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Sabbath: God and the Covenant — 8 Comments

  1. Some Christians carry a lot of baggage regarding covenants, carefully analysing their words, timing, application and failure. Ultimately they are not so much legal documents, but expressions of God's love and care for us and our response to him. Once again I take the analogy of a marriage. For those of us who live in western society, typically we have a piece of paper called a marriage certificate, backed by the law of the land and the expectations of society. Marriage law states the legal terms of marriage. If you are like Carmel and I, you may find it difficult to find a copy of your marriage certificate. (I went hunting for my birth certificate this last week and it took 4 hours!). I know I have it somewhere - its not the sort of thing that you throw away. And as far as the detail of the law is concerned, well I have only read the shortened version, and that was over 50 years ago.

    Marriage relationships are more that words written in documents, as anybody who has been married can tell you. Maintaining a loving relationship requires patience, endurance and commitment if it is going to work. If I had to cite my marriage certificate details to ensure that my marriage stayed together, I think we would have been divorced a long time ago. It is amazing what putting out the washing, vacuuming the house, cooking the Friday evening meal does for a marriage relationship. Its not a veneer, its a way of life.

    Our relationship with God is more than words. Once we understand that the covenants really say so little compared to the magnitude of the relationship with God then perhaps be can study them and understand them more. It sounds like a contradiction in some ways, but really it is a question of perspective.

    Paul had this to say:

    That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Eph 3:17-19

    That sets a perspective for this week's lesson.

    • I think the analogy of marriage and our covenant with God is the best example God has given to us to help us understand our relationship with Him. After 34 years of all the ups and downs, successes and failures, children, business, joys and trials of life, my wife and I still love/are committed to one another. It is never perfect. The only thing He asks and that is required, is a ongoing commitment despite what comes. This is the same for a successful marriage.

  2. Holy Spirit let your name be praise. Honor and majesty belong to you.Amen

    Throughout the bible we read about a loving God and an unfaithful people. If humans were trustworthy and faithful, then we would not have needed covenants. A covenant/agreement/contract is a document between two people or more people. My children did not make any agreement with me to take care of them until the age of independent. As a mother I knew what was required of me. To help take care of them spiritually, physically, socially and mentally.

    On a spiritual level,so it is with God. Also the Lord used the example of him being a Husband, he led the children out of Egypt but his covenant they broke. Sound like we can find this loving husband in Hosea, with an unfaithful wife, his people.
    Jer 31:31-34. To me, these verses sum up all the covenants in the bible. Paul writing to the Hebrews repeated them in Heb 8:6-13.
    In time pass God spoke to men face to face, then his law was engraved on tables of stones written by the Holy Spirit. This same law will be written by the Holy Spirit on the tables of each one who yields to the Spirit of God heart. We will not try to establish our own righteous, but will accept the righteousness of Christ, his atoning blood and his saving grace. As our hearts are being renew, we find ourselves yielding to the Holy Spirit and living by his laws. The law no more becomes a 'do' or 'dont' but in obedience we obey.

  3. Hi Maurice,
    Thanks so much for your diary comments. You have remained me of our 27 years of marriage which is unfinished school and also about the marriage certificate which is not just a paper the way others think about it. Marriage is a covenant as well the commitment. Thanks Maurice get on helping the young ones.God bless you.

  4. Nehemiah 9:38 is the conclusion began with the confession of the Iraelites.
    38 “In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement,e putting it in writing,f and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”d
    Instead of living together the leader of Israel wanted to affirm their committed relationship to the Lord.
    Do you have a binding (committed) relationship with the Lord?
    Now they put the binding agreement into writing.

    I liked what Maruice Ashton said in his writing:

    "you ever tried to write a prayer?

    It makes a change from the spoken prayers that are composed in our head as we pray. I used to be dismissive of people who read their prayers in church, thinking that it was somewhat inferior to an extemporaneous prayer. But I have changed my mind. Writing your prayer down gives you time to think and compose your prayer. That sort of preparation does not make your prayer more acceptable to God, but it does something to you personally. There is always going to be a need for conversational prayers like talking between friends, but writing a prayer is a whole thought process.

    And that is one reason why Nehemiah’s prayer is so special. It communicates with us several thousand years later."

    Maurice Ashton https://ssnet.org/blog/monday-nehemiahs-prayer/#comment-108154

    This is a legal document binding upon the people for generations to come.

    Why did they seal the document? To give authority to the document.
    In Maryland, the general statute of limitations to enforce a contract is 3 years, but the statute of limitations extends to a vast 12 years if the contract is “under seal.”

    Many contracts choose Delaware as the law governing the contract. Unlike Maryland and Virginia, under Delaware law, merely placing the word “(Seal)” next to the signature blocks may convert the contract into a contract under seal and extend the limitations period from 3 years to 20 years.

    Are you sealed in Christ for eternity?

  5. I studied this week’s lesson to Friday and have run into an issue:

    The blood, representing the forfeited life of the sinner, whose guilt the victim bore, was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary. [See Friday’s lesson]

    Other than the Day of Atonement, the only times blood from a sin offering is brought into the Holy Place is if the High Priest or the entire nation sins. Otherwise, the blood of the sacrifice stays at the Altar – it is not taken into the Holy Place.

    Further, I am unaware of any place in the Bible where it states that the blood of the sacrifice transfers sin. The blood of the sacrifice always cleanses for atonement from sin.

    Am I missing something here?

  6. In the comments that I mentioned earlier about covenants, the text that I wanted to site, is Gen.6:18 the first covenant mentioned in the Bible.


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