting love, which reaches back into eternity and forward without end, Jesus can say, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. . . . I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day” (John 6:37-39). He loved us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). It’s not that we first loved God but that he loved us (1 John 4:10,19). God did not give the land to Israel because of her righteousness but because he loved her and was faithful to his promises (Deuteronomy 9:6). Once outsiders, we have received mercy (1 Peter 2:10). Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh, my! With Israel and with the Psalmist, let us “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:26).