Through Whom: An Establishment of Covenant Faithfulness

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As we look back at Holy Week, I marvel at how God did what He did. Not just providing the Lamb, the way of salvation—but how He moved from Genesis to the Gospels. Although the narrative of salvation is thick and complicated, it is sure and unbreakable.

So how did God do it? Through selecting a people to be his.

The mystery of election is that God chose a specific people through whom to draw all people to himself. Through one nation, God would save all nations. What at first seems exclusive, is actually inclusive.

You see, God called Abraham from pagan worship and said to him, “Go.” And Abraham went to an unknown land and began to follow Yahweh. As Abraham’s descendants increased, God kept saying, “Follow me so that others will see that I alone am Lord.” God brought his people out of Egypt and bestowed on them the gift of the Law (yes, it is a gift!), that they might know his character deeper and live in the way best for them.

They cried for a king. Even as God was setting them apart, they demanded to be like other nations.

So God gave them a king. Saul. He was strong and beautiful. But he forgot how to worship. He forgot he’d been set apart.

Then God chose David. One person to represent Israel—a leader after God’s own heart. Even amidst his failures (which were monumental), David did not forget how to worship. Confession and praise bubbled from within him like fresh streams of water.

The Lord said: “I have a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.”

God’s faithfulness thrums through the Old Testament as He nurtures his people and brings about his plans. His faithfulness digs deep into each generation, sprouting seeds of goodness that grow up for the blessing of the next generation.

Sin blocks man’s ability to reciprocate that faithfulness. Though Yahweh showed his ways to Israel, they could not stay the true path.

Another leader was needed to fortify this covenant faithfulness, to do what Israel could not.

God sends a King, again. The true King, his Son. The election of one man through whom all men can come to the eternal God and be saved. Jesus is the culmination of election, the door thrown open wide, providing entrance to the presence of God.

The cross is the crowning work of God’s faithfulness. The nails pierced Jesus hands, but the events of holy week nailed down for all mankind the blessing of salvation, the joy of belonging to the Father.

God’s faithfulness to us has been established—firmer than the strongest foundation, surer than tomorrow’s sunrise.

So let us rejoice in the establishment of God’s faithfulness, the assurance of his deliverance and reign. That no matter our personal failures, or the world’s chaos, the throne of David—upon which Jesus sits—will forever be victorious.

“O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.”

And it surrounds us now too, because God chose a people, through whom He sent Jesus, through whom we are embraced in his faithfulness.

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The Love and Lordship of Christ

He loves. He loves. He loves.

But as sure, strong, and freeing as the love of Christ is, his reign is also. The Lordship of Christ cannot be eclipsed by his love, and I fear that’s what we are all too tempted to do in a relativistic world. We choose love over lordship (or what we think is love). The pressure to make Christ loving, but not Lord, presses from all sides.

Why are we trying to separate what cannot be separated?

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Christ’s love and lordship are innately bound together. In fact, we cannot understand the depth and utter ridiculous nature of his love without honoring and submitting to his lordship.

I’m going to sound like Soren Kierkegaard here. Faith is a leap. We are lured by Jesus, attracted to him, and we seek to understand him. Then we must take a leap of faith and submit to his lordship. We cannot rationalize our way to Christ, sorting through all his laws like reading a business contract. We cannot test his love out, make sure it fits our definition of tolerance.

We must leap to him. Accept him as Lord. Then, when He sends his Spirit to dwell within us, we more fully grasp the truth embedded in his love and lordship.

When word battles and worldview clashes wear us out, we simply must come back to the lordship of Jesus. He is Lord. He has supreme authority. And why is this? Well, because the Father gave it to him, but also, because he bled for our sins and conquered death. We weren’t given supreme authority, and we didn’t bleed for our own sins. This is the utterly ridiculous nature of God’s love, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

So you see how lordship and love are tied together? The utmost expression of his love solidifies his lordship.

The question is, will we submit?

The Song of a Bird

He talks to me from the bradbury pear tree. A loud, pure, wheer-wheer-wheer-wheer. Over and over, until suddenly I hear this cardinal through my concentration and am drawn from my pondering on evangelicalism, church, and this talk of “leaving” or “staying.”

I smile. Because whenever I fall into the murky, mind-filling struggle of trying to separate theological apples and oranges, the simple pulls me back out.

The simple song of a bird.

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Again, God uses a bird. Perhaps because I love them, God has used birds to speak to me his truths. While it may sound silly, that soft spot in my heart for these small airborne creatures is an open door for God to say, “See, look. Even the sparrow has a nest for its young.” And in those words, I hear the truth:

You are cared for. You are not forgotten. You are more precious to me than these.

Whatever your heart is bent toward today, may it be an open door for the words of Christ. May you hear his encouraging voice. Because He does care, and you are not forgotten.