When I was in high school, I was among the “nobodies” and “losers” of our class. I am conscious today of including other people because I still remember the feeling of being excluded.
Many people have had experiences like mine, or even much worse. They know being excluded, picked last, body shamed, or racially profiled.
I believe that it is good news to know that God chose an overlooked people group and a nation of slaves to be his chosen people.
Few people are part of the high school “in crowd” and fewer still are superstars. Most of us are among the overlooked nobodies.
Good news! God pays attention to the “overlooked” and loves them in a real and personal way.
God’s Choice of Israel
Can you imagine that over 40 million people are in some form of slavery in 2021? It may be shocking, but it is true. The largest numbers of enslaved persons live in North Korea, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, India, and Qatar.
Their “overlooked” condition is infinitely more painful than any high school slight I may have experienced.
The Hebrew people knew what it was like to be overlooked and enslaved.
The Bible reports how the Egyptians were ruthless in the tasks they imposed on the Israelites. The Hebrews’ days were filled with bitter, hard, and unrelenting labor (See Exodus 1.8-14).
Imagine what it would be like for God to intervene on behalf of the slave laborers of North Korea. It is estimated that one out of four people in North Korea labor under slave-like conditions, while the ruling elite lavishes in luxury.
What if God chose them, freed them, and brought them to a promised land? That picture would be no more startling than what he did for the Hebrew people.
Moses reminded the people of this fact and said, “It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you—for you were the fewest of all peoples.
“It was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath that he swore to your ancestors, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7.7-8).
God’s act for the Israelites is good news for all persons who feel that they are nothing more than overlooked losers. God loves you in a real and personal way.
His love for you is as real as is the existence of Jewish people and the nation Israel.
As we consider this fact, let’s include the “overlooked” persons of the world in our prayers. God loves people who are living in desperate situations everywhere.
God told Moses, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters.
“Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians” (Exodus 3.7-8).
I believe God will hear our prayers for the oppressed and overlooked of the world. Let’s give these people the gift of our prayers.
God’s Character and Our Response
The world’s superpower 1300 years before Christ was Egypt. Instead of setting his affection on the Egyptians, God loved the slaves who provided labor for that nation.
Moses reminded his audience of God’s character and said, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
“And who repays in their own person those who reject him. He does not delay but repays in their own person those who reject him” (Deuteronomy 7.9-10).
It is possible for us to minimize the importance of God’s character because we have become familiar with the many accounts of his nature.
In contrast to God’s nature, idols and false gods cannot be trusted. They often require costly sacrifices to appease their wrath.
God’s essential name, “I am who I am,” declares his faithfulness. His name can be paraphrased, “I will continue to be what I always have been.”
Not only does God know all about our lives, love us, chooses us as friends, but also is absolutely faithful and committed to us.
If we reject God’s love, we cheat ourselves out of the greatest gift of all.
Our Response to God
Rather than reject God, we have the opportunity to enjoy a love relationship with him. Moses frequently emphasized the “action” aspect of love.
We demonstrate our love when we show it through our behavior.
“Therefore, observe diligently the commandment—the statutes and the ordinances—that I am commanding you today” (Deuteronomy 7.11).
Mary Magdalene is an outstanding example of love in action. Legend has it that she was the unnamed woman in the seventh chapter of Luke.
“And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment.
“She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment” (Luke 7.37-38).
Her gift was expensive and her expression of love was bold and expressive.
Mary followed Jesus and helped provide for the needs of the ministry (Luke 8.1-3). She followed Jesus throughout his ministry and was a witness to the crucifixion (John 19.25).
She was the first person to meet with the risen Lord Jesus (John 20.11-18).
The Romans often crucified all of a rebel’s followers. When Mary went to the tomb, her love for Jesus overcame any fear of being identified with Jesus.
Her love and courage were rewarded with a personal encounter with the risen Lord.
When we think of observing God’s commandments as part of our love relationship with God, Mary’s example will help us understand why this is so important.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage from Deuteronomy on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Rudy is an excellent Bible student and lover of God. You will enjoy listening to his insights on Deuteronomy.
Please email your prayer requests to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.