Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MALACHI 2:10: The Bonds of Covenant

Malachi 2:10 (NASB)

10 "Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?
The common bond that binds all humanity together in creation and the special bond that binds the covenant community together in faith call us to examine the way we treat one another.

God provides the relational model for us, and we can see that model clearly and uniquely in Acts 10:34 (προσωπολήμπτης) and James 2:9 (προσωπολήμπτέω). God does not show favoritism, and neither should God’s people. Luke and James used two New Testament Greek hapax legomena that were employed first by Christian writers. These unique words seem to derive from Malachi 1:8 in the Septuagint (πρόσωπον λαμβάνειν, literally “to lift the face,” NRSV “to show favor”). Luke employed the term in Acts to open the doors of the community of faith to all who share in the creation covenant. James employed the term to the internal relationships in the community of faith.

In reality, our relationships are clear examples of showing favoritism toward some and virtually ignoring all the rest. In doing so we break the universal bond of the creation covenant and we turn the covenant community into an exclusive club rather than a reaching, accepting, loving community that tries to draw all into God’s embrace.

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