God's relationship with his people

431 God's relationship with his peopleIsrael's history can only be summed up with the word failure. God's relationship with the people of Israel is referred to in the books of Moses as a covenant, a relationship in which vows and promises are pronounced. However, as the Bible shows, there were numerous instances of the Israelites failing. They did not trust God and grumbled about God's actions. Their typical behavior of mistrust and disobedience pervades the whole history of Israel.

The faithfulness of God is the highlight in the history of the people of Israel. From this we draw great confidence today. Since God did not reject his people at the time, he will not reject us, even if we go through times of failure. Because of bad choices, we may experience pain and suffering, but we need not fear that God no longer loves us. He is always faithful.

First promise: a leader

During the time of the Judges, Israel was constantly in a cycle of disobedience - oppression - repentance - liberation. After the death of the respective leader, the cycle began again from the beginning. After several such acts, the people asked the Prophet Samuel for a king, a royal family, so that there was always a descendant to lead the next generation. God told Samuel, "They did not reject you, but me, that I should no longer be king over them. They do unto you, as they have always done from the day that I brought them out of Egypt, unto this day, that they have forsaken me and served other gods "(1, Sam 8,7-8). God was their invisible leader, but the people did not trust him. Therefore, God gave them a person who should serve as a mediator who could reign as a representative of the people on his behalf.

Saul, the first king, was a failure because he did not trust God. Samuel then anointed David to the king. Although David was the worst person in his life, his desire was all about worshiping and serving God. After he was largely able to bring peace and prosperity, he offered to God to build a large temple in Jerusalem for him. This should be a symbol of permanence, not only for the nation, but also for their worship of the true God.

In a Hebrew word game, God said, "No, David, you will not build a house for me. It will be the other way round: I will build you a house, the house of David. It will be a kingship that will last forever and one of your descendants will build the temple for me "(2, Sam 7,11-16, own summary). God uses the covenant formula: "I want to be his father and he should be my son" (V 14). He promised that David's kingship would last forever (V 16).

But not even the temple was eternal. The kingdom of David was destroyed - religiously and militarily. What has become of God's promise? The promises to Israel were fulfilled in Jesus. He is at the center of God's relationship with his people. The security that the people sought could only be found in a person who exists permanently and is always faithful. The history of Israel points to greater things than Israel, yet it is also part of the history of Israel.

Second promise: God's presence

During the desert migration of the people of Israel, God dwelt in the tabernacle: "I moved about in a tent as a dwelling" (2, Sam 7,6). Solomon's temple was built as the new abode of God and "the glory of the LORD filled the house of God" (2, Chr 5,14). This was to be understood symbolically, as the people knew that heaven and all heaven heaven could not grasp God (2.Chr 6,18).

God promised to dwell among the Israelites forever if they were obedient to Him (1, kings 6,12-13). However, because they disobeyed him, he decided that he "would let them go from his presence" (2: KING 24,3), ie, he was taken to another captive country. But again God remained faithful and did not reject his people. He promised that he would not erase her name (2, King 14,27). They would come to repentance and seek his nearness, even in a foreign land. God had promised them that if they turned back to him, he would bring them back to their land, symbolizing the restoration of the relationship (5, Moses 30,1-5, Neh 1,8-9).

Third promise: An eternal home

God promised David, "And I will give a place to my people Israel, and plant it to dwell there, and it shall not be afraid, and the violent shall no more wear it as it was before" (1. Chr 17,9) , This promise is amazing, as it appears in a book written after the exile of Israel. The history of the people of Israel points beyond their history - it is a promise whose fulfillment is yet to be fulfilled. The nation needed a leader who was descended from David and yet was bigger than David. They needed the presence of God, which not only symbolized in a temple, but would be a reality for each person. They needed a country where peace and prosperity would not only be permanent, but a change in the whole world, so there will never again be repression. Israel's history points to a future reality. But there was also a reality in ancient Israel. God had made a covenant with Israel and faithfully kept him. They were his people, even when they disobeyed. Although many people have strayed from the right path, there were also many who remained firm. Although they have died without seeing fulfillment, they will live again to see the Leader, the land and the best of all, their Savior and to have eternal life in His presence.

by Michael Morrison


pdfGod's relationship with his people