Responding to God
2 Chronicles 29: I have decided to make a covenant with the God of Israel.
Hezekiah announces his intention to make a covenant with God. He sees that the old covenant has been broken and is in need of repair. His “new covenant” is really a reinstatement of the “old covenant.” While the statement suggests that Hezekiah’s taking the initiative here by approaching the Lord with an offer, the fact is that God has patiently waited for a response like this. If Hezekiah sees this whole event as his initiative I guess that’s okay but actually God is, and always is, the “First Mover.” That’s how it is for us too. Like the prodigal, we think to ourselves, “I will arise and go to my Father,” as though it’s all our idea in the first place. And, just like it is in that story we arrive and find that the Father has been patiently waiting for us all along. To “decide to make a covenant” is a good thing, an important decision. However, such a move is only possible by what John Wesley might describe as the “grace that goes before” — God at work making it possible for us to come to that decision in the first place.
Take Away: Do you need to work some things out with God? Guess what? He’s already moving to work things out with you!
2Kings 11: Jehodiah now made a covenant between God and the king and the people. They were God’s people.
A seven-year-old boy sits on the throne of Judah. His mentor is the priest Jehodiah, a man committed to God. As Joash is installed as king the priest makes a covenant with God on behalf of the young king and his people. Joash will rule the nation “under God” and the people will view themselves as “God’s people.” A second covenant promises that Joash will rule justly and the people will willingly live as citizens under his rule. These covenants will stand for 40 years, throughout the lifetime of Joash. Covenants are powerful things. They bind people together and commit them to certain courses of action. They create a roadmap for relationships and behaviors. Covenants are commitments between two or more parties, a contract of sorts. The people of Joash’s day are impacted by the covenant for a lifetime. What am I committed to that has that level of impact? Or, maybe better said, is what I’m committed to worth the effort? How about you? Are your covenants worth keeping? The Lord has offered one covenant that is worth everything. It’s the one sealed with the blood of Jesus.
Take Away: Are the covenants of my life worth keeping?