For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. 1 Samuel 12:22 (NIV, 1978)
There came a moment after Saul was chosen king over Israel when the people learned that their demand for a king had been more of a rejection of God than it had been a rejection of Samuel, the aging prophet. When Samuel warned them of the consequences to come if they continued to reject God, they begged him to intercede on their behalf. His response to them included the verse above which contained two phenomenal truths which apply to Israel and, as importantly, to us: First, God will not reject us and, second, it brought God great pleasure to adopt us to be His.
Amazing Grace is a song familiar to both sinners and saints around the world. The tune of John Newton’s famous hymn played on the bagpipes can cause the most unspiritual of gatherings to pause and reflect on its timeless message of comfort and hope. Yet, for those of us who are so familiar with its words, familiarity has a tendency to diminish the simple fact that a holy God can have such compassion on those who continually stray from His love and grace. What makes God’s grace even more amazing is that He was fully aware of what He was getting when He chose you and me.
Please be careful! These thoughts have nothing to do with timeless argument of predestination versus election, but everything to do with the lack of our basic understanding of God’s love.
With every covenant promise God extended, He placed the reputation of His name on the line. The Cross and the Tomb were the greatest expressions of God’s love, power and, to a degree, His vulnerability, that the world has ever seen. Humanity, from then until now, has been able to gaze into the heart of God and find that He was willing to extend His unconditional love through Jesus, knowing all along that many would reject Him once again.
That He still sees fit to love you and me, encourages us, and give us His peace when we least deserve it—is what makes his grace so amazing.