Olsen Park Church of Christ

Attached to God

Introduction. (Deut. 7:6-11) The book of Deuteronomy serves as a reminder and final encouragement to the Israelites before they enter their new life in Canaan. In the previous chapter the Ten Commandments first recorded in Exodus 20:1-17 are restated (Deut. 6:6-21). Some commentators suggest that the sections that follow this restatement through much of the remainder of the book are structured in rough correspondence to Ten Commandments as a form of expansion and commentary on these laws. If so, the text we just read has a relationship to the fist command: “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me” (Deut. 6:6-7).

     Notice a few things that we find in this text:

         Statement of the special relationship God had with Israel (v. 6). They were a “holy people,” a “chosen people,” who were to God a “special treasure.”

         The reason God “set His love” upon them (v. 7-8). Not because of their number, but because of His love and because of His oath.

         Statement of His nature (v. 9-10). The behavior of God keeping His oath and showing His love demonstrates what they were to understand about His nature—He is their God—He is a faithful God—He keeps His covenant and mercy “for a thousand generations.” By some estimates if count the generations from this time to the present we are only about 100 generations from that time. This would extend not only to our time but well beyond. To whom is God faithful? “those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

o   The love that God has shown His people has always been intended to move man to love Him and be obedient to Him.

         What this was to mean to them (v. 11). He concludes, “Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them.”

I. The Meaning of “Set His Love.”

There is a beautiful picture that is used in this text that is not readily apparent in our English translations. The word for “love” used in verses 8-9 are forms of the ordinary word for love used hundreds of times throughout the Bible. In verse 7, however, there is an unusual word used less frequently—the Heb. chashaq. I would like for us this evening to look at some things about God’s relationship to man—and thus man’s relationship to God that are taught in the way the Holy Spirit uses a beautiful picture here.

A.      Later in Deuteronomy. The same use of this word is found later in Deuteronomy (Deut. 10:12-15). The common word is used second, chashaq (the less common word) is used first, translated “delighted.” What is different about it? It literally refers being “attached to” something.

B.      Literal Meaning. Often it is used quite literally. In Exodus it is always used literally (Exod. 27:16-17 cf. 38:17, 28). Here, in describing the courtyard of the tabernacle it describes “bands of silver” (older translations put it “filleted”). This is the world chashaq. A form of this word is used eight times in Exodus of “bands” (or “fillets”)—(Exod. 27:10-11; 36:38; 38:10, 11, 12; 17, 19). We understand, it is the idea that the silver is “attached to” the column or thing being described. What does this have to do with God’s “love” for Israel.

II. Emotional Attachment.

There is another sense this word can take. Often it is used metaphorically of emotional attraction, desire, or affection.

A.      Shechem was attached to Dinah (Gen. 34:6-10).

B.      The Israelite might become attached to a captive woman taken in war (Deut. 21:10-14).

C.      Solomon desired (i.e. became attached to the idea) to build in Jerusalem (2 Chron. 8:1-6; cf. 1 Kings 9:19). A form of chashaq is used in this sense four times in Scriputre (1 Kings 9:1, 19; 2 Chron. 8:6; Isa. 21:4).

D.     This is the sense that is used in the text where we started—Deuteronomy 7:7. God set His love on His people in a very tender, affectionate sense—He attached Himself to Israel.

III. Application.

A.      Israel was to have the same attachment to God. It is easy to sometimes see the Old Testament as strict and rigid. It is easy to see the God of the OT as an authority who commands with little tenderness, or affection for His people. That is not the true picture of Him. He desired His people—He was drawn to them—He was attached to them. We noted in Deuteronomy 7:9-10 that the attitude, nature, and faithfulness of God should have motivated Israel to love and obey Him. The Old Testament was never intended as a heartless, obedience with no emotional connection to God (cf. Psa. 91:9-16). Note: Satan tries to use the principle here to tempt Jesus (cf. Matt. 4:6-7). This is not strictly messianic—it teaches that God blesses those who serve and obey Him. In vs. 14 God will bless with salvation the one who “sets his love on” (i.e. is attached to) Him. This is the word chashaq. So what does this have to do with us? This is the Old Law, right?

B.      The Christian is to have this attachment to God. Remember, Deut. 7:6-11—His faithfulness and mercy to “a thousand generations” would include us. He is attached to those who are attached to Him. Notice a NT text that uses some of the same language that describes God’s relationship with Christians (1 Pet. 2:1-10). Note:

         If we “taste” that God is gracious (v. 3) it calls us to faithful behavior.

         Christians (like Israel) are to God “chosen” and “precious” (v. 4)—He is attached to us.

         Christ may be rejected by the world, but to believers “He is precious” (v. 7)—we are attached to Him.

         Only in such attachment can we be (what Israel was—“chosen”—“special”—“His people” (vv. 9-10).

Conclusion. Am I truly attached to God? Is this reflected in my daily life? We are attached to what consumes our mind, time, affection, attention, and thoughts. Far too often, we (like Israel) consider our connection to God like membership in a club—we come from time to time—we pay our dues—but, it is only a small part of our life. What if that is how we treated our wife or husband? Would there be the attachment that sustains the relationship? We must fall in love with God!

         There are some great benefits to this attachment—ultimately salvation (Isa. 38:15-17).

Kyle Pope 2013

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