In Denial

Day 74

Prayer for the day

Scripture for the day

Deuteronomy 28-29, Mark 14:54-72

The story of Peter has to be one of the most depressing in the scriptures. Here is one of the most beloved disciples, the one Jesus is going to leave in charge, and Peter flat out denies that he even knows Jesus, let alone being a follower.

Peter’s denial rests heavy on the people of God because we all, if we’re honest, recognize ourselves in Peter. We claim followership of Jesus but when difficulty rears its head, we immediately lapse into Petrine denial. “Him? I don’t know him.”

The denial of and disobedience of God is something taken very seriously in the First Testament. God tells Moses that disobedience of the covenant is an extraordinarily dangerous thing. But why? Why is this covenant so important to God, and why is it so awful to contravene?

In short, the answer is that the covenant, the law, serves as the binding mechanism between God and God’s people. It is the love of God in tangible form, a vehicle of God’s grace to the people to embody what God’s plan for the people truly is. God wants the people to prosper, but knows that even prosperity must be contained and subsumed under the larger understanding of peoplehood. Prosperity needs to be recognized as the gift of God before it can truly be appreciated for what it is.

God’s insistence on obedience to the covenant means that God wants the people to prosper appropriately. He wants them to be thankfully prosperous, and to spread that prosperity.

It may come through wealth, it may come through family or crops, but in the end, it comes as a result of obedience and as a gift of God.

Peter experienced the mercy of God in his denial. God could have cursed Peter as Peter cursed God. God could have denied Peter. But instead, God prospered a repentant and a broken Peter. And that is the crux of the covenant. Not that obedience will always equal prosperity and disobedience always cursing, but that the heart of the follower is what matters. God desires true worship, true repentance, and true followers.

Let us be true.

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