Consolation Series - Part 8 - Deuteronomy
For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God. Yahweh your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth. Yahweh didn’t set His love on you nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all peoples; but because Yahweh loves you, and because He desires to keep the oath which he swore to your fathers, Yahweh has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know, therefore, that Yahweh your God Himself is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with them who love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations. Yahweh your God will keep with you the covenant and the loving kindness which He swore to your fathers. He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your livestock and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your fathers to give you. You will be blessed above all peoples. There won’t be male or female barren among you, nor among your livestock.
Deuteronomy 7:6-9, 12-14
This is an extraordinary statement of divine acceptance. God chose Abraham at random to be the recipient of God’s eternal blessing and covenant. Abraham had not yet demonstrated any virtue and would, over the course of the story, be a model of vice as much as virtue. Here again God states that He does not choose us because we have been particularly deserving or have stood out to Him at all. God goes on to say His covenant will survive anything and is practically irrevocable. He asserts that it would take at least a thousand generations of uninterrupted sin to rouse Him to the least indignation.
As Paul Tillich wrote:
You are accepted! You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted! (The Shaking of the Foundations p. 161)