The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:7-8)
Thomas Manton (1620-1677) preached a sermon on John 3:16, titled “God’s Unspeakable Love,” in which he provided this powerful insight regarding the “why” of God’s love.
We may give a reason of other things, but we cannot give a reason of His love, God showed His wisdom, power, justice, and holiness in our redemption by Christ. If you ask why he made so much ado about a worthless creature, raised out of the dust of the ground at first, had now disordered himself, and could be of no use to him, we have an answer at hand: because he loved us. If you continue to ask, “But why did he love us?” we have no other answer but, “Because he loved us”; for beyond the first rise of things, we cannot go.
You can see in today’s passage from Deuteronomy that Moses confirmed the powerful truth of why God loves us: simply because God loves us! When I am engaged in premarital coaching, I like to ask the couple why they love each other. I’m sure you can anticipate the answers I receive as you recall the reasons why you fell in love with someone during the course of your life. But know this: whatever reasons we attach to the why we love someone—looks, intelligence, stability, career possibilities, personality, etc.—that is the place where that person will locate their identity, because that is where we have rooted our love. And as long as we are satisfied with that why, love remains.
But God’s why is completely different. There is absolutely nothing in us that causes God to love us. He loves us simply because He loves us! Do you realize how secure that makes your identity? It is not rooted in anything you are, anything you have done, or anything you ever will do for God. Your identity is fixed in the unwavering, unchanging, unconditional, love of God, who sent His Son to pay the penalty for your sin to have you as His bride for all eternity.
Later in his sermon, Thomas Manton said, “From first to last, love is so conspicuous that we cannot overlook it. Light is not more conspicuous in the sun than the love of God in our redemption by Christ.” Is this not a word of cosmic comfort to you today? You are loved with an everlasting love just because God chose to love you. Perhaps you, like the apostle Paul, will be moved by the Spirit to exult, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
One final point. If we love others because God first loved us—and we do—perhaps we ought to love others the same way God loves us . . . JUST BECAUSE!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!