Of the entirety of his Creation, God’s greatest treasure is humanity. Deuteronomy 10:14-15 points out that “To the Lord your God belongs the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything it. Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendents, above all the nations as it is today.” The word yet (raq) subtly reveals the shocking love of God for those in Creation who have sinfully separated from him. God’s heart yearns to be close to his creatures, so much so that he sets his affection on them and develops a plan by which they can be saved. For regardless of how much God possesses, his most esteemed treasure is humanity. To Nicodemus, Jesus said “God so loved the world he sent his One and Only Son, that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16) In other words, people were in a state of perishing, yet because of his deep love for his people, God chose to initiate the process by which his people could be reclaimed.
This Old Testament revelation of God’s heart resonates with what we know of God’s heart from the New Testament. In the whole of the Bible it is clear that God is Holy, yet God has chosen to offer loving conversion to sinful people. (Ro 3:23-24) Moses explained to the Israelites that no god had ever called a people to himself through trials, signs and wonders, yet the LORD God did so through the display of an unmatched power to love and offer salvation. (Dt 4:34; 5:24) Job’s body decays, yet he holds unswervingly to the hope that he will see God! (Jb 19:26) The Psalms resound with wonder as they recognize that Creation is so marvelous and unmatched, yet God gives humankind his utmost affection. (Ps 8:5) Isaiah reveals that humanity has gone astray, yet the Suffering Servant of God will carry humanities weakness, sorrow and punishment. (Is 53:4-6)