During the last week of the year 1999, salon.com ran a story entitled, “The Hall of Shame.” It was about the ten most disgraceful and dishonorable sports figures in 1999. The list included everything from one arrested for murder to one accepting a bribe to one caught with drugs. These were all men who had entered into a contract with teams and fans. These were men who began with the best of intentions to play well, to live honorably, to prove worthy of their signatures on their contracts.
- Before entering into a contract with anyone, it is important to know the person’s character, reputation, and trustworthiness. You need to be certain that the person is someone you can count on. What are the characteristics of God that make us feel comfortable about entering into a covenant relationship with Him? Do you think He first looks for certain characteristics in us before entering into a relationship with us? Explain.
- In most partnerships, the benefits to both parties are equal. However, when a divine God enters into a partnership with a sinful human, the relationship begins terribly imbalanced—God brings so much more to the partnership than we ever could. God is holy! How then can we be “partners” with the Creator God? Is it possible to be subject to Him and yet have the privilege of being in a partnership relationship with Him? Explain.
- Before you sign a contract, you should read all the demands, and pay attention to the fine print. When God makes a covenant, He is very clear and to the point. There is no fine print or reading between the lines. His words are a series of definitives: “ I will, I will, I will. . .” (e.g. Exodus 6:6, 7). In response, what will you pledge to God? What will you bring into the partnership? If you were in God’s shoes, how comfortable would you be going into a partnership with someone like yourself?
- Contracts are not all alike. They are customized to suit the parties concerned, the type of business, and other factors. In what ways has God customized his covenant with you? How do you show appreciation for the “allowances” He has made in the event that you break your contract? How does God’s role as your friend affect His role as your partner? Is there a conflict between the two roles? Explain.