God knows the human mind very well. He has watched people think and reason from the very beginning. And after sin entered the world, he must have noticed their desire to get the credit for the good things that happen to them. An innate human drive is to “earn it.”
But in the kingdom of God, no one but God gets the credit (Romans 5:8). “Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land.’”
God must hate this attitude in his children who think there must be something inherently good about them that caused God to love them. The fact of the matter is we may never know why God chose us. That is bound up in the unsearchable nature of God.
No, God says, “You are a stubborn people.” Your response to that accusation by God toward Israel will tell you what you need to know about yourself. If you find yourself thinking, “Well, I’m not all that stubborn. Not like them” – then you have much work to do.
“Do not say in your heart …” This is where we do our worst evil against God. It is in the secret of our hearts where we tell ourselves our lies and where we shun God and his grace and think we are superior to the pagan people around us and our brothers and sisters in the church.
We do not shout these things from the rooftops. But God hears them, nonetheless (Psalm 139:1).