Friday 28 June 2013

Bible Book:

Deuteronomy 7:12-16 Friday 28 June 2013


Ancient Israel lived in a world where there were many covenantsor treaties between states and empires. The book of Deuteronomy isclear that in this world of shifting coalitions the enduringloyalty of the people must be to God, not to the empires andalliances which surrounded them. This special relationship isdescribed as the Covenant - an enduring treaty between God and thepeople.

"Covenant" is a very important word in the Bible - and a veryspecial word for Methodists. It describes a relationship based on apermanent and all involving promise. God makes a big promise to allof us, and each one of us is invited to make our own promises toGod in return.

God's faithfulness in keeping promises seems to be described ina very material way in this passage, but look more closely and youwill see that all these blessings are about strengthening the lifeof the people rather than increasing their wealth. Livingfaithfully in the Covenant with God brings renewed life. God'spromises are always life giving.

Methodists today celebrate an annual Covenant Service in which we renew our promises to God. Thecovenant promises make it clear that we must accept what God offersand do not expect any rewards. It is enough to know that God isrenewing our lives and will always be there for us.

If you read verse 12 in isolation you might think that God'slove depends on the people's obedience, but it is clear in thewider story of Scripture that this is not so. We may choose toignore or offend God - but God still goes on loving. A covenant is"for better, for worse". So if God commits to us in this way, canwe commit to love and serve the world around us with the samefaithfulness?

To Ponder

  • What are the most important promises you have ever made? Andwhich have been the hardest to keep?
  • What are the relationships which renew your life?
  • If God commits to love us despite who we are and what we do -how can you commit to love and service towards others?
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