God chose us because He loves us, but why does He love us? I believe
that word “why” is at the heart of Lent and Easter. Why, why me? In
today’s reading in Deuteronomy God explains why. He loved His people
because He chose to, not because we aren’t a sorry lot. For me it’s
easy to forget that I’m not a deserving candidate, a contest winner to
win God’s love. Rather, He just decided to love me. We, like the Israelites,are God’s treasured possession (Deuteronomy 6:6.), but only because of God’s character, not ours.
Psalm 37 exhorts us to trust God’s character and have patience even in
the face of evil. We can build on our knowledge of God’s character to
follow the encouragement in Psalm 37: “delight” yourself in the Lord
(v. 4), knowing that He loves us and we’re His treasured possession;
“commit” our way to the Lord and “trust” Him (v. 5); and lastly and
hardest, “be still” and “patient” (v. 7). Psalm 37 is a Psalm about the
shadows in the world, caused by the evil that men do (and this includes
all of us). It’s an admonition to have patience, knowing that God sees,
understands, and will make everything right.
The beginning of Titus, chapter 1, reminds us of another aspect of
God’s character: He does not lie (v. 2). I thought it interesting that
Paul would insert this phrase, as if to remind us that humans lie, Satan
lies, but God does not lie. He promised long ago that He would come
to take the shadows out of the world, and this is what we wait for during Lent.