Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who Is "You"?

Our Bible story for the day was the second giving of the law -- Deuteronomy 5. It's getting time to go into the promised land. The Israelites have been wandering around in the desert for nigh onto 40 years. Moses calls them all together and says, "Listen up, I'm going to tell you what God said when He made the covenant with us back at Mt Sinai."

What I find most intriguing is verse 3: The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive. The Lord talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire.

Except for Joshua and Caleb and the then-kiddos who are now the old folks, everybody who was there at the first giving-of-the-law is now dead. The people who are hearing Moses on this day might have been teenagers or little kids when the Israelites left Egypt, but most of the people listening hadn't even been born yet. Moses doesn't even start in with "Hey, guys, this is what God tells His people." He starts by telling them that God made this covenant with them --even before they were born. With THEM. Not their parents. YOU, the ones who are alive today, whose bodies didn't die in the wilderness (as God had told them would happen when they hated Caleb's advice about going into the promised land 40 years earlier), YOU are the ones with whom God spoke that day at Sinai.

This is beautiful.
It means what God did in those stories of the Bible is for ME and not just the people that it happened to: the healing of the lame and the blind and the deaf, the preaching to the hard of heart, the absolution for Mary Magdalene.
And I think this verse in Deuteronomy 5 also says something about election, and how God chose us to be His own before the foundation of the world.

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