Pillar Journal

Love toward the Unlovely

God loves His people not because they are lovely but because He is love.

We tend to love things that are lovely. If your pet dog is always biting you and eating your toys, you probably won’t love it. If a neighbor boy steals your bicycle and calls you mean names, you probably won’t want to be his friend. People and things that are unlovely are hard to love. But in the Bible, we meet a God who loves the unlovable. The whole world was lost in sin. Like the mean neighbor boy, everyone sought to rob God of His glory. And yet God continued to love unlovely people. He loved Seth, Noah, and Shem. He loved them not because they were sinless but because He was gracious.

We turn now to look at a man from Shem’s family. His name was Abram (later, he will be called Abraham). God set His love on Abram. Why? Not because he was good. We learn that his family worshiped idols. Abram was a sinner. He grew up serving false gods made by human hands. He did not believe in the true and living God. So why did God choose Abram? Not because he had great power or potential. His wife was barren. He had no children from which could come the Savior who would crush the serpent’s head. And not only did he have no children, but his wife was not able to have children. But this was exactly the point. God chose Abram not because Abram was great in goodness or power but because God is great in love. He would take weak, sinful Abram and make him the channel through which His salvation would reach to weak, sinful people like you and me.

READ: Genesis 11:27–32; Joshua 24:2

Excerpt from
Beginning: Family Worship in Genesis
By Joel R. Beeke and Nick Thompson