Monday, September 24, 2012

Thought for the Week

Another gem from my favorite Rabbi:

In contrast to our civilization, the Hebrews lived in a world of covenant rather than a world of contracts.... Prophecy is a reminder that what obtains between God and man is not a contract but a covenant.  Anterior to the covenant is love, the love of the Father (Deut. 4:37, Isa. 63:7-9) and what obtains between God and Israel must be understood not as legal, but as personal relationship, as participation, involvement and tension.  God's life interacts with the life of the people.  To live in the covenant is to participate in fellowship of God and His people.

Heschel, The Prophets, 2:10. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Tory. Beautiful. Would love to add the following from one of our favorite resources:

    "God's covenant with Israel is everlasting (Gen 17:7); to Israel he said, 'I will betroth you to me forever' (Hos 2:19). God engraves Israel on the palms of his hands (Isa 49:16) and pledges that his covenant loyalty will be as constant as the shining of the sun, moon and stars (Jer 31:35-36).

    In Hebrew, 'to make a covenant' is literally 'to cut a covenant' (karat berit). Biblical covenants were sometimes solemnized by cutting animals in two. The shedding of blood dramatically ratified and sealed the covenant (see Gen 15:9; Jer 34:18-20). If one attempted to break the covenant, the blood served as a powerful visual lesson that one's own blood would be shed. In brief, it was a solemn oath to be kept on pain of death. It was thus inviolable and irrevocable.

    Our present age is one of shattered promises and broken relationships. An age sick with sentimentality has lost sight of the pledge 'till death due us part.' Love is often defined in all kinds of terms except commitment. We must return to Sinai, for there we are reminded through Hebrew eyes that marriage is just as serious and binding as that spectacular covenant ceremony on the day of revelation."

    Marvin WIlson, Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, pg. 206

    A complete understanding of covenant theology has the potential to radically transform our marriages, families and Body Life. Christ was ripped apart so that we would not be.

    Susan Pearson