Appealing to Grace

Appealing to Grace

While there is much violence in the Old Testament (and a certain amount in the New), the basic ideas of grace are still expressed regularly.  Nowhere is this clearer, in my opinion, than in the appeal to salvation history in passages of judgment and of exhortation.

The Old Testament passage and the Psalm for Proper 17C both demonstrate this theme.  In Jeremiah 2:4-13, this starts in verse 5 with God asking just what problem the ancestors might have found with him.  This is to emphasize that God acted faithfully and brought them to his land.  The exhortation to right action comes as a response to (and I think enabled by, though this passage doesn’t focus on that) the grace that God has poured out.

Wrong actions are actually shown to be more heinous when committed in the face of such grace.  That is also a New Testament concept, as in Hebrews 2:3 and 10:29-31.

The same theme occurs in Psalm 81, where in verse 10 (English verse numbering) we get the appeal to God’s grace in the past and his willingness to extend grace in the present.

I would submit that this “graceful” pattern is true of both testaments.

I discussed this more in an earlier post on my Threads blog, which also has some links to other writing on the same topic.

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