Election by Grace

Today's Bible reading: Hebrews 11:8-12

Why are people chosen?  Well … generally speaking, people are chosen because: they deserve to be chosen.  They have some sort of talent or skill or capability or quality that sets them apart from others or above the rest.  Who is chosen to be the president or the CEO of a massive corporation?  Generally the one who - after rigorous interviewing, scrutinizing and vetting - is determined to be the best candidate with the most to offer.  Who is chosen to be a part of an elite special force – like the Navy Seals or Army Rangers?  The one who can persevere through the grueling training, pass all the rigorous tests and endure the most punishing circumstances.  Who is chosen to be a part of a professional sports team?   The one with the most incredible capabilities, the greatest technique or touch, the most outstanding talent.  Why are most people chosen for most things?  Because in some way, shape, or form – they deserve to be chosen.

However … this is not the case when it comes to God.  God chooses differently from us.  No one can say that he or she deserves to be chosen by God – for anything.  This is true when we look back to the people in the Old Testament as well.

There can be a great temptation to moralize the stories that are found in the Old Testament.  Today, for example, we come to Abraham.  Certainly, Abraham is a hero of faith.  But to concentrate on his faith is to run the danger of missing the heart of the story: God’s grace which acts and keeps promises – despite human weakness and sin.  The key thing … the central thing for us to notice here are God's promises and His covenant with Abraham.  It was the same thing with Noah that we talked about last week – a covenant of grace.  God binds himself to promises which only he can keep.

Prayer: "Lord, be our light when earthly darkness veils us; Lord, be our shield when earthly armor fails us; And in the day when hell itself assails us, Grant us your peace, Lord."  Amen. (LSB 659:3)