Read: Exodus 19:2-8a
Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.
God’s Love for Sinners is Undeserved
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Are we there yet?” When was the last time you said that on a family car trip? Did you make it even 15 minutes before you asked? Those long car trips can be great bonding time, providing family memories for years to come. But they can also produce some fighting, complaining, or threats from dad or mom to “turn this car around and head home!”
We might wonder if Moses ever thought of “turning the van around” as he led the children of Israel on the way to the Promised Land. The Bible tells us often how they would grumble and argue and complain. Didn’t they know how wonderful their destination would be? Moses must have been so frustrated!
But if Moses had good reasons to be frustrated, God had even more. He was the one they were grumbling, quarreling, and complaining about. Essentially they were saying that God shouldn’t have brought them out into the wilderness, where they struggled with food and conditions they didn’t like. And they did all this complaining after God delivered them from slavery in Egypt!
God would’ve had every right to leave them in the desert and abandon them. But he didn’t! By his grace, he promised them his love and forgiveness. God told them this: “If you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” We might look at all this and wonder, “Why would God do that? They sure didn’t deserve his kindness!” That’s true, but could we wonder the same thing about ourselves?
God deserves and demands perfect obedience. We grumble, quarrel, and complain too. We deserve nothing from him but eternal abandonment to hell. But God doubles down on his love and care. He not only in grace gives us food and clothes and home and family—he most importantly gives us Jesus, the one who gave us his perfect obedience, paid for our sins, and won us heaven. Today, our God carries us on eagle’s wings. Today, we are his treasured possession. Not because of how awesome we are, but because of how awesome God is!
Thank you, gracious God, for your mercy and undeserved love. Give us grateful hearts that do not complain or quarrel, and help us to show mercy and undeserved love to the people around us as well. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What were some of the miraculous things that God did for the children of Israel when he delivered them from Egypt “on eagles’ wings”?
- Name some of the undeserved blessings that God gives to you.
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Recall a time when you didn’t get treated as you deserved—for example, a time when you deserved to be punished but were shown grace instead. How did you feel afterwards?
- What kinds of things can we do to show that we are grateful for God’s undeserved love?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Compare and contrast our lives and relationship with God today to that of the children of Israel.
- Agree or Disagree: Considering what God had done for them, the complaining of the Israelites was worse than our complaining today. Explain your answer.
Hymn: CW 576:2 – Spread, Oh, Spread the Mighty Word
Tell them how the Father’s will
Made the world and keeps it still,
How his only Son he gave
All from sin and death to save.