5 So now, if you faithfully obey me and stay true to my covenant, you will be my most precious possession out of all the peoples, since the whole earth belongs to me. 6 You will be a kingdom of priests for me and a holy nation. These are the words you should say to the Israelites.” Exodus 19:5-6 CEB
Here is how I think it works. God made a covenant, which is a promise. His covenant is all about what he agrees to do for us. This is a God who gives us stuff. Next up, we move on to the ten commandments. They are not conditional clauses upon which God’s covenant depends. The covenant is a sealed deal. Obedience is NOT what provides us the promise of God’s love.
Obedience is a by-product of believing the promise. Let me say that again, obedience is a by-product of believing the promise. The law serves as a guide for how we imitate God’s love and by doing so, participate in bringing the kingdom of God to earth.
My friend who has returned to the pipe as his god (the thing he is willing to die for, sell his soul for, rob from his children for) has gotten all turned around and is looking to blame God for his current situation. But here’s the deal.
God’s covenant relationship with us teaches us that God does not do the same to us when we fail to obey the law. His covenant is unconditional; my friend certainly has struggled to believe that unconditional love is possible even when he was sober as a judge. It seems to me that this is quite normal. We all are so accustomed to conditional relationships and it blows our mind to think that God’s love for us is unconditional. This says so much more about who God is than it does about what he expects for us. However, all that being said, understanding who God is and how he
loves us invites us to reflect that love. The law helps us understand how to do that.
My friend may be blaming God at the moment, but I wonder if what he is really struggling with his is fear that God is not who he says he is. Do you ever worry about that?
To be continued….