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January 28th - Call to Covenant

Call to Covenant

(Exodus 19:1 – 20:26 and Exodus 23:20 – 24:18)


Public Domain artwork


How great is your God?


Sometimes I wonder if we have trivialized our image of God. It’s easy to paint a picture of a gentle, harmless ancient deity, whose only desire is to grant our every wish.


However, a careful study of the Old Testament reveals a much more fearsome figure. Jehovah God is great indeed. In fact, the ancient Hebrews so revered God that they dared not speak His name aloud. They wrote His name without vowels, as it was too holy to be uttered.


God even told Moses to warn the people not to follow him up Mount Sinai to meet the Lord. God said any who tried would surely die. The people carried a fear of God, an awesome reverence and a holy respect.


Was God’s covenant conditional?


When God called His people to the Mosaic Covenant, He promised to bless them, if only they would obey Him.


Now if you will obey Me

and keep My covenant,

you will be My own special treasure

from among all the peoples on earth;

for all the earth belongs to Me.”

(Exodus 19:5, NLT – emphasis added)


Then He summoned Moses to the top of Mount Sinai to meet Him in the cloud. There, the Lord handed Moses the Ten Commandments.


Isn’t it amazing how God’s Ten Commandments still ring true today?


God’s Ten Commandments bring better community.


I love God’s great sense of logic. He is, after all, the omniscient, all wise King. His Ten Commandments present a sequence of instructions for fostering healthy and holy relationships with Himself and with one another.


The first five of the Ten Commandments deal with our relationship to God. We are to worship only God, avoid idolatry, revere His holy Name, keep the Sabbath and honor God-ordained authority in our families (our parents).


The last five of the Ten Commandments focus on our relationships with one another. We are not to kill, commit adultery, steal, lie or covet another’s property.


Looking closely at the Ten Commandments, we may discover that God designed each rule for our benefit and protection. If we would hold to these standards, what would human community look like?


Today, folks even fight about the legality of displaying the Ten Commandments in public places. How ironic is that?


Can anyone keep the Ten Commandments?


In our attempts to rationalize our own sin, we may try to compare our own conduct with others’ behavior. We may claim to be lesser sinners, if we have not murdered, stolen or committed adultery. However, if we are truly honest, examining our thoughts, our motives, our attitudes, our words and our deeds, will we dare to make the same claims? (See Matthew 5:27-32.)


Personally, I know that I need to ask God daily for His grace and mercy. Thanks be to God for the victory He has already won, through Christ, over sin. Righteous living is truly impossible without the grace and power of God.


Grime and Grace –

A Poetic Pause on the Ten Top Laws


I’ve stumbled into things obscene;

No steaming bath can make me clean.

My fine appearance, a smokescreen,

Pretending Heavenly hygiene.


For each Commandment, I have spurned;

Resolved for good and then returned.

Where righteousness may be concerned,

I cannot say I’ve lived and learned.


1.

Loving God above the rest?

That has been a daily test.


2.

Idol worship, claiming stuff?

I never seem to have enough.


3.

Using God’s great name in vain?

Perhaps I said a word profane.


4.

Keeping Sunday set apart?

My calendar is torn apart.


5.

Treating parents with respect?

How often do I disconnect?


6.

Murder, rage, or hate someone?

What happens when I jump the gun?


7.

Adultery I have not tried,

But have I been dissatisfied?


8.

Stealing comes in many styles.

Will I go the extra miles?


9.

Testifying, telling lies?

Have I tried to rationalize?


10.

Desiring someone else’s things?

Am I tangled in such strings?


Perhaps I’m guilty on all counts,

By many pounds or just an ounce.

The Judge could justly me renounce

And “Ever Guilty” me pronounce.


I’ve stumbled into things obscene;

No steaming bath can make me clean.

And yet, He died to intervene,

To offer Heavenly hygiene.


So, purified, I freely stand.

My Savior takes me by the hand

And leads me to another land

With grace I dare not understand.


c2007 by Linda Ann Nickerson


Will you pray with me?


Gracious Lord,

Thank You for making a covenant with Your people.

What a wondrous God You are,

Offering laws that protect us,

Forgiving our failures

And restoring us to fellowship with You.

Search our hearts.

Guard our tongues,

Hold our hands,

And direct our feet.

May our lives bring You honor

For Your Name’s sake.

Amen.

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3 comments:

  1. I hung onto one thing you said in this post:

    Sometimes I wonder if we have trivialized our image of God.

    Here me shout YES! I know I have. Sometimes I even put Him in a tiny box and tell Him this is how and where He can work in my life.

    He is a GREAT GOD...He desires obedience. This is all we have to give Him.

    Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  2. I knew I would not be disappointed! This is the one for me. Been meditating on this very thing lately. When I think I know the answers, that is when I better think again!

    :)Laura

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Linda,

    I love your poem...catchy and though provoking. I was pondering the ten commandments not too long ago and realized that without keeping #1 the main thing and loving God first, it's impossible to uphold the other nine. Our God is so good! Have a good night!!

    ReplyDelete

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