Pericope: Deuteronomy 11:22-25
Last year my dad called me to thank him for an expensive gift he thought that I had bought for him. It turns out I never bought a gift. What he received was a product that he apparently purchased. Actually, it was purchased under his identity. My father was a victim of identity theft. Luckily, it was botched and he received the expensive item that was mis-mailed under his ID. He was able to ship it back to the source and the money was returned to his account.
Identity is huge. It determines access and privileges. We all have an identity. Our last name guarantees an access and privilege to our family. Our citizenship gains us access and privileges in our country. Our identity will gain us access to our jobs and allow us access secured information. Identity must be protected.
Identity was even more important for God’s people. In the stipulations section of the covenant between God and His people, God was laying out a picture of what it meant to identify as a person in His community. God wanted for his people to be holy, that is, wholly different. Their life was to be sanctified, set apart, for God’s purposes. In being faithful to obey God and observing his commandments, God’s people would enjoy the benefits and privileges of being God’s people. To identify as God’s people was a guarantee of strength and blessing and prosperity. Ultimately, identity with God is cemented to having complete faith and trust in God. In return for observing God’s commandments, living according to God’s standards, and loyal love for God, God promised to go before his people to secure His promises. But failure to live as a people wholly different, failure to identify with the Lord would bring about curses which would be disastrous for God’s people.
God is looking for a people to be holy, to be set apart for His work to restore right relationship with community with God’s people and communion with God. These two entities were lost because of sin. If we a want to be identified as God’s children and to experience the blessings that come from Him, then we must live wholly different. Christianity is about trusting Christ to secure the promises of God for us. Will we be willing to let God fight our battles for us?