Gen 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
That promise is the one on which Christian belief is built. God promises that He will be our God, forever. Included in the promise are the children of Abraham.
What does it mean for God “to be God to you”? It means that God exercises all of His characteristics in the life of the believer, His love, mercy and sovereign purpose.
Personally, the covenant promise of God is what lead me to leave the contemporary church. Because it simply follows, if God is a God to me, then I am His child, and according to His promise, so are my children and their children. What remains for me is to live in worship, repentance and obedience through sanctification, with God as God in all areas of my life. In the modern church, God is not God to people, but He is the ATM, the Dr. Phil and the sex ed teacher. His Godliness is watered down to servant level, as the logistical support for human pleasure.
Recent brushes with mortality once again convinced me of the fleeting existence we have on this earth, and how most of what we do are just chasing our own tails. In some rare cases people do succeed to do all they do for the glory of God, but in my case, I lose focus all too often and run after the things of the world.
How wonderful it is that there is a loving, just and omnipotent God who keeps His promises eternally. As reformed Christians, we are often accused of being “dry theologians”, with more emphasis on the intelligence than the soul.
We see an explicit warning against seeking only prosperity, without knowledge of God:
Job 21:14 They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.
Job 21:15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’
Sadly, too many have this approach. Without the knowledge of God’s ways, how do you know that you are following the true God? The depth of knowledge is immense, there is always something more to learn.
God’s promise is that He will be a God to us. But how can we be His children if we do not know what His Godliness means? Really means? Is it really that He will make us rich, and happy, and healthy, as proposed by the modern American church? Is that what He promised when He made the covenant with Abraham?
John the Baptists father, Zechariah, spells out what God’s Godness, in the covenant promise meant:
Luk 1:68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people
Luk 1:69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
Luk 1:70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
Luk 1:71 that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;
Luk 1:72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,
Luk 1:73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
Luk 1:74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
Luk 1:75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
Luk 1:76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
Luk 1:77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
Luk 1:78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high Luk 1:79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
He is God to save us from the consequences of sin.