Setting the terms

A continuous story runs from Genesis 12 through 2 Kings 25.  In Genesis God calls Abraham and promises him what?  [Seed, land and blessings]  This promise is repeated to Abraham’s son Isaac, and to Isaac’s son Jacob, who in turn has 12 sons.  One of these sons is Joseph, whom the other sons sell into slavery.  He is taken to Egypt and the family later follows, settling in Egypt.  Genesis ends with this special family in Egypt.

Sometime during the next 400 years the Hebrew’s are forced into slavery by the Egyptians.  God comes to them and raises up Moses to deliver them miraculously from Egypt [Exodus].  God then enters into a covenant relationship with them stating, “I will be your God; you will be my people.  I will dwell in your midst.” [Ex. 29:45]  God presents them with the various laws of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, which define the terms by which they can live in the Promised Land with God in their midst and be blessed by him in the land.

What happens?  The first generation refuses to enter the land so God allows them to die off in the wilderness.  He then takes the next generation back to the border of the Promised Land and recommits them to a covenant relationship.  As before, the terms of the covenant define how they are to live in the land with God in their midst.  This relationship is defined specifically by the laws in Deuteronomy.  This book clearly shows the people that if they obey God and keep the law, they will be immensely blessed.  However, the book also stresses that if they disobey the law and turn away from God, they will be punished; and if they do not repent, they will eventually even loose the Promised Land.

The rest of the story up to the end of 2 Kings deals with the issue of whether the Israelite’s are going to keep the terms of the agreement.  In Joshua [the next book after Deut.] the Israelite’s remain faithful to the Lord for the most part.  But in Judges, they back slide and turn away into idolatry.

~ Grasping God’s Word; Duvall and Hayes

One major point to take away; the Creator,Lord,God Almighty is the one who sets the terms.  The created do not have the right, authority or power.  Not liking, agreeing with or accepting the terms does not change them.  They are non-negotiable.  Anything other than affirming, accepting and embracing is “to do what is right in our own eyes”; and that is idolatry.

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