I will go ahead and warn you that this one is a little lengthy but it is loaded with truth and now split into two posts thus making them more readable.. By the end of writing it I was overjoyed and enthralled with the amazing grace that God provided out of His great love for the glory of His own name and His great love for me, and most importantly....in spite of the lost, sinful, disobedient, rebellious, enemy of God that I was before He saved me. If you are a believer, He did it for you too. If you are not and this strikes a chord with you, it is because He wants to do the same for you. He has been doing it from the beginning and He will continue until Christ's return. Check it out.
It is a common misunderstanding among contemporary Christianity that somehow God loves us because of what we do vs. because of what He did.
Some think that Abraham was made the Father of many nations because He had great faith. While it is true that Abraham had great faith, God chose him in Genesis 12 well before he had exhibited any great acts of faith. God wanted to make a covenant, with a people, with the intent of manifesting His glory through them. These people would be Israel and He simply chose Abraham as the one from whose line this nation and eventually, the Messiah, would come. Thus all that Abraham was, that was good, faithful, and honorable, he was because God chose him to become these things. Not because he already was these things. But Abraham was certainly flawed and used by God in spite of his flaws.
Some think that David was chosen by God and made King because he was good. In fact, when the Lord rejected Saul and it was time for a new king, God said to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:1, "I have provided for myself a king." Prior to this point there is no account of any great works or faith that made David more worthy or any better than any of his brothers. God made David for this purpose from the beginning. Everything good about David came about because of what happened in 1 Samuel 16:13, upon God's instructions to Samuel, "Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward."
As for the Children of Israel, in Deuteronomy 7:6-11 God states to them this, and I paraphrase, "I have chosen you. And it is for no other reason than the fact that I have chosen you and I love you and have called you my own, and have made a covenant with you, that you shall therefore be careful to do the commandments and the statutes and the rules that I command you today." In fact, God delivered Israel from Egypt purely out of love. Before they had the Ten Commandments or any other commandments to obey or disobey, he showed His love through their deliverance. Any favor that Israel had with God was simply because he had chosen to unconditionally place his favor on these people for the purpose of His glory.
This is proven by the fact that though he promised blessings in their obedience, they still disobeyed. And over and over in this great story of redemption, amidst much great judgement by God for disobedience, He still gives chance after chance. Rather than destroying them completely as He had done so many other nations, He keeps them around, and blesses them, to fulfill His covenant ultimately in His Son Jesus whom comes from the line of David, one of the greatest of the Kings of Israel. As stated in Ezekiel 36:16-32, the keeping of this covenant was ultimately not for the benefit of the people of the promise, but to vindicate the holiness of His great name.
I will stop here for brevity's sake. It was longer but I will separate Old and New Testament examples in an effort to honor my word regarding attempts at shorter posts. Whether you like this part or not, stick with me. It only gets better with the New Testament.
Oh the marvelous grace of our incredible, loving, Almighty God!