Monday, May 09, 2011

Why the land?

“In Deuteronomy 5:27, the people express their verbal agreement to listen to and obey Yahweh, and it is this commitment on their lips that explains the constant appeals in the book for their response. The ubiquity of these appeals however, may suggest pessimism over Israel's ability to obey Yahweh's word.

“That this is the case is intimated by the fact that the beginning of the book is dominated by rehearsals of their rebellions in the past...Furthermore, it is explicitly stated that the land was given to them not because of their righteous character (9:1-6) or their great size (7:7-10) but rather because of the merciful and faithful character of Yahweh and the wickedness of the Canaanites (7:7-10).”—A Severe Mercy, page 111

<idle musing>
I'm thankful for the merciful nature of God, but I certainly wouldn't presume on it—that's called cheap grace! I'm also thankful for the faithfulness of God—but I wouldn't presume on it. And, as an analogy, I wouldn't purposely antagonize my wife because I know she is faithful and merciful and will forgive me! Can you imagine a marriage based on that kind of thinking?! No wonder Leonard Ravenhill hated the lyrics of the hymn that stated. "born to wander, Lord I feel it. Born to leave the God I love."

Of course, that we can be faithful ourselves is totally reliant on the power of God within us through the Holy Spirit. Without that, the song's lyrics are only too true—just as the Israelites found out when they tried to keep the covenant...
</idle musing>

2 comments:

Joel and Renee said...

I believe its "prone" not "born" from Come Thou Fount, though it may not make a difference.

jps said...

Renee or Joel,

You are correct, of course. But, as you say, it doesn't make a difference.

James/Dad