The verses I posted on Facebook (Soul Food) this week were about covenants. Mankind’s history is replete with covenants. Examples we can relate to are the marriage ceremony, the signing of a mortgage, and joining a church or club. We may wonder if our covenants are important? Yes, covenants matter because they help us solidify our purpose, define our priorities and formalize our intentions.
Solidify Our Purpose
The children of Israel’s situation in the story recorded in Nehemiah awakened in them an awareness about their relationship with God. Nehemiah 9:36-38 records their plight.
“Here we are, servants today! And the land that you gave to our fathers, to eat its good food and its good things, here we are servants in it. And it yields much increase to the kings you have set over us, Because of our sins; Also they have dominion over our bodies and our cattle at their pleasure and we are in great distress.”
They found themselves in a predicament fraught by their own hands and it was a distressing position. They desired change. Wanting the change became their purpose. It drove them on. Their purpose was to return to God. There was no more wavering. It solidified their purpose.
Define Our Priorities
With a purpose in mind, they looked closer to the word of the law. What were the areas they needed to build up or pay closer attention to? Were there things they had neglected? How could they restore what had been lost? As they asked the questions they gained the answers. The answers then helped them to decide. They discovered what was most important. It thus defined their priorities.
Formalize Our Intentions
Creating a new covenant was serious business. It involved the people who separated themselves from the culture around them to follow the law of God. Their intentions were documented thereby adding more validity. Then they sealed it. Afterwards those involved wrote down their names. They began with Nehemiah the Governor and on down from there. Now it was a formal and legal document. It was settled. They had formalized their intentions.
So our covenants do matter. The real stuff of life happens when we make covenants. Covenants solidify our purpose, define our priorities and formalize our intentions.