Tuesday, February 23, 2021

National Covenant with God

Many Christians in America and other places believe their nation has a covenant with God. I believe that a nation can make a covenant with God, but it is different from what most Christians assume.

We tend to assume that the New Covenant makes the covenant with God a personal thing, but that seems to be a very Western, individualistic way of looking at the covenant. I believe that God is much more communal.

The leaders of a nation have the authority to make a covenant with God on behalf of the people who have submitted to their authority. However, two conditions would have to be fulfilled for such a covenant to be effective.

  1. The leaders of the nation would have to renounce all previous covenants made with false gods. That was a problem for the American founding fathers, because they had covenanted with greed and military power, etc, and they never renounced those covenants, before apparently making a covenant with God.

  2. A covenant with God is always one-sided. He specifies the terms of the covenant, including what is required for fulfilment and the consequence of keeping or rejecting it (a nation cannot just claim the covenant that God made through Moses with Israel). Most nations throughout history that have tried to make a covenant with God have done it the other way round. They decide what they will do for God, (often not much) and what they expect him to do for them (usually quite a lot). I suspect that it what the American founders did. They demanded God’s blessing on their enterprise without actually committing to obedience to his standards.

Given these conditions, I cannot think of any nation in the world that has a genuine covenant with God.

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