“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (The Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4)
Infringe. “To transgress or exceed the limits of; violate.”
Encroach. “1. To take another’s possessions or rights gradually or stealthily.” Also, like infringe, “2. To advance beyond proper or former limits.”
Usurp. “To seize another’s place, authority, or possession wrongfully.” (American Heritage Dictionary)
As we’ve seen by the biblical record, the corrupted Subdue and Rule Mandate has not only been turned to include other people (which God never intended), but under the sinister influence of sin, it has morphed into the despicable drive to Conquer and Dominate.
Let’s be honest here. We’re content as long as things go smoothly in our little world. We go about our day, making sure we’re bringing things under control and managing them nicely. How extensive is our dominion drive? It operates continually and in all situations.
We experience it when we get the urge to create or shape the environment around us. It kicks in when we encounter chaos and order needs to be restored. Or when tasks need accomplishing. Or when we’re driving.
It would all be so easy if other people weren’t involved.
But they are.
God created us all to function as one huge team, as His vice-regents, to spread out over the earth, taming the natural world and drawing it in under God’s rule and reign. Per our King’s great mercy, humanity was granted a Creation covenant in Genesis 1-2 to establish our relationship with Him and protect it with simple safeguards; rule, reproduce, and do it all God’s way.
Yes, that’s right. We had one job, and we blew it. But that’s not the end.
Even though Adam and Eve violated their covenant and betrayed their Lord and Master, it wasn’t the end. Just because a covenant is in a violated state, it doesn’t mean it’s nullified, abolished, or kaput. It simply means the covenant must be restored for the relationship to continue.
Think of it in marriage terms. All other vows and promises aside, the central commitment is for the husband and wife to reserve themselves in all ways for their spouse. Again, one job. But suppose the husband or wife has a wandering eye and shares themselves emotionally or physically with another person. The marriage covenant is violated, true, but it’s not necessarily nullified, abolished, or kaput. The marriage covenant is violated but can be restored if and only if the couple wants to continue their married relationship. There must be confession, repentance (turning from what broke the vows and returning to the transgressed spouse), recommitment, and any other reparations that need to be made.
The biggest thing is trust needs to be restored.
And that’s the core. Trust. For trust’s sake, this is why covenants are so extremely important. We have them, so we can reinforce trust within the framework of a relationship, whether it’s our relationship with God or another person. Sadly, our fallen nature and unrestrained desires push us to say and do things that break the trust bond in our relationships. Because we have an unleashed dominion drive, our cravings often kick us into overdrive in the wrong direction (our way, not God’s), and we end up infringing, encroaching, or usurping God’s or another person’s “domain.” In our push for control, we often heartlessly step on others.
And if it’s a dark enough motive, we launch an all-out Conquer and Dominate war to achieve victory.
So how do we control ourselves in an uncontrolled state? We have a choice. We can be controlled outside of ourselves like a governor does to an engine, or we can exercise self-control.
Covenants are an outward control mechanism, and that’s what we’ll now explore. Spoiler alert! While external controls work, they don’t work well if a person isn’t willing or able to cooperate with them. That’s why we must see how God uses covenants to control our drive to control. He uses covenants to help us subdue and rule our loosed Subdue and Rule Mandate.
When we were elementary-age kids, my brother and I used to sit in the car’s back seat, draw an imaginary line on the seat, and proclaim that neither of us could “cross the line.” If it happened, shouting and fisticuffs would usually ensue, closely followed by a parental scolding and the threat to “turn this car around!” Sure, the threat worked, but it wasn’t long until we two hooligans were back at it.
Why was the line so important? Because of the Subdue and Rule Mandate, duh. No bossy older brother was going to encroach, infringe, or usurp my half-of-the-backseat domain. That belonged to me and me alone! Until my sister came along, and that mucked up the whole domain arrangement.
Even though I had no idea about God’s Subdue and Rule Mandate and how it pushed me to establish my domain, defending it against all invaders, foreign and domestic, I instinctively knew of it because it’s part of my human wiring. However, my sinful nature pushed me to want more than “my domain,” a lure to open warfare. The unrestrained, people-focused drive for dominion can be a terrible thing.
But my dad came up with a solution. He cinched up our seatbelts really tight. And by that, I mean barely able to move (or breathe), which was his point. Those seatbelts restrained our undisciplined infringing, encroaching, and usurpation brought on by our desires to Conquer and Dominate. Dad’s restraint system achieved what my brother and I couldn’t – self-control.
The problem with our unrestrained dominion drive under God’s irrevocable Subdue and Rule Mandate is that it causes each one of us to infringe, encroach upon, and usurp parts of other peoples’ domains, their personal worlds. We overstep our limits and violate their boundaries. Our fallen nature, combined with our wayward hearts, unleashed desires, and self-serving wills, create the condition where “everybody wants to rule the world.” This drive to rule (control) doesn’t mean we all seek to be a king or emperor in the political sense. It means that every one of us has the drive to bring our world under control and maintain it, mainly for security reasons.
Our dominion drive is a gift from God, part of the original Creation covenant grant, and is morally neutral. What causes our dominion drive to be good or evil is how it’s exercised according to God’s standard of right and wrong. We were designed to function within God’s domain as His vice-regents working shoulder to shoulder to extend His rule and reign over the whole earth. While each person could have subdued and ruled their little slice of God’s domain without any other person’s help, the massive scope of God’s global assignment required cooperation with others. Had the Fall not occurred, we would have fulfilled our commission in mutually agreed upon, shared tasks such as land cultivation and harvest, raising families to populate the earth, and other world-shaping and domain-establishing work for our King.
However, biblical history is clear. The desire of human hearts, led by the lusts of the flesh, eyes, and pride, pushes our will to exert itself independently of God, leading to covenant-breaking actions. By choosing to make decisions against God’s will, humanity’s dominion drive, under the influence of our corrupt nature, expressed itself in ungodly ways, as we saw with Cain, Lamech, and the people of Babel.
Under the corrupting influence of sin, Subdue and Rule becomes Conquer and Dominate, amplified by hearts that covet, eyes that seek, and bodies that crave self-gratification. Apart from God and His restraints (commands), people infringe, encroach upon, and usurp what belongs to God’s and others’ domains. Therefore, God’s restraints, like divinely cinched seatbelts, are needed to provide parameters within which we can subdue and rule successfully without violating another’s domain. God’s “seatbelts” are His covenant commands.
Covenants Protect Relationships
Covenants are designed to protect relationships. In the beginning, before humanity or anything else was created, God was in a relationship. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, though one, in essence, are three distinct persons within the Godhead (Erickson). God chose to create humanity to have fellowship with Him. He created us to be with Him in Eden (Genesis 3:8), He pursued His plan to restore that relationship through Jesus (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23), and we’ll enjoy a full relationship with our God when all things are remade (Revelation 21:3-5).
Having been created in God’s image and sharing His attributes in a limited way, we humans also have the capacity and desire for relationships that God has. Relationships are built upon intimacy and vulnerability, which carry the possibility of betrayal, exposing intimacy, and harming the vulnerable partner. Therefore, trust and commitment are foundational for relationships.
Trust and commitment are needed to protect the intimacy and vulnerability of the other person. Keith Intrater writes, “To protect that vulnerability, there must be commitment to go along with intimacy. To every degree of intimacy, there must be a corresponding degree of commitment. If a man brings a woman to a level of intimacy beyond what he is really committed to, he has violated her as a person” and “Covenant betrayal or betrayal of trust is the greatest of all sins” (Intrater). It’s undoubtedly true that covenant betrayal is the greatest of all sins because the initial sin in Eden was humanity’s betrayal of God’s trust.
Because betrayal, a violation of trust, is always possible, covenants are needed to protect the relationship from unfaithfulness and assure commitment. Covenants do this by first defining the relationship between the covenant partners. The marriage covenant defines the relationship between a man and a woman as husband and wife. God’s covenants define His relationship between individuals, such as Abraham (Genesis 17:2), David (2 Samuel 7, 23:5), and groups (Israel, Exodus 6:7; 24:8). As the Bible illustrates, covenants also define the relationship between sovereigns and vassals (Nebuchadnezzar and Israel, Ezekiel 17:3) and between peers (Jonathan and David, 1 Samuel 18:3; 23:18).
Covenants protect relationships by setting the terms within which the relationship will flourish. These terms spell out what each partner will or won’t do for mutual benefit. For example, in Genesis 21, Abraham and the Philistine king, Abimelech of Gerar, made a covenant based on mutual loyalty. They wanted this relationship protection due to a land dispute. The covenant prevented Abraham or Abimelech from infringing, encroaching, or usurping the other party’s land. Although the terms between the two men were basic, the covenant was that both parties would remain relationally loyal to one another.
Another more detailed example of covenant terms is God’s Law (Torah) of the Sinai covenant. The Torah terms were partly given as guidelines to help the Israelites remain within the boundaries of God’s standard and protect against betrayal. Like the Abraham/Abimelech agreement, God and Israel pledged covenant loyalty to each other. As Israel would demonstrate their commitment by obeying the covenant terms, God would do the same by fulfilling His promises to protect and provide for His people.
Covenant terms also provide clear boundaries to identify a covenant violation. Violating covenant terms breaks a covenant’s governing “laws” of the relationship and betrays a covenant partner’s trust. Since a covenant is based on a relationship, violating the terms of a covenant is “in essence the violation of the other person” (Intrater), and the seriousness of such an act cannot be overstated. Betrayal of a covenant’s terms demands the discipline or punishment the parties agreed to by their covenant oath.
For example, the betrayal of the Creation covenant’s Tree prohibition term meant death (Genesis 2:17). Violating the prohibition in Noah’s covenant against shedding innocent blood also meant death (Genesis 9:5-6). For the Sinai covenant, many of the terms (laws, commands, statutes) had a death penalty or an excommunication punishment attached to them (“cut off from his people” or “dead” to the community, Exodus 21:14-17, 31:14; Leviticus 18:29).
The terms of a covenant, both positive and negative, are intended to keep our human mind, will, and actions in check when our heart, propelled by the desires of the flesh, seeks self-gratification in ways that violate God’s trust and thus His person.
Finally, covenants are designed to protect relationships by providing 1) redress when terms are violated and 2) a reinstatement process to reset the relationship to its original status. The relationship is restored when covenant violations have been addressed, and penalties have been exercised to the offended covenant partner’s satisfaction. The reinstatement process in the Sinai covenant is a great example. Repentance is the primary requirement. Without repentance, any work toward covenant reconciliation means nothing since repentance is “abandonment of sin” (Erickson). Repentance is a turning of the heart towards God (Deuteronomy 4:29-31; 30:1-2), which restores the covenant relationship (Deuteronomy 30:3-9). We must remember that a restoration of a covenant does not nullify the terms of the covenant, and the terms remain the ongoing safeguards to God’s relationship with His people (Deuteronomy 30:10).
Covenant Terms Provide Relationship Boundaries
“What does all this about covenants have to do with the Subdue and Rule Mandate?” A great deal! First, the Subdue and Rule Mandate was supposed to be exercised in line with God’s nature and will, represented by the Tree prohibition. Adam and Eve’s decisions regarding how they ruled God’s creation as His vice-regents were to be made as if God Himself was ruling Eden and expanding His domain throughout the world. After the Fall, humanity continued to reproduce and rule on its own terms.
Under the influence of a fallen, autonomous nature, Subdue and Rule morphed into Conquer and Dominate. While both the Flood and the confused languages at Babel defused the Conquer and Dominate drive on a collective level for a time, it didn’t happen on an individual level. Chaos ensues when the dominion drive is wrongfully deployed against fellow human beings. If humanity is to coexist, safeguards must be set to restrain our tendency to Conquer and Dominate to protect human relationships against betrayal. Our drive to Conquer and Dominate pushes us to seek our way selfishly and instinctively at the expense of another’s possessions, rights, and authority over their world or personal domain.
Covenants provide a valuable and needed framework to help guide and direct our drive to subdue and rule within our relationships with God and people.
As said before, covenant terms are the agreed-upon boundaries spelling out what covenant partners may or may not do for the mutual benefit and protection of their relationship. Both partners benefit when the behavioral boundaries are followed. Covenant terms create clear boundaries (designated “domains”), teach and train us in self-control (over one’s domain of self), promote freedom over our world, and encourage cooperation when individual domains overlap.
The covenant terms within the person-to-God relationship set clear boundaries regarding God’s and a person’s responsibilities and obligations. For example, God’s self-imposed responsibilities to the Israelites included provision, offspring, and preservation (Deuteronomy 7:13-15), among others. The Israelite’s responsibilities and obligations to God are summed up in the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). The Israelites were to remain faithful to Yehovah and keep His commands. The rest, as they say, is commentary.
The secondary benefit to the Israelites was clear. God gave them boundaries designating their familial and personal worlds, such as family land grants (Numbers 26:52-56) and the freedom to live without a neighbor’s interference. One example is God’s prohibition against moving a neighbor’s field boundary markers (Deuteronomy 19:14).
Covenant terms also protected the person-to-person relationships between family members and between neighbors. Boundaries were formed to protect marital relations (proper sexual activity, Leviticus 20:10ff), parent-child interactions (not cursing parents, Leviticus 20:9), employer-employee relations (not exploiting the hired worker, Deuteronomy 24:14-15; Leviticus 19:13), neighbor relations (the Royal Law, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Leviticus 19:19), the interaction between the Israelite community and the poor among them (Deuteronomy 15:7-11), Israelites and their animals (Sabbath rest for animals, Exodus 23:12; care for birds, Deuteronomy 22:6-7), and even the Israelites’ relationship with the land itself (Sabbath rest for the land, Leviticus 25:2-5 and establishing fruit trees, Leviticus. 19:23-25).
Hopefully, you can see how covenant terms protect humanity’s relationship with God and other people. God’s covenant terms were meant to help the Israelites learn self-control rather than being driven by their natural desires as they went about their daily business within their worlds. That brings us to the next important point.
Covenant Terms Regulate and Govern the Dominion Drive
We need covenant terms to regulate our out-of-control dominion drive to protect interpersonal relationships from infringement, encroachment, and usurpation. Because of our fallen condition, we cannot always be trusted to follow God’s standards. Our heart is faithful until we’re faced with desires that conflict with God’s will, and the battle is joined. Until the human heart (a person’s inner nature) can be “restored” from its fallen spiritual state, constraints must be applied to stop people from shifting Subdue and Rule to Conquer and Dominate for self-gratification. The drive to Conquer and Dominate compels us to enjoy what we want to enjoy, obtain what we want to obtain, and achieve what we want to achieve (1 John 2:16), even if it’s at another’s expense. In the context of a relationship, this leads to betrayal.
Covenant terms set the limits within which we’re supposed to live for mutual benefit even as each of us exercises our Subdue and Rule Mandate. From the beginning, God set limits for life under His covenant. For Adam and Eve, it was the Tree prohibition (Genesis 2:17). For Noah, it was the blood prohibition (Genesis 9:4-6). For Abraham, it was the “Live in my presence and be blameless” directive (Genesis 17:1). Abraham proved his relationship with God and adherence to His terms by teaching his family God’s ways, “For I have chosen him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what he promised him” (Genesis 18:19, italics author). For the children of Israel, the Torah set guardrails for their lives with each other and God (Deuteronomy 5:33; 6:2; 30:20). Since it’s impossible for God to betray His relationship with His people, the entire obligation was on the people of Israel to obey the covenant terms. And since God will not rule His people in an unrighteous way, the terms of these covenants provided detailed safeguards to prevent each of God’s people from exercising dominion in a way that betrayed or violated their relationship with God or another person.
Covenant terms regulate our dominion drive by giving us clear parameters to control ourselves when thoughts and desires rise that could hurt someone else. Under the Sinai covenant, the Torah provided a check on the dominion drive, and the terms served as the “yoke” that God’s covenant partners willingly took upon themselves to guide their lives.
God’s terms not only encouraged His people to control their actions but also their thoughts that would lead to those actions, “Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community but love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18). Jesus affirmed this same thing about inward urges leading to outward actions, “But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hellfire” (Matthew 5:22).
However, it’s easy for covenant terms to slip from our minds. Therefore, God gave physical signs to remind His covenant partners of their covenant and obligations to Him. For Noah, it was the rainbow (Genesis 9:12-17). For Abraham and his descendants, it was circumcision (Genesis 17:11). For the children of Israel, it was the Sabbath (Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:20).
God also commanded His people to wear fringes on their garments (Numbers 15:37-41). The fringes were to remind them of His covenant laws and their obligation to obey them, “These will serve as tassels for you to look at, so that you may remember all the Lord’s commands and obey them and not prostitute yourselves by following your own heart and your own eyes. This way you will remember and obey all my commands and be holy to your God” (Numbers 15:39-40, italics author).
Notice that the fringe reminders are linked to God’s commands to prevent the Israelites from straying and keep their “hearts and eyes” on track with God’s ways. Since God’s commands prevented His people from infringing, encroaching, or usurping another’s “domain,” the fringes served as visual prompts to keep one’s whole being under God’s dominion. Robert Alter writes that they are a memory device. The “indigo twist is presumably meant to remind the Israelites of their obligation as holy people and of the quasi-royal status before God: when tempted to look at the objects of desire, they are to look instead upon the mnemonic fringe” (Alter). The “quasi-royal status” that Alter points out is the Israelite’s vice-regent status from which they were to exercise proper dominion on behalf of their Sovereign in their Promised Land. The fringes were to visually interrupt the mind and heart from straying, such as prostituting oneself to another god or following one’s heart rather than God’s will. In short, God’s Torah is the governor of the Israelite’s Subdue and Rule Mandate engine, and the fringes are the reminder of God’s Torah.
So, what happened when a covenant partner failed to let the covenant terms regulate and govern their actions and stepped over the line? Again, it’s not the end. Covenants protect relationships by providing amends for a misdirected and misapplied dominion drive that resulted in infringing, encroaching upon, or usurping another’s domain. Those remedies include restitution for theft (Exodus 22:3), punishment for a false witness (Deuteronomy 19:16-19), and others. Once satisfaction was made, the matter was settled, and the relationship was reinstated and restored. We see this in 2 Samuel 21. Israel had made a covenant with the Gibeonites (a clan of the Amorites) in Joshua’s day and took an oath not to exterminate them. Even though the covenant was made through deception, God and Israel still honored the oath.
However, King Saul later tried to wipe out the covenant-bound Gibeonites in his zeal, thus violating the Israel-Gibeonite covenant. God enforced the covenant terms in King David’s day by punishing Israel through a famine until the violation was made right. Since Saul was the perpetrator of the covenant offense, seven of his sons were killed in return to satisfy the covenant’s demand. Once done, God lifted the famine from Israel (2 Samuel 21:14). It’s fascinating to note that God held His nation wholly responsible for their representative’s Conquer and Dominate violation when he infringed on the Gibeonites’ protection, encroached on their territory, and usurped their lives under his misdirected dominion drive. It was up to Israel’s next representative, King David, to stand in on behalf of Israel to remedy the covenant violation, after which the relationship between the Gibeonites and Israel was restored.
Covenants Require “Love,” Covenant Faithfulness Demonstrated Through Obedience
Ah, love! It’s a beautiful feeling, right? Well, covenants don’t care about feelings. Covenants are about commitment and remaining faithful to one’s covenant vows; emotions don’t enter into it.
For covenants to work, covenants partners are required to “love” each other by demonstrating obedience to the terms. Covenant love shows an unbroken commitment to one’s covenant partner. While covenants speak of partners “loving” one another, this means much more than a fleeting emotion. “Covenant love” means “covenant loyalty” couched in familial language. “Of course there did exist the aspect of love in the relationship of son to his father, but it was a love ‘seen in reverential fear, in loyalty and in obedience – a love which, therefore, can be commanded’” (Hahn). Hahn speaks in terms of the familial kinship covenant. However, this same language is used in other covenants as well where a king refers to himself as a “father” and his vassal as his “son.” Such political covenants are stated in a family form, and love as covenant loyalty takes on an even greater intensity. Therefore, the love that covenant partners demand is loyalty, proved by a willing and dedicated commitment to the other person. And it’s this firm loyalty and commitment from a heart toward one’s covenant partner that allows the covenant to endure unviolated.
However, the human heart also plays a big part in its emotions and desires. As pointed out above, covenant love needs a willing heart to remain faithful. A person whose heart is committed toward their covenant partner will deny their own desires for the other partner’s benefit. As for the Subdue and Rule Mandate, a loyal covenant partner will restrict their drive for dominion (especially domination!) when their world begins to infringe upon another’s world. Subdue and Rule cooperates and seeks mutuality. Conquer and Dominate refuses to cooperate and insists on its own way. Sound familiar?
Ideal love determines the right way to exercise Subdue and Rule between persons, for “It does not insist on its own way” (1 Corinthians 13:5) and remains loyal to the interpersonal relationship. Conquer and Dominate has no such commitment or benefit in mind toward one’s covenant partner because it’s not motivated by a willing heart. And regardless of any penalties attached to the covenant terms, an unwilling, unfaithful heart ultimately leads to breaking the covenant terms and abandoning the relationship. Without covenant love from a willing heart, Subdue and Rule converts into Conquer and Dominate that pushes us to infringe (violate limits), encroach (take another’s possessions or rights gradually or stealthily), or usurp (seize another’s place, authority, or possession wrongfully) another’s domain or what belongs to it. A prime example of this is God’s indictment of His people through Jeremiah, “You did more evil than your fathers. Look, each one of you was following the stubbornness of his evil heart, not obeying me” (Jeremiah 16:12, italics author).
Therefore, covenant love from a willing heart is not only at the core of any relationship between God and humanity and person to person but is required to protect those relationships within God’s domain.
The Shema (“Hear, O Israel…,” Deuteronomy 6:4-5) shows us the core of Israel’s covenant relationship with God. The Shema identifies the partners (God, His people), establishes who the Sovereign is (the Lord our God, the Lord alone) within whose domain His people live, and commands covenant loyalty with the entire being represented by everything a person is and possesses. A person’s inner being is their heart, and human nature needs to be transformed for the Subdue and Rule Mandate to be correctly used in service to God.
While the Sinai covenant set forth the most detailed terms for God’s people to follow, it ultimately didn’t help the Israelites because it was powerless to change human nature, our hearts. The Sinai covenant simply gave the Israelites the conditions to follow if their hearts were committed to God. God lamented over His peoples’ inability to obey the covenant terms due to the state of their hearts, “If only they had such a heart to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that they and their children would prosper forever” (Deuteronomy 5:29). The biblical record is clear that Israel struggled to remain faithful to their covenant with God precisely because of the heart issue. The Torah could legislate all the external boundaries within which the Israelites were supposed to live, but it couldn’t alter or control the desires of their hearts or wills intent on self-gratification.
As President John Adams said about the United States Constitution, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” It’s precisely the same for God’s Sinai covenant with the Israelites. If the people had morally sound hearts, they would have easily followed His laws and could Subdue and Rule their land and society perfectly. Since they had a fallen spiritual nature bent toward not following God’s standard, they quickly and continually violated their covenant with God.
And that’s precisely our state as well.
But back to the Israelites. During the roughly 1,450 years before Jesus, the Torah’s boundaries and the fences were acceptable to God to guide His people’s dominion drive and provide violation remedies when Conquer and Dominate caused His people to overstep their limits. But God knew a fix was needed for the terms to function as a governor for the Subdue and Rule Mandate. His people didn’t need new laws. They needed a new heart. Without a new heart that motivated His people to remain faithful to Him, covenant violations against God and others would continue to occur, and covenant renewal would constantly be required.
Every covenant has a renewal clause, which is a primary reason for the Torah’s sacrificial system. However, it was only a temporary fix. Something more profound was needed, something permanent, to solve the wayward heart problem. As Hahn writes, “…the Deuteronomic covenant is programmed for future renewal. Through a decisive act of God, a future renewal will transcend the initial promulgation, effecting a radical internalization of the law. Deuteronomy 30:6-10 conveys a profound eschatological promise: a new covenant is to be established in order to fulfill the (violated) Deuteronomic covenant” (Hahn).
Through Jeremiah, God repeated the need for a radical regeneration of our hearts and the restoration of what we lost in the Fall, an open and unhindered relationship with our Creator King. Through this internal restoration, God’s people would again become the King’s faithful and trusted vice-regents, exercising proper dominion over His creation and not other people. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God shared His tremendous promise:
“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God because they will return to me with all their heart” (Jeremiah 24:7).
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Pastor Jay Christianson
The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts