In today’s Bible reading* we see several words repeated several times: commands, ordinances, statutes, decrees, and most importantly: covenant. In fact, these words occur over seventy times in just these five chapters in the CSB! One thing is certain, when the Bible uses words and phrases over and over again, God is trying to communicate something. He wants us to listen.
But one thing comes out from these repeated words: There is no other god that has communicated with its followers. The same is true today. Our God is a self-revealing God. In fact, Deuteronomy 4:13 says that God Himself wrote the first set of the Ten Commandment Tablets. The Reformers knew this; that’s why “sola scriptura” or “Scripture alone” was one of the rallying cries of the Reformation five hundred years ago.
If you were to study other religions and cults throughout the history of mankind, none has a god that has revealed itself. No other god speaks. No idol speaks. Sure, “prophets” of other religions may have codified their rules, calling for obedience so that the god can be appeased. But Judeo-Christian theology is unique in having a God Who calls His people to a covenant relationship. And in that covenant relationship, God reminds His people to not forsake the covenant, but to carefully obey His commands, ordinances, statutes, and decrees. The purpose of God’s covenant commands is not so that we can make Him happy, but so that we can know Him better and love Him more.
God continues to maintain His covenant with His people. And though Jesus fulfilled the Law and though we are not longer under the Law, but under grace, God’s expectations of His people remain. We can’t just go out and do whatever we want whenever we want however we want. His Word remains true.
But how can we fulfill our end of the covenant if we don’t know what’s in it? That’s where our scheduled daily Bible readings come into play. This year, we’re going through a chronological reading through the entire Bible. The title of the Reading Plan reveals its purpose: “Reading God’s Story”. We’re listening to the whole counsel of God. And we’ll come out at the end of the year with a deeper appreciation of this self-revealing God.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: