I will be Their God
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (Gen 17:8)
As God gave many kinds of promises and summed them up as we have read just now. Here is a promise we haven’t seen before, “I will be their God”. This promise applies directly to us in the same way. He became our God in Jesus Christ. What does God do? Who is God? In order to figure this out, we need to consider what we are to Him. If God has become our God, what are we to Him? “I am your Father”, He says, then what do we become? We become His children. In the relationship of father and child, God says, “I have begotten you” and “I will inherit everything that is mine to you”.
So, when He said, “I am your God”, what does that make us? If He is God, what would we be? His creation? If God said, “I am your Creator” and you answer, “His creation”, that would be a 10 out of 10. If He says, “I am your Shepherd” then we are His sheep. Please refer to “The Eternal Relationship with God” for that. Let’s read Leviticus 6 verse 12. Start. “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.” Hence the relationship is God and His people. His is our God and we are His people.
In that case, what does it mean by “your God”? It means He will be king. So, a people and their king. “I will be their God” means, “I will be their king”. What is a king then? What are the qualities of a king? An overbearing person? Someone that gives commands? If so, it would be more accurate to say, “They will be My people and I will be a commander to them”, wouldn’t it? But this was when they were making a covenant. They come to an agreement. Later on, Moses and all the people of Israel settle the agreement again when God said, “I will be their God and they will be My people”.
So, they would have had to know something about Him before making a covenant, wouldn’t they – about who He is? Thus, in order to make Himself known to them, there was something God did prior to making a covenant with the Israelites. Normally, you help a person after your relationship with them is somewhat established. But God first helped them even before any relationship was established between them and then afterwards, made a covenant with them. What did He do for them? He delivered them from Egypt. That’s actually the role of a king – to rescue his people from a crisis. The reason that God appointed David to be king was for the purpose of demonstrating such qualities of a king. God instructed Samuel to anoint David when nobody imagined David would be the one. Only his older brothers were brought to Samuel; nobody even considered the youngest which was David. When their father was asked where David was, he said he was tending the sheep. Then they had David brought before Samuel and he was anointed, though he was just a ruddy looking young boy around 15-16 years of age.
Later on, when he went against Goliath, David spoke to King Saul himself. And that’s when God watched him. He told Saul that he was a keeper of his father’s sheep. And he protected the sheep with his life. When a lion or a bear came to take a sheep, he went after it until he caught it. It’s easy for people to feel scared and give up, but David would go after it, strike and kill it and rescue the sheep out of its mouth even if it may already have died. He wouldn’t lose even one of the sheep. He didn’t lose any of his father’s sheep but protected them to the end. That’s a king. Thus, because God saw the qualities of a king in him, he anointed him to be king over Israel. And though there were many kings after David, like Solomon who was a great king, he had never done such a thing because he wasn’t a shepherd. Therefore, when the people waited for the One who is to come, they looked for someone like David – the One who comes in the name of David. They waited for David to come and finally they received a king who came in the name of David which was Jesus.
Jesus is our King, but what kind of a king? He protects His father’s sheep to the end without losing any of them. He will bring them to the resurrection on the last day. For the sheep that the Father entrusted Him with, He is a king who will deliver them out from between the enemy’s teeth and will not spare His own life in doing so. That is the king we have been given.
Thus, when God said, “I will be your God”, it means He will become our King, which in turn means He will become our Shepherd. “I will be your Shepherd”. He is not just a shepherd that leads us but one who protects us from all kinds of danger, even rescuing us from the mouth of lions and bears. It means He will be a king who never gives up but protects us to the very end, not losing even one of us. Hence the promise was given – I will make you people as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore; I will give you the land of Canaan; and I will be your King in that land, protecting you and delivering you from the hands of the enemies.
According to His promise, God has continued His work and finally sent Jesus Christ to deliver us from danger and protect us to the end so that we may all resurrect in the end. That promise has been fulfilled. Hence, we have no reason to worry that the Lord might abandon us. If we are those whom the Father has given to Him, He will protect us to the end. So, who are they that the Father has entrusted to Him? Anyone that has come to God and confessed he is a sinner is given to Jesus. God the Father has given such souls to Jesus. In other words, those that have been condemned by the Law have all been given to the Son. Whoever comes to Jesus to live, they will not be rejected. If anyone comes to Jesus because they want to live, they do not need to worry about the Lord rejecting them. As long as you are longing to live and don’t give up, God will never forsake you. He is a king who is determined to save you to the end.
We have this king who is not just domineering or always giving commands only, but He is the king that saves us. That is why we endeavor to listen to His commands. Because He purchased us – He gave His life to save us – we obey Him with joyful hearts. We must be thankful that we have such a King. Let us pray that we will not become our own kings trying to save ourselves, but always serve Him as our King, relying on the Lord in everything so that we may be a people of the Lord.
God our Father, we have been made by God, we are God’s people, His sheep and even His children. Help us to love God even more, dedicate all the more and always live by receiving the help of our Lord God. We are lacking in so many ways. God our Father, fill us with the Holy Spirit and power, and help us, strengthen us to overcome all of our weaknesses. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center