With a soft and confidence voice, I read my vows out loud to my husband McKinley on May 19th, 2018. The wind picked up as I read my vows. As I declared these sacred words, I felt a shift in my spirit when I felt the cool air swirling around us. I knew saying these words carried weight and were wrapped in deep meaning. I knew they would carry future challenges, fear, unknowns and pain. But I also knew they would bring life, fruit and blessing. We declared our love and commitment to each other for life, regardless of what was to come. This type of covenant relationship is what God desires with his Bride, the church.
Creating a covenant with my husband is a small reflection of the covenant I have with my Father. I am faithful to him and he is faithful to me. This reflection helps me understand the covenant that God has with me, his precious daughter. Marriage of course is not the only example or comparison, but it is the closest example for me personally. God’s faithfulness in the book of Deuteronomy, or “second law,” starts with Moses standing before a new generation of Israelites. He tells the story of their ancestors’ exodus out of Egypt, the trials and tribulations they faced and also reflects on what God has done. He leads an entire new generation of people, encouraging them to follow the covenant requirements of God. His famous words, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind,” become a daily prayer and mantra for having covenant with God. Shema, the Hebrew word for listen, has a much deeper meaning in this scripture. Moses encourages that listening is prior to response and obedience to God. Much more than a set of covenant requirements, Moses wants his people to hear, respond and obey God’s covenant faithfulness.
He wants us to keep the whole covenant and commandment. His design and purpose in setting up these covenant requirements is out of his grace. God wanted Israel to be set apart, which is why he called them to a higher level of justice and standard of living. He desired for his people to live holy and to live out the covenant designed for them. This covenant is also for us today! Jesus is the new covenant and he wants us to choose life in him! Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “Therefore choose life in God, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
I love having a covenant with God. I am never worried he will leave or forsake me. My marriage is only a small reflection of this covenant, but my husband is human and will fail me. I will fail him too. The beauty of a covenant with God is that he won’t fail us. Having a covenant with God means that he will bless you, love you and multiply you, no matter what! Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “You will remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power for wealth that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to his fathers, to this day.”
One of my favorite songs written and sung by Maverick City Music starts with these lyrics, “God of Abraham, you’re the God of covenant, and of faithful promises.” From the beginning of time, he is faithful. He was faithful to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and he will be faithful to you.
Biblical Principle: God is faithful. He never breaks his covenant with us.
Biblical Challenge: Practice Shema. Listen, pay attention and respond to what God says.