Depending On God
Deuteronomy 7:9 “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.”
Deuteronomy 7:9 gives us insight into who God is. The Hebrew name used for God in Deuteronomy 7:9 is El HaNe’eman: The God who is faithful.
Faithful can mean a couple different things nowadays. Often times “faithful” is used to describe someone who is a regular attender or who regularly participates in something. “They are faithful to show up every week to help out.” Or you could use it to describe someone’s work ethic. “They are faithful at their job. Always doing what they are asked.”
These are not bad definitions for faithful, but Deuteronomy 7:9 gives us a different perspective when it comes to faithfulness. We see here that God is faithful, it’s not just a statement of His consistency or reliability, but a description of who He is. This verse also gives us a couple of examples of how this plays out:
1. God Is Faithful To Keep His Promises
Deuteronomy 7:9 “He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations…”
Let’s not fool ourselves into looking at God’s faithfulness the same way our society views human faithfulness. We often want to treat our commitments more like a contract than a covenant. A contract says ‘I will do this on the condition that you do that.’ ‘If you fulfill your end, I will fulfill mine.’ A covenant is very different. A covenant says ‘I will completely fulfill my promises to you regardless of any condition upon which you fulfill yours.’ God is faithful to keep His promises.
2 Timothy 2:13 “Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us.”
Even when we are too weak to have any faith left. When we choose to trust in ourselves, or in our job, or in our bank account – He remains faithful. He will not disown those who have accepted Him. He will carry out His promises to us.
- He loves you – (John 3:16)
- He forgives you – (Psalm 103:3)
- He has adopted you – (Romans 1:6)
- He will never leave you or give up on you – (Hebrews 13:5)
- He will meet your needs – (Philippians 4:19)
- He has a plan and a purpose for your life – (Jeremiah 29:11)
God is faithful to keep His promises.
2. God Is Faithful To Lavish His Unfailing Love
Deuteronomy 7:9 “He…lavishes his unfailing love…”
The dictionary defines lavish as “bestowing something in generous or extravagant quantities.”
God loves you in generous and extravagant quantities. Three ways that He does this is through pardoning, protecting, and pursuing.
God’s Love Pardons Us
First, God’s love pardons us from every wrong – past, present and future. God’s love is limitless. Where our sin abounds, God’s love abounds more. God’s love never fails.
Lamentations 3:22-24 “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’”
Mercy occurs when we (or someone) doesn’t receive what they justly deserve; when you’re spared of some punishment or consequence. When someone begs for mercy, what they are doing is pleading that they will not get the punishment or sentence they earned. As people who sin, we all deserve punishment. We deserve condemnation. But because God lavishes His love on us. He pardons our sin.
Romans 8:1 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
What that means is there is now no guilty verdict, no punishment for those who believe in Jesus and have accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior. We are spared from the eternal consequences of our sinful choices. God loves you and because He loves you, He holds back. He lavishes His love on you.
God’s love is what separates Christianity from every other religion. It is what makes Christianity a relationship with the One true God and not a system of do’s and don’ts and wishful thinking.
Religion says Do.
- Do this and you will inherit everlasting life.
- Do this and you will find happiness and peace.
- Do this and you will be rewarded in eternity.
Religion is all about what you do. Christianity is all about what’s been done.
- Because of what Christ has done, condemnation is forever gone
- Because of what Christ has done, our salvation has been purchased by His blood on the cross
- Because of what Christ has done, we have been made right before God and can experience His peace
- Because of what Christ has done, we are brought into the fullness of God’s purpose in our lives
- Because of what Christ has done, we are empowered to live with a hope and confidence that comes from God’s blessing
Religion says Do. Christianity says Done.
God’s Love Protects Us
But God’s love doesn’t just pardon us, it also protects us.
Psalm 33:20-22 “We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.”
When we come into a relationship with God, we become a part of His family. We are given His spirit. And receive His blessing.
God’s family puts people in our lives that have our back in times of need, we have people that are going to help advance our lives in a way that no other friend or family would. God’s spirit guides us and directs us, prompting us toward His goodness and strengthening us to walk His way. God’s blessing allows things in our lives that would be impossible apart from God, all of the sudden the creator of the universe, the all-powerful almighty God is in our corner, working all things together for our good.
God’s Love Pursues Us
God’s love pardons and protects. It also pursues.
Psalm 23:6 “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”
You cannot outrun God’s love. And You cannot be so lost that God’s love can’t find you. God is faithful. And He is faithful to keep His promises. And He is faithful to lavish His unfailing love.
Matthew 18:12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?”
God will act as that shepherd in our life to ensure His presence is known. He’ll bring goodness into our lives or he’ll graciously allow our consequences to direct us back to Him. God will never leave you hanging; He will not stop pursuing you.
How To Receive God’s Faithfulness
Deuteronomy 7:9 “…those who love him and obey his commands.”
I Choose To Love And Obey Even When It Doesn’t Make Sense
It’s easy to love and obey God when it makes since to us. When it falls in line with what I want or when it lines up with my timeline. But God shows Himself faithful even when loving and obeying doesn’t make sense. When it doesn’t fall in line with what I want. When it doesn’t line up with my timeline.
2 Corinthians 4:8 “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit.”
God knows things we don’t. His perspective is from the press box. Ours is from the field. We can only see the part of the play that is right in front of us. God sees every part of the play as it rolls out. And He knows His team wins. It’s good to know that we can trust God and that He has promised that one day He will set everything right.
But until then, there are two ways you can live your life. You can live feeling like God owes you an explanation, or you can live realizing God has given you His faithfulness and He is trustworthy.
If you live life feeling like God owes you an explanation, you will only up in a constant state of bitterness and frustration. The later empowers you to advance in life with the fullness of God’s goodness on display to you.
God is always faithful. And if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior then His light is always faithful to shine and show the way forward.