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Dec 11, 2006

Deal or no Deal?

Background: Elisha has passed away and Israel now is under oppression from Hazael, king of Aram. Elisha had prophesied earlier, that Hazael would oppress Israel after killing the king of Aram and taking his place. The Bible says in 2 Kings 13:22-23"22 Hazael king of Aram oppressed Israel throughout the reign of Jehoahaz. 23 But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence. "

Lesson: If you read the previous and next chapters you'll find there were many kings that got a chance to rule Israel and Judah, but none of them were sincere as David was. They all went astray or obeyed God partially. Yet God was gracious to them , every time they were oppressed, or they sinned, or someone attacked them...and all other problems that they had....because of His covenant with Abraham!!!
I wanted to see the details of this covenant, and in order for us to truly appreciate verse 23 from 2 Kings 13, we'll have to go back atleast a 1000yrs from this verse, to the time of Abraham.
In Genesis 15 we read the details of God's covenant with Abraham. In their times, when 2 parties were entering into a covenant, they would walk together between halves of a heifer, a goat, a ram and dove and pigeon. "9 So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon."
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.
This covenant would mean that they would share their sorrows, their joys, their wealth, their lives, to the point that if any one of the parties be in trouble, the other would be there to defend them even at the cost of their life. Almost meaning the life they lived would no longer be only for oneself but for the other person too, as if one man.
And God went into a covenant with Abraham that day " 17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river [d] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-"
You know what is the most beautiful part of this covenant?-- Abraham didn't walk through it, only God did. In verse 12 you'll find " 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him"

Conclusion: The past few days, with all these holiday shopping and all, everyone wanting to get the better end of the deal, the shopkeeper for their profit, the end user for the cheap and best, no one wants a bad deal, but God kept showing in my heart, He was always willing to be at the bad end of the deal, so that I would get the best of it.
He chose to be poor that I might be made rich.
He chose to die, that I might live.
He chose to be wounded, that my sins be forgiven.
He chose to exhange His beauty for my ashes.
God knew, a mere man and his descendants wouldn't be able to fulfil the covenant, it meant death to the one who failed to keep the covenant, yet He walked alone, between the covenant symbols, while Abraham was put in deep sleep. All Abraham had to do was to believe in God's unfailing love.Thats the kind of God we have, willing to take up everything for us, in order that we will see His love and love Him back. Thats my Living God, who loves me when I'm good, and loves me when I'm bad. He loves me in my joys, He loves me in my sorrows. He made a deal with a mere man, Abraham, who couldn't return anything that God could do, and God remained faithful even till this day, to the same covenant He made with Abraham so many thousands of years ago. If you do not know this Living and Loving God, here is your chance again, to make the deal, you have nothing to lose. For those who lose their life in Him, have found it. So here's the question Deal or no deal??


audrey` said...

Hi Friend

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.

Take care =)

G.P. said...

wow so powerful... proves the awesomeness of our G-d. Sometimes I think... gee I'm not worthy of Him.

Appreciate your Old Testament study here

GP in Montana