Not Because of Your Righteousness
God reveals Himself as the One who rescues a people from their sins, not the One who rewards the righteous for their merits. In this brief clip, W. Robert Godfrey reminds us that the people of God are recipients of sovereign mercy beyond all deserving.
Verse 4 of chapter 9 is so important. I think it’s key in a lot of ways to understanding what’s going on in Deuteronomy. “Do not say in your heart,” Deuteronomy 9:4, “after the LORD your God has thrust the nations out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD our God is driving them out from before you, that He may confirm the word that the LORD swore unto our fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.” And so, anyone who wants to argue that Israel is inheriting the land because of its righteousness, because of its obedience, because the Lord is rewarding them for their goodness, Moses says, “That’s absolutely the opposite of the truth. He’s giving you the land despite who you are, despite what you’ve been, despite what you are going to be. He is rescuing a stubborn people; He is not rewarding a righteous people.” And I think we have to keep that in mind when we think about ourselves as well, that we indeed have been the recipients of grace not because we’ve deserved it, but because of the sovereign mercy of God beyond all deserving. It’s the wonder of grace that we possess in Him and through Him.