Monday, May 11, 2009

Deep and Deeper Covenant

Susanna Ticciati has an article in Modern Theology from a few years ago on the Satan's question of God, "Does Job fear God for naught?" She suggests that this question is actually aimed at the covenant protections, the "hedge" that God has set about Job. Thus, the book of Job is all about exploring the depths of covenant loyalty. In other words, there is deep covenant and there is deeper covenant. Deep covenant only knows the retributive relationship outlined in Deuteronomy, deeper covenant plumbs the depths of the sovereignty and righteousness of God. In particular, Ticciati says that it is in the covenant breaking or when the covenant is "wounded and distorted" that the deeper aspects of the covenant come out. Following the deuteronomic covenant in a wooden, mechanical way, with no remainder, misses the point of it all. Job's selection by God, his election, is an election to something deeper. "Job must wrestle with [God's sovereignty], and in so doing, wrestle with the one who stands at its base... the only way in which God's sovereignty is truly recognized and acknowledged is not in bowing down to an external rod... but rather in a wrestling with and challenging of God's sovereignty." And Job's integrity and perfection emerges in this, and "this emergence as something which happens over time is the process by which Job's integrity is constituted - not so much a discovery as a making."

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