Covenanting with God

In the earliest of the codes we find it said regarding idolatrous people, "Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods." As against genuflection before these gods of the soil, these local divinities, was the command, "Ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee." Here is the exact statement of a true covenant, a divine promise requiring faith and obedience from men in order that they may be blessed. Those who make a covenant with their eyes, that is, with greedy, wandering desire, and with lust for material things, a lust which grows with what it feeds upon and never can be satiated, necessarily break the Ten Commandments. When these commands were given by the hand of Moses, he spoke of them as tables of the covenant which God made with the people. Later, when the children of Israel were preparing to enter the promised land, Moses reminded them of distresses which would come upon the land should they be disobedient, saying that when men questioned about this desolation, the answer would be, "Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt: for they went and served other gods, and worshipped them."

Where a covenant exists, there is to be considered first the unalterableness of Principle, as expressed in the words of the psalm, "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." Then there is to be considered the condition whereby men come to peace and rest in God's changeless goodness. At as early a time as in the days of the Judges, the message that came from the angel of the Lord was: "I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land." The consequence of disobedience was that the idolaters tolerated brought distresses; it was said of them, "They shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you." The children of Israel were double-minded and fluctuated as regards obedience. They would indulge in idolatry until they suffered, then they would repent. They did not seem ready to accept and obey Principle, whereby to become, as Paul put it, "steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord."

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Editorial
Trust in God
March 8, 1919
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