Archive for December 14th, 2017

Has anyone ever made you a promise that was so fantastic in scale that it was preposterous? Like, “I’ll give you the moon and the stars if you’ll marry me?” Or, “I’ll give you anything you want if you’ll do this one thing for me?” There are parts of today’s reading that feel a little bit like that. God promised that the defeat of the neighbouring enemy nations would be so complete and so all-encompassing that it would take 7 years for all the weapons that were captured to be burned. Not forgetting that it would take 7 months to bury all the bodies of those that Israel would slay in the battles. As promises go this one is right up in the top ten of all time.

The problem is that we know that when someone says to us, “I’ll give you the moon and stars if you’ll marry me” (not one of my lines I promise) that it’s just hyperbole, an meaningless promise that’s used to demonstrate the sincerity of the request or promise. There is no intent in the promise to actually attempt to deliver on it – that’s not the point. But the difference in God’s case is that it is within His power and ability to cause such a promise to be fulfilled to the letter. The nations that bordered Israel had been enemies for generations and God wanted them all to know that the God the Israelites had worshipped and deserted was exactly who He said He was. The God of power and majesty who can create the heavens and the earth with a word. He is the God who can cause a flood that would devastate the earth with another word and who has the power to overwhelm the biggest and most powerful armies of the time when He so desired.

Of course God also wanted the Israelites to know that the time they had spent in exile was for a purpose. It was “time-out” to reflect on how far they had strayed from His presence. To be taken to a place where they would have time and a desire to listen to the prophets He sent to instruct them on the way for their future and to nurture in them all the desire to turn their faces towards Him once more. Maybe not so preposterous after all?


















Father God, bless me with an ability to listen to your promises with an open heart and mind and to stand on them with all my strength. Amen.

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