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Opening THE Book 10 with Rev John K-S

JOHN KINCHIN-SMITH8th February 2019
as published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church

In case you haven’t been following these articles from the beginning, we set out in June last year to discover what the Bible says about our world and our place in it. We’ve been exploring what the Bible teaches us about right and wrong, about God and Jesus; and, most important, what the Bible teaches us about the true purpose of life and how we can find this for ourselves. I wrote in June “I hope you might give the Bible a try – and then, like me, discover that it’s the most true and trustworthy book in the world – more true and trustworthy than anything or anyone else in the world”
OPEN BIBLEOkay, so this month let’s “Open the Book” and pick up from where we left the story in November with Moses and the Israelites on the way to the Promised Land having had a terrifying encounter with God in the desert when they received the ‘Ten Commandments’. (You can read this part of the story in the Book of Exodus, the second Book of the Bible)  At that moment, the people of Israel were called into a very special and unique relationship with God called a Covenant. (What we call the ‘Old Testament’ and ‘New Testament’ should really be called the ‘Old Covenant’ and the ‘New Covenant’ as we will see)
This Covenant was like a contract between the people of Israel (also known as ‘Hebrews’) and God whereby they would become his people and he would become their God. In this contract God promised to care for, protect and provide for his people and the people promised to love God and to obey his laws and commandments. The point of this wasn’t just for the benefit of one nation (Israel). The whole point of this contract was so that, through Israel, the whole world might be blessed and brought back into the perfect loving purposes of God
Really, the rest of the Old Testament is the story of how Israel failed to keep this Covenant and how God, in his love, kept sending prophets to warn Israel of the consequences of their unfaithfulness and to call them back to himself.  We’ll learn more about these consequences next month and how they apply also to ourselves

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