We’ve all known those who say they love the “whole human race” but seem to have difficulty interacting with individuals in front of them. Enduring relationships are specific, relational, and intentional.
The God who loves the world gets specific about relationships by entering into covenants with individuals and nations to work for the well-being of all humanity. Psalm 105 is one of many psalms that celebrate God’s covenant with Israel through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—a covenant that Paul insists includes any who “share the faith of Abraham” (Rom. 4:16).
As Christians, we understand God’s choosing of Israel as neither arbitrary favoritism nor the disenfranchising of the world. Rather, it is part of the divine strategy for the salvation of the world. God chooses Abraham and his clan as a pilot project for all humanity, a “light to the nations” (Isa. 49:6) to show a real people struggling to grow into the love, justice, mercy, and kindness God knows we all need to survive and thrive.
God knows and chooses all of us to be included in a covenant designed to bring blessing to the world. God has a destiny for us if we will cooperate with it. As Israel’s destiny was to learn how to walk God’s path of human flourishing, so our destiny is to learn the steps that help us grow as reflections of God’s character revealed in Christ. As the acorn grows into the oak, so we are called to the fullness of Christ.
Destiny is not fate, but a destination to walk toward. Each of us will bring into play our different abilities and choices as we move toward the goal. As we face difficult choices, just as Israel did, even our distresses help us find blessing and help.
Your special love for me, O God, is exactly what you offer to all you love. Help me see everyone I meet with your eye of love. Amen.
Jacob has tricked his brother out of his birthright and has tricked his blind father into blessing him instead of his older brother. This week the trickster is tricked, and his desire to marry Rachel will cost him dearly. The psalmist reflects on the faithfulness of God. God has made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the author is confident that God will honor that covenant. Paul builds upon his argument to the Romans about the power of the Spirit. The Spirit helps us pray to connect with God, and nothing can separate us from the love of God. Jesus continues to teach about the kingdom of God using parables. Finding our way into the kingdom is worth far more than anything else.
Read Genesis 29:15-28. How does a wise faith help you discern between differing loves?
Read Psalm 105:1-11, 45b. How is your faith journey an extension of God’s covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
Read Romans 8:26-39. How have you experienced prayer as an opening of yourself to God’s Spirit rather than a petition for yourself or others?
Read Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. How are you growing in Christ? If your faith has become stagnant, what “sorting” might help you to continue to grow toward proficiency in being Christlike?
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