Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Rules and Relationship

I heard a lesson on Sunday that fits well with some things I am thinking about. It was well thought through and camped heavily in Exodus, where I am living right now due to some curriculum writing. The general gist of the lesson, if I was going to summarize, was about how to understand "the rules" or law in terms of the heart and God's intention for us versus fundamentalistic thinking. Nothing earth shattering there. However, as I ponder this idea about rules and law, it strikes me over and over again that God initiates, makes, and keeps covenant with people in the midst of them not caring about the rules or law.

This beautiful partnership of rules and relationship or law and love simply overwhelms me. God, in His desire for us to be His people, shaped and formed by His heart knows what is best for us.

Here is the earth shattering part. Law is never given without Love. Rules are never issued outside of relationship. Even in the consequences, we are assured that punishment may last to the 3rd or 4th generation, but His hesed will remain till the 1000th generation.
Sinai is this stunning picture of the rule-law giving God on the mountain AND the relationship-love desiring God who chooses to live with His people in the camp.

And so, every time we talk about the rules or the law, it is imperative that we talk about the covenant. They form and inform each other. And I can't imagine a more tasty pairing.

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