The Terms

Deuteronomy 29:1-29

“These are the terms of the covenant the LORD commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in Moab in addition to the covenant he made with them at Horeb.”

Terms of the covenant. There are always terms of the covenant. Don’t we (I know I do) love with terms? We love, or try to love, until something goes beyond our boundaries. They may be boundaries like GOD set in Deuteronomy 29:18 “Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our GOD to go and worship the gods of those nations.” If your spouse turns toward someone else or your son or daughter declares they hate you, doesn’t it make sense that the covenant you have with them is broken? Doesn’t it allow you to be rid of them… or even to wish evil on them? Is this GOD talking or is it the world’s point of view bearing down on us.  

These are the covenants I “tend” to remember from the Old Testament. To me these “tend” to make sense… you know, “an eye for an eye” type of sense. BUT, there are unconditional covenants GOD made with Noah and the world. Here the sign of the covenant is the rainbow. Genesis 9:15 “Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” No if’s, and’s, or but’s… never again.

There is also the covenant Jeremiah speaks of, Jeremiah 31:31-37 “The time is coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers.” Jeremiah talks about a covenant, an unconditional covenant of grace that is coming.

So GOD sent Noah and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Phinehas, David, and Jeremiah and then GOD sent his son Jesus to live among us. GOD so loved the world he sent his only son to tell us about this new covenant… the covenant of grace. Matthew 26:28 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

That’s it… no terms… no rules, just forgiveness, unconditional forgiveness, which is truly unconditional love.

I am hanging on to old covenants! AND that is causing me pain and anguish in my life, in my mind, and in my heart.

Jesus says “Follow Me!” He says follow me because he, because GOD wants us to experience the new covenant of unconditional love, because when we experience unconditional love we can love others more, even those that hurt… or have hurt… or are hurting us.

Hebrews 8:13 “By calling this covenant new, he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”

Precious Father, Loving GOD, Holy Spirit, we pray that you imprint your new covenant, your unconditional love on our hearts, on our minds, and on our souls… so that our old thoughts, our conditional love becomes obsolete and disappears. AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

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