“And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone” (Deuteronomy 4:13).
However much we have been stressing that the covenant is always a covenant of grace, that it is only the result of God’s bestowing unmerited favor upon those who enter into a saving relationship with Him, grace is not a license to disobey. On the contrary, covenant and law belong together; they are, in fact, inseparable.
Look at the text quoted above. How tightly does it link the covenant and the law? How does it show how basic the law is to the covenant?
When you think about what a covenant is, the concept of law as an integral part makes sense. If we understand the covenant as among other things, a relationship, then some sort of rules and boundaries need to be drawn. How long would a marriage or a friendship or a business partnership last if there were no boundaries or rules, either specifically expressed or tacitly understood? The husband decides to take a girlfriend or the friend decides to help himself to the other’s wallet, or one business partner without telling the other invites another person to join their venture. These acts would be a violation of rules, laws, and principles. How long would these relationships last under such lawless circumstances? That is why there has to be boundaries, lines drawn, and rules established. Only through these can the relationship be maintained.
In fact, various expressions such as law (Ps: 78:10) statutes (Ps: 50:16), testimonies (Ps: 25:10), commandments (Ps: 103:18), and word of the Lord (Deuteronomy 33:9) are found parallel to or in closest association with (if not having almost the same meaning as) the word covenant. Evidently “the words of this covenant” (Jeremiah 11:3, Jeremiah 11:6, Jeremiah 11:8) are the words of God’s law, statutes, testimonies, and commandments.
The covenant of God with His people Israel contained various requirements that would be crucial for maintaining the special relationship He sought with His people. Is it any different today?
|Think of someone you have a close relationship with. Now, imagine what would happen to that relationship if you didn’t feel bound by any rules, norms, or laws, but believed you had total freedom to do whatever you wanted. Even if you say that you love this person and that love alone will decide how you relate to him or her, why is there still a need for rules? Discuss.|