The Word That Changed Everything
Inspired by Highly Favoured: Our Powerful God’s Covenant with You by Stuart J. Foster
As Stuart J. Foster defines it in Highly Favoured, the phrase, “You will be my people, and I will be your God” acts as a connecting thread throughout the entire Bible. We have a tendency to look at the Bible in pieces as if it is a bunch of small, unrelated stories combined into one book, like a book of fairytales or nursery rhymes. The Bible is one book that contains one big story about Jesus and his divine covenant with his people. If we take a look at any chapter of the Bible, in the Old or New Testament alike, this connecting thread is visible. “You will be my people, and I will be your God” is a simplified version of the covenant that God made with his people. When we recognize this truth and keep the thread in mind when reading God’s Word, it comes to life in new ways.
A covenant is different than an earthly promise, agreement, or pact. Our skewed idea of a covenant is much different from God’s. Promises are broken. Agreements are changed. Pacts fall apart. We live in a fallen world where no one is able to keep their word like God can. God’s covenant is unchanging and unbreakable. No matter the situation, God’s covenant with his people remains intact and strong. Any sort of “what if”? statement that you could think of doesn’t faze God. Through the wilderness, war, famine, oppression, slavery, and plagues, God never changed his mind. Even when things looked bleak, God remained faithful. Israel was not good to God. They treated him extremely unfairly. They took advantage of his kindness and continually disobeyed his commands. God had every right to go back on his word and choose another people as his own. Yet, he chose mercy, and continued to be faithful to Israel when they didn’t deserve it.
We as finite humans are very similar to Israel in that we continually fall short. We disobey, fall away, make terrible choices, and reject God. We go through seasons of highs and lows. The good news is that God treats us just as he treated Israel. He will never leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:9, Hebrews 13:5). No matter how many times we mess up, he will continually accept us. Our security and favour are guaranteed. No sin is too great for God to cover in grace. God keeps his covenant out of his great love for us, not because he has to. He wants a relationship with us. He knew we would mess up, yet he still chose to include us in his covenant. When Jesus died on the cross, he already knew every sin you would commit and decided that you were worth it.
The idea of a covenant can be scary. It is a full-time commitment, just like a biblical marriage. God is fully committed to us as his people. God is the groom and his church is the bride. As a part of this covenant, God has permission to work as he wills in our lives. Sometimes, God’s plan doesn’t make sense to us. Stuart Foster explains God’s covenant in this way: “This is a commitment so deep that it is scary. It will disturb us. It will rearrange our lives. It will hurt us in order to bless us. But the hardest part of all was experienced by God himself in Jesus: he died to fulfil his commitment to us.” The term “covenant” changed everything because it gives us hope. God’s covenant gives us life in fullness. Without God’s covenant, our lives would be meaningless and without purpose. God has named his children highly favoured, and his kept covenant is one of many ways that he proves this truth over and over every day. We are special and blessed because Jesus died for us, and nothing can ever change that. “You will be my people, and I will be your God” was true 2,000 years ago and it’s still true today. His covenant changed everything.
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Hear what people are saying about Highly Favoured: Our Powerful God’s Covenant with You:
“Like a bright light, this book leads readers out of a prosperity gospel mindset and into the assurance of a life-giving relationship with God, rooted in covenant promise. Foster’s many years translating the Bible give him deep knowledge of God’s Word. His practical insights and personal experiences will enrich any reader who truly seeks assurance of God’s favour.” —Rev Dr Joshua Bogunjoko, International Director, SIM
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