As a summary, to what has turned out to be a 10 month family bible study using the book Wineskins, we reveled in the exciting reminders of what the covenants display regarding the purpose of life.
Above all else, all that exists is for the glory of God. That purpose reigns supreme and eternal. Whatever else may be, must exist in submission to that ultimate aim. God Almighty is all glorious and worthy of life’s celebration of him.
From there we took a brief look at the purpose of creation, the purpose of man, the purpose of the Church and of individual Christians; all of which are reflected within the revelations made evident through the various covenants in Scripture.
Perhaps my favorite reminder was written as follows:
“What the covenants show us is that in all things, God himself will accomplish everything. He is the Savior of the world; he is the first, the preeminent, the perfect—“the zeal of the Lord will accomplish it!”
It is not up to me to get life right. Nor is it necessary for me to figure everything out about him. He has it all under control. Whatever I might do is entirely a matter of invitation to honor him and demonstrate his presence within me. Thank God for that. I’d hate to think about what would result if any of it were up to me.
I have thoroughly enjoyed taking this tour through Scripture with my family. My wife read with reflection and passion that made me want to listen more carefully. Perhaps I was biased and just was enamored by her sultry voice, but who cares. It was a joy to hear her read the words I wrote and to discuss them with her.
My son butchered many words and humbled me in admitting that perhaps I could have used less verbosity. Still, it gave us all opportunity to pause and consider both what the individual words meant as well as what I was trying to say. Our children are great mirrors of our own efforts and handicaps—many of which reflected a humbling image of yours truly.
To hear my daughter read, you would think she was running for public office—so polished and debonair. She navigated skillfully through my verbiage and even demonstrated a good grasp of subject-matter that I still find challenging.
For example, I challenged her to reword the following statement: “It is likely that most of us have a syncretistic blend of ideas”. What she fired back was: “It is likely that most of us have a psychotic blend of ideas.” That is more intense than what I had in mind, but I had to admit that she wasn’t far off from the likely truth. And we all got a good laugh out of it.
However helpful Wineskins might be to others, I have to admit that it has served well as a stimulating walk through the theology of biblical covenants for my family. There is so much pop-psychology passing as Christian material these days, that I am encouraged that my wife and kids were willing to climb a more rugged peak in pursuit of our own study of God and his word.
Of course, how we take our discoveries and live them out in relationships and in the face of pressing needs all around us will really tell the tale of how effective our time has been. But for the moment, I pause here to thank God for his word, for preserving it for me and my family, for blessing us with his breath.
In a day when opinions are celebrated ahead of seeking truth, serious consideration of Scripture is becoming rare. At another time when God was correcting his wayward children, he had this to say about those who bucked the religious culture and struggled to seek him with others of like mind and spirit:
“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. ‘They will be mine,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.’” (Mal 3:16-18)
May each of us be forever transformed as we gather together to seek God.
Is this for you?