God of the Covenant

By Patrick Hawthorne

covenant

Over the last couple of years, during the time in which I discovered blogging, I have met some truly wonderful people.  Of those people, a few have unashamedly publicized their following of Calvinistic teachings.  While I greatly disagree with the unconditional election (God choosing who goes to heaven and who goes to hell) and limited atonement (Jesus died only for the Elect) portion of this doctrine, I can understand why many came to believe as they do.

The Church today has become so watered down by a feel good message that many forget that we serve a Mighty God, a sovereign and holy God.  Many have taken the verse, “Let us come boldly before the throne of grace,” to mean they are entitled to waltz before our Heavenly Father like a spoiled brat with a “Give me,” attitude.

Even so, why can I not subscribe to the teaching that God “elects” some to heaven and some to hell?  Why do I not pledge my belief to the idea that God would choose me but not another?  Better yet, how can I honestly believe that God will condemn a baby to hell who has no concept of right or wrong simply because they are not part of the “Elect?”  The answer is simple.  It all comes down to blood covenant.

In a Hebrew blood covenant, as with David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18-20), the terms of the covenant included family members, even those not yet born.  If the family member was not of age to make a determination as to whether or not to remain in the covenant, they were afforded the same protection as those under the covenant.  In other words, they were adopted into the covenant until such age as they could choose for themselves.

Later on, when the child became of age, they had to make the decision of whether or not they desired to remain in the covenant.  The only penalty for not choosing to be part of the covenant would be that they were not afforded the protection and the terms of the covenant.

We see this with the covenant made between David and Jonathan.  After Jonathan died, King David sought Mephibosheth (Jonathan’s son) so that he could fulfill his terms of the covenant. (2 Samuel 9).  David drew Mephibosheth to himself by having his soldiers retrieve him and bring him before the palace.

Once he was before King David, Mephibosheth had a choice to make. He could either accept King David’s offer of salvation (in a sense) and security, or he could deny the offer and suffer the consequences of living in a world where he had no guidance or protection from David.  It was his choice to make.  Had he chosen to walk away, King David would have no choice but to honor his refusal.  It was part of the covenant terms.

Some might think, “That was David but is not God.  Also, that was a covenant made between two men and does not apply to our covenant with God.”  To that I say, “Exactly.”  If David, a man after Gods own heart (Acts 13:22), would make a covenant that would extend to the family, how much more will God’s covenant with mankind, through our Lord Jesus, do likewise in this new and better covenant…The Covenant of Grace.  Be blessed.

 

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Posted in Christian, teaching, writing
11 comments on “God of the Covenant
  1. I call these theological things “rabbit holes” because we fall down them and they mess with our minds. Before you know it, we’re full of survivor’s guilt and worrying about babies and something within us just tells us this is all wrong.

    If God is good than this thing can not be true, but if this thing is true than God cannot be good? We’re like little hamsters on a wheel trying desperately to rationalize things. We tend to forget those words of wisdom, “lean not into your own understanding.”

    God is good and worthy of our trust. He loves the babies and the so called “unelect” even more than we do. That’s the important thing to remember, trust God, He loves His children and He loves them more than we can even understand.

    Calvanism makes a certain amount of sense to me in the context of physics, when we are thinking of time not being linear, of God existing outside of time, so He is the author and finisher of our faith. He can also see into our hearts and perhaps into our future too. Look at the Apostle Paul, out murdering Christians one day and out preaching the word the next.

    It’s kind of sad, the concept of the elect was never really intended to make us cast people out, condemn them as unchosen, it was supposed to help us understand that if God really wants you, he’ll just whack you upside the head on the road to Damascus. Inclusion based on future life events, not exclusion based on birth or something.

    Take heart, lean not into your own understanding, and pray God has mercy on all the Calvinists of the world. Just whack them all with a TULIP or something. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes…you definitely put your IB spin on it. Your use of Paul on the Road to Damascus is very fitting. Apparently God had been drawing and drawing but Paul had been resisting and resisting. Finally, it took a knock upside the head to get his attention. I believe that he could have still refused because Jesus said, “Paul if’n you keep at it son, it ain’t gonna turn out purty fer ya.” (Jesus was a country boy ya know. )

    I also agree with you about many of the Calvinist teachings being spot on. There have been some things I could not wrap my head around until I read it from their point of view.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Loved your post. Just this morning when my wife and I were doing our devotions, I ran across a passage in John 6 that seemed to support a Calvinistic approach to election. That being said, I’m still in your corner on this rabbit hole chase.

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  4. mitchteemley says:

    How literal is the metaphor? In other words, does God’s blood covenant include the entire human race, or only those whose families have entered the covenant with Him? In other words, are “heathen babies” included?

    Like

    • Hi ya Mitch…Even when I believe you are being serious, you make me laugh (Heathen babies). In reality we were all born heathen babies because we were born into sin. Fortunately, this covenant was not made between God and man, but God and Himself. Read the Abrahamic covenant and you will see that God put Abraham into a deep sleep while He (God) performed the covenant ritual. Therefore we each have the opportunity and freedom of choice to either accept Jesus or deny Jesus.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dawnlizjones says:

    My two cents (for what it’s worth…) is that if God grants repentance (a gift in itself) He also grants forgiveness. Or maybe that’s an adjacent rabbit hole…?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mel Wild says:

    I like how people who believe in limited atonement don’t ever exclude themselves. It’s always “them.” It’s those people (we don’t agree with) who are going to hell.

    God seems to think that Jesus died for the whole world (2 Cor.5:14-15; 1 John 2:2). Sounds to me like that includes everybody, even non-Calvinists! 🙂 Although, as you stated, not everyone wants to be reconciled. It’s a free gift that must be received (or believed). Love requires freedom to choose, otherwise it’s not really love. Although God’s grace makes the choice possible. And it’s irrelevant whether God knows the end from the beginning on this issue. In time, it’s still a real choice (empowered by grace). As Paul stated, God revealed Himself IN Paul before he believed. He wasn’t just a heathen, he was an enemy of the cross, yet God was in Paul (Gal.1:13-16). Hmmmm…sounds like God poured His Spirit out on ALL flesh… (Acts 2:17).

    Good stuff, Patrick! You have no argument from me. Blessings.

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