“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
Both under the Old Covenant, between God and Israel, and in the New Covenant, between Christ and the church, the central relationship is with God Himself. We are called To Him – to be with Him, in our daily lives now, and ultimately to see His face in glory. But the relationship (“eternal life”) begins the moment someone comes to Christ:
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
This now becomes the priority relationship, and it shapes every other. For example, if believers are facing marriage problems say, a fundamental question to be addressed is: ‘What does God have to say about this?’ ‘How should my relationship with Him dictate how I act in these circumstances?’ How can (and will) my faith inform my response?’
The moral chaos Paul describes in the second half of Romans 1 (v.18ff.) has come about because of a lack of a proper relationship with God (21-23), who has been given up for other gods. It is the rejection of the true knowledge of God that lies atop the slippery downward moral slide.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote eloquently about how vital the knowledge of God is for the flourishing of society:
“Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
PRAYER: Lord God, thank you that by your sheer grace and mercy you have brought me to yourself. Help me to pursue you passionately, prioritising this most important relationship of all. Like Paul, I want to know you (more), and I pray that many others will also come to know you. How infinitely precious is this relationship.
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