Saturday, October 08, 2011

Covenant Judgments (2) - Israel

When God made a covenant with the people of Israel, he told them what he required of them in the law given through Moses. God promised to bless the people if they fulfilled the conditions of the covenant.

All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God (Deut 28:2).
These blessing are spelt out in detail. Moses also warned that failure to keep the covenant and trust in God would bring them under a curse.
However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you (Deut 28:15).
Deuteronomy lists the curses in even greater detail than the blessings. When left the true part and forgot about God, when these curses were fulfilled, they were referred to as the judgments of God.
You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD (Ezek 24:14).
I judged them according to their conduct and their actions (Ezek 36:19).God is Israel’s King and Judge. The covenant made them accountable to him for their behaviour. When they broke the covenant, he judged their actions and pronounced judgment against them. By disobeying God, the people of Israel placed themselves under the curse of the covenant.

The main role of the prophets was to be guardians of the covenant. Whenever, Israel broke the covenant, the prophets would challenge them and warn in advance of the judgments that would inevitably come, if they continued in disobedience. The prophets called the people to repentance and obedience, to prevent their warnings from being fulfilled.

Most of the prophecies in the Old Testament were warnings of curses/judgments that would come upon Israel, if the continued to reject God. Israel broke the covenant again and again, so the prophets had a consistent message. They often seemed to be full of doom and gloom because Israel was mostly living in disobedience. They could not be nice, because the prognosis for Israel was usually bad.

A few prophecies were declarations of judgment against local nations attacking Israel (Is 14:29). These judgements were fulfilment of the blessings of the covenant.
They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven (Deut 27:8).

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