Covenant Faithfulness

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Numbers 4–5

An important biblical concept is that God has entered into a covenant with his people. He has made a commitment to them and they to him.

Therefore sin is thought of in terms of unfaithfulness. To sin is to fail to be faithful to covenant promises. It is to break faith with the Lord. Therefore there must be both confession and restitution. Confession brings forgiveness, but this doesn’t mean that the consequences of the sin are to be ignored. One must pay back God or neighbor for what one has taken from them. Our present legal system would be far more just if this Old Testament principle were put into practice. This would be much more fair to the victim of crime and would also cut down the tremendous cost of imprisonment. Obviously such a principle would need to be adapted to today’s societal needs.

Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. To violate that covenant is to break faith, to be unfaithful to vows of commitment. We must not allow the strange way of trying to determine the guilt of the unfaithful spouse in this chapter to cause us to lose sight of the great concept set forth here. Today marriage is taken far too casually by many people. We need to reemphasize the idea that it is a covenant; it is a matter of commitment to be taken seriously by us because it is taken seriously by God.


Father, we thank you for your faithfulness to us. Help us to be faithful to you and to each other. Through Christ. Amen