I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you … Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed (16:59,60, 63a)
This passage weaves together the amazing story of God’s faithfulness and Israel’s complete unfaithfulness. God describes the many ways He lavished love and favor on this nation and contrasts that with the utter rejection and of Israel as the nation prostituted itself before idols and other nations. God enumerates the depth of Israel’s sin and her complete and utter failure to live up to the terms of the Mosaic covenant. And, as promised in Deuteronomy 28, he “will deal with [them] as [they] deserve,” using the nation’s own “lovers” to punish them.
At the same time, though, God affirms that He is not done with Israel. Another covenant, the one made with Abraham, was still in effect, and “all peoples on earth will be blessed” through them. Even more, God will establish an everlasting covenant based on He Himself making atonement for all they have done.
I’m so grateful that God does not deal with me as I deserve. God Himself has made atonement for my sin, and I participate in the blessings of the new covenant promised to Israel because of the work of Christ on the cross. Like Israel, I deserve complete annihilation for my persistent unfaithfulness, total separation from God and his love. Yet God made a way — He took on himself that separation, accepted the penalty, and became my substitute.
Father in Heaven, thank you. Thank you for your unfailing love, your amazing faithfulness to me. I have done nothing to deserve your love; instead, I’ve done so many things to spurn it. Yet, you loved me, you pursued me, and you imparted to me the gift of salvation. You made a way for me to come when I was far from you, and you’ve changed my life with your love. Thank you so much. May I walk worthy of one who is called by your name, for your glory and my good.