Systematic theology 2 Lecture 2

  1. Understand each component of the kingdom and its representative stories from the bible (Sect.
            Worship. Abraham worships God throughout his lifetime, leaving Canaan dotted with altars (Gen. 12:7-8; 13:18). In this he responds to God’s direct appearance (Gen. 12:7), calling on “the name of the Lord,” as the expression of his relationship with God and his subjection to him (Gen. 12:8). Moreover, there are moments when Abraham responds to God’s intervention in his life. For example, he provides hospitality for him and his angels, offering food and drink. (Gen. 18:1ff). In return, God refuses to withhold from him what he is about to do in judging Sodom and Gomorrah. Like a merchant in the Cairo bazaar, Abraham then barters with him to spare these cities for the sake of his nephew Lot and his family who live there (Gen. 18:17ff). In the ultimate act of worship (surrender), he obeys God and offers Isaac, his only son of promise, on the altar. God honors his obedience and provides a substitute sacrifice, a ram caught in the thicket, reaffirming his covenant with him.   “‘By myself, I have sworn,’ declares the Lord, ‘because you have done this thing¸ and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed… And in your seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed’” (Gen. 22:16-18). In this ultimate act of worship, everything is demanded of Abraham and then everything is given back.3.      

    Justice. Abraham knows God as the “Judge of all the earth,” because of his moral character (Gen. 18:25). In turn, God expects Abraham to display that character to the world. He says, “I have chosen [Abraham], in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice” (Gen. 18:19). Rather than teaching righteousness by codified law (which will come later), God teaches (much as we do our children) through the events of Abraham’s life. For example, God reveals the importance of marital faithfulness by judging Pharaoh for taking Abraham’s wife into his harem (Gen.12:10-20). God also reveals his character as the just Judge by agreeing with Abraham to save Sodom and Gomorrah from destruction if a righteous remnant can be found within them. After his examining team of angels is threatened with homosexual rape, God, who commands nature, pours fire and brimstone down upon these cities from heaven (Gen. 19:24). In these judgments, he reveals that he is the Judge to whom all are accountable.  Moreover, he molds Abraham’s character as he executes his wrath, teaching him to live in his kingdom under his authority as King.

    •    Bounty/Blessing (prosperity). Abraham becomes a man of great possessions (Gen. 12:5). “Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and gold” (Gen. 13:2). This only increases throughout his lifetime (Gen. 12:16; 20:14). In fact, he is so rich that he is forced to separate from his nephew Lot in order to pasture and water his herds (Gen. 13:6). Further signs of God’s royal blessings are seen in his promise of the gift of land and an heir when he makes aged Sarah’s womb fruitful (Gen. 21:2). These blessings climax in Abraham’s living out his years to old age. Genesis reports, “The Lord had blessed Abraham in every way” (Gen. 24:1), concluding, “And these are all the years of Abraham’s life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years. And Abraham breathed his last and died at the ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life, and he was gathered to his people” (Gen. 25:7-8).  Indeed, in the midst of many battles, failures and a lonely sojourn, the bounty of God’s kingdom was with Abraham and Sarah.
    •    Security. Yahweh provides Abraham with security by intervening on his behalf. He delivers his wife from Pharaoh and later from King Abimelech.  Through Abraham God rescues Lot from captivity. Upon returning from the ensuing military campaign, Melchizedek, king of Salem, says to Abraham, “…blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand” (Gen. 14:20). Here God is revealed as the Warrior-King who saves his servant from his enemies, securing him under his kingdom-rule. 6.      

    Conclusion. When God calls Abraham and establishes his covenant with him, he manifests his kingdom-reign to him and through him. Starting with his call, Abraham experiences the divine King’s supernatural interventions in his life. God not only speaks his word, he also comes in person to him, sending his angels, pouring out his judgments, granting his bounty, providing his protection, and performing miracles, such as giving him and Sarah Isaac in their old age. In return, Abraham submits to God as a subject and slave. Through all of this Abraham becomes intimate with God. He not only worships him as King, but also argues with him as a friend. It is no wonder that the promises of God are met with both faith and laughter when he is assured of a son in his old age. It is not Abraham who is glorified here but the God who works through him, molding his life and directing his circumstances in the inauguration of redemptive history. Throughout the rest of Genesis, God’s unconditional covenant-treaty [royal grant] with Abraham is confirmed to his heirs (compare Gen. 26:2-5, 24; 28:13-15).

    Moreover, God’s supernatural visitations, his kingdom encounters, continue as he speaks his living word and sends divine dreams and angelic messengers in order to direct the destiny of the patriarchs. Genesis concludes, then, with Abraham’s grandson Jacob and his family sojourning in Egypt. This sets the stage for the signs and wonders of the Exodus, the great Old Testament event of redemptive history.
  2.   Understand why ‘Yahweh is the Warrior King’ (Sect.7.1.9)..
    One of the most important responsibilities of a king is to go to war on behalf of his subjects. When they are taken captive, he must retrieve them. Otherwise, his treaty is void and he will be mocked. Since God’s covenant-treaty with Abraham is unconditional, he is honor-bound to come to Israel’s rescue. In this, he also vindicates his name. Thus, he goes into battle against Egypt with his signs and wonders. As King, he redeems his people from their slavery to the Egyptian gods, both human and divine, and restores his rightful rule over them
  3. List in one phrase the divine name that is revealed in Exodus 3:14, and its meaning (Sect. 7.2.5).
     “I AM WHO I AM” or, “I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE” (Ex. 3:14 and NIV footnote b). He is the God who is personal (“I”) and eternally present (“am”). If we render the Hebrew “I WILL BE” he is the dynamic God who makes himself known in his mighty acts (in this case, his judgments on Egypt) and as the author of progressive revelation.
  4.   Recognize the foundation of His kingdom-reign and our first response to His self-revelation (Sect. 7.2.6).
    Worship, of course, is the foundation of his kingdom-reign and our proper first response to his self-revelation. 
  5. Understand the goal for God going to War with Pharoah (Sect. 7.4.2).
     His goal is not merely to gain political freedom for Israel (as some liberationist theologians, strongly influenced by Marx, believe). He acts in order to bring her again under his direct rule and to destroy the idolatrous system of Egypt (which masks the evil one). For this cause he goes into battle.
  6.  Recognize two contrasts between the Mosaic covenant and the Abrahamic covenant (Sect. 7.5.1).
    The Mosaic covenant, however, is unlike the Abrahamic covenant in at least two respects.·    

     First, it is made between God and the nation rather than between God and an individual. ·    

    Second, it is conditional rather than unconditional. While the covenant with Abraham is modeled on the “royal grant,” the covenant with Israel is modeled on the “vassal treaty,” imposed by a ruler upon a conquered people. In it he promises to take his vassal under his protection and, in return, grants certain rights and privileges. ·    

    At the same time, to be in effect, the covenant must be observed faithfully.
  7.   Match each of the Ten Commandments with their numerical order from the Bible (NIV (Sect. 7.5.2, 7.5.3)).  
    The Law: Godward.The giving of the law is central to the covenant. As Judge, God establishes his treaty stipulations, defining Israel’s moral order. This is first given in the Decalogue (Ex. 20:1-17), which is then followed by a series of case laws revealing that Yahweh is to be sovereign over all of Israel’s life.  The supreme revelation of God’s absolute claims, however, stands in the timeless Ten Commandments. The first four define Israel’s relationship with him.

    1.      The first commandment addresses the exclusive bond between God and his people: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3).

    2.      The second commandment prohibits idols. They are not to be manufactured, worshiped, or served (Ex. 20:4-5). Israel is to submit to God alone in a pure theocracy.

    3.      In the third commandment Israel is not to invoke God’s name judicially “in vain” (Ex. 3:7).

    4.      In the fourth commandment Israel is to rest on the Sabbath, one day in seven, reflecting God’s rest on the seventh day of creation (see Gen. 2:2; Ex. 20:8-11). By this, God’s people are to mirror his activity in the world. They are to work as he worked and rest as he rested; imitating him and reflecting him is their rhythm for life.
  8. Match each of the Ten Commandments with their numerical order from the Bible (NIV (Sect. 7.5.2, 7.5.3)). 
    The Law: human-ward. While the first four commandments deal with Israel’s relationship with God, the next six deal with the people’s relationships with each other (Ex. 20:12-17).

    5     The fifth commandment calls them to honor their parents, building and upholding the family structure.

    6    The sixth calls them to guard human life as sacred and not take it illegally.

    7    The seventh upholds the marriage bond, prohibiting adultery. 

    8    Property rights are secured by the eighth commandment.

     9    Truth (especially in its legal context) is to be upheld by the ninth commandment. 

    10     Covetousness (greed) is to be rejected according to the tenth. 
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Systematic theology 2 Lecture 2
Systematic theology 2 Lecture 2