Friday, 1 February 2008

What I wish I said about Deuteronomy - Covenant and Affection

ORRIGHT. With a bit of time, I've thought of everything I wish I'd said about Deuteronomy last weekend at the TLC conference (*slaps forehead*).
The main idea of Deuteronomy is: "love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength,", and "love your neighbour as yourself". I said this in the first talk, but I didn't work it into the talks enough (*slaps forehead again*).
I should have talked more about the interaction between covenant love and affective love. The LORD brought the Isralites into a relationship with himself as a formal transaction. In rescuing them from the Egyptians, he's made them to be his people - in his place, under his rule.
In response, he calls them to love him with their whole selves. This is his covenant with them. It's a relationship that is both formal and emotional. Like a marriage. It's a formal transaction; but it's not just formal, it's affectionate as well. In my talks, I should have made more of this interaction between covenant and affection. I even talked about how the Prophets use the marriage as a metaphor for the relationship between the LORD and the Israelites - but still didn't think of this relationship between covenant and affection! (*slaps forehead yet again*).
So, Deuteronomy is all about how to respond in love (= with our whole selves, body & soul) to the God who saves us in order to bring us under his rule (= covenant). I even talked about how Gal 3:15 says Christ took our curse in order that Abraham's blessing (= being God's people, in God's place, under God's rule) might come to the Gentiles - but still didn't think of covenant and affection...! (*slaps forehead a fourth time*).
I should have titled my talks:
1. Why the LORD is worthy of all our our love (he saved the Israelites - and us - by his grace, through faith);
2. What it looks like to love of the LORD and our neighbour (the detailed laws of Deut 12-27);
3. looking forward to the time when we really will love with our whole selves (the promise of the new covenant in Deut 30-31).
I had the elements of all of these in the talks, but I didn't bring them out enough (*takes tablet for headache brought on by repeated slappings of forehead...*).
Relax - I don't think anything I said was wrong. It's just that I could have said it better - clearer, deeper, more comprehensive. Anyway... I hope I can do better next time.
Uh - anyone want an overview of Deuteronomy in three talks...?

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