Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Experiencing the Yahweh of Deuteronomy

"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, and impassioned God." Deuteronomy 4:24

God is a jealous judge. This is good if you are righteous. When evil is done to you, he'll be all over it. And if you, the righteous one, dabble in wrongdoing, in turning away from Him, he'll be all over you. He can't stand it when you give your affections to another. He is jealous.

What happens if you are in a covenant relationship with God and you disobey him? For the Israelites, this meant exile - physically and spiritually (Deut 4:27-28).

But what happens then? God is jealous, he wants his people back...so he says in Deut 4:29-31 (JPS)
But if you search there (while in exile) for the LORD your God,
you will find Him,
if only you seek Him with all your heart and soul -
when you are in distress because all these things have befallen you
and, in the end, return to the LORD your God and obey Him.
For the LORD your God is a compassionate God:
He will not fail you
nor will he let you perish;
He will not forget the covenant which He made on oath with your fathers.

(This text echoes throughout Scripture: Jeremiah 31, Isaiah 61, Luke 15, John 3, Romans 5-6, Hebrews 13).

Jesus is the One who brought these words to our existence and experience.

But what does it mean for a non-Jew like you and me if we are not in a covenant with God like Israel?

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