Deut 9. 4 “Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. 5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Fallen man is always looking for reasons for being right in the sight of God apart from His pure and free grace. Here God reminds Israel that their possession of the promised land was not because they were “model” human beings. In fact, the rest of this chapter reminds them just how stiff necked and rebellious they have been for the last 40 years. They would enter the land because God spoke a promise to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Every single day, you and I must reject the notion that we are righteous before God because of some good work that we have done or because there is some good in us. The true condition of fallen man is one that is bankrupt of any redeeming value in the sight of God. Yes, we bear His image and likeness, and we can relate to Him on a Creator, creature kind of a level. We can enjoy His gifts of creation and creature provision. But we do not “belong” to His family apart from being declared righteous. And Scripture is clear that the only righteousness that makes us right in the sight of God comes from the pure and free grace of Jesus Christ, and not us. We too can be stiff necked and rebellious at times, if not outrightly, most certainly in our hearts and motives. And when, not if, that happens, what do we do? Pray longer, read twice as many chapters in our bibles? Write a large check to our church or charity. Now none of those things are bad or wrong. But they do not atone for your sin. Only Jesus does.
Let us never forget our “in Adam” roots and the grace of God that has saved us. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
Beloved, The Father sees you in Christ. You are accepted in The Beloved. Of course we should strive to walk in the newness of life. Praise God this morning for making Jesus to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we be made the righteousness of God in Him. Hallelujah!