Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 13, 1950

"Wherein Hast Thou Loved Us?"

Forrest D. Moyer, Post, Texas

"I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness." (Mal. 1:2-3).

The history of the nation of Israel is filled with God's love for them and their disrespect for God and His law. The Lord said, "I have loved you." Israel could not see the love of God for them and hence they asked, "Wherein hast thou loved us?" The Lord selected Israel as the nation through which the Messiah should come. He delivered them from Egyptian slavery, was with them in their wilderness wanderings. He fed them manna and gave them water. He gave them a written law to govern them, a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. God gave Israel the land of Canaan, which He had promised Abraham. Later He gave them a king to reign over them. They received all that any nation could ask for. Truly God loved Israel more than Esau. Yet for all these blessings and many more, Israel still asked, "Wherein hast thou loved us?"

Not only was Israel unable to see God's love for them, but countless numbers today find themselves in the same sad plight of Israel. Do we really see the love of God for us? So we say, "Wherein hast thou loved us?" God's love for us is shown in many more ways than His love for Israel.

First, God's love for us is seen in His creating man in His own image. God made man of the dust of the earth, breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living soul. Man did not create himself; God made us and His we are. (Ps. 100:3) What wonderful love is shown in the fact that God was willing to create us. Yet we say, "Wherein hast thou loved us?"

The height of divine love was expressed by God in Christ. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." (John 3:16) Here is love in a superlative degree! Man can look at Christ and see the love of God. Christ lived among men, as a man, with no place to lay His head. He suffered and died on the cross for the world. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) The love of God for us is even greater than this. Hear Paul: "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:6-8) Take a look at the old rugged cross and you see divine love. Hear the sound as they drove the nails into His hands and feet; hear Christ's cry of love, "Father, forgive them." No higher expression of love could be found than this, yet man says, "Wherein hast thou loved us?"

The church is a token of God's love for man. The precious blood of Christ was used to purchase the church. (Acts 20:28) In the church of the Lord is the plan of redemption given. In it we are under cover of the blood of the lamb and heirs of all spiritual promises of God. There is nothing that expresses love more than the relationship of husband and wife. But the church is the bride of the Son of God. It is the body or church that Christ is the Saviour of. Yes, God loves us.

God's love for man is also seen in His gift of the Bible. The Bible contains the mind of God. It gives the facts to be believed, the commands to be obeyed, and the promises to be received and enjoyed. It will lead us to heaven if we diligently practice it. It is in the Bible that the promise of eternal life is revealed. Eternal life is another gift of God's love. (Rom. 6:23) Life in all its forms is precious, but nothing can surpass the grandeur and beauty of eternal life in the presence of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. God has promised us eternal life if we practice the precepts of His word.

Yes, God's love is revealed to man. "Wherein hast thou loved us?" The answer to this question is shown not only in the Bible but also in our daily lives. However, it is not enough to recognize God's love for man. We must return love for love. Suppose this question should be reversed. Suppose God should say to us, "Wherein have you loved me ?" What would our answer be? How could we answer? We didn't create God; we didn't give our Son for Him; we didn't buy the church. But, dear friend, there is a way that we can answer. We can return the love of God. Let us hear the Holy Spirit on this matter: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome." (I John 5:3) Again, "If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments." (John 14:15) So when God says, "Wherein have you loved me?" the only way we can answer is by saying, "Lord, I have kept your commandments." Christ commands; we obey, thus showing that we love Him.

But does man return God's love? No, as a whole we utterly fail! We defile the bodies that He created for us through His divine love. We do not love Christ, the height of divine love, because we do not keep His commandments. We do not uphold the church which is a token of love. We do not defend it doctrinally; we fail to attend its services and give of our means to it. We do not read the Bible, God's gift to us. In failing to keep God's commandments and love Him, we shall not inherit eternal life, a gift of God to those who obey Him. Do you show that you love God? Can you say with the Apostle Paul. "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day." (2 Tim. 4:6-8).