Friday, December 15, 2017

"The Covenant of Brotherhood"

Amos 1.9 ESV

“Thus says the Lord: ‘For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they delivered up a whole people to Edom, and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.”

God was unhappy with the land of Tyre because they “did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.” We must never forget those to whom we are connected. I cannot cut off my right arm, nor can I ignore my fellow human. “The covenant of brotherhood” is a sacred reality.

My kids were famous for their sales ability. From a very young age they believed mom and dad were their ultimate ‘wish list’ providers. When we showed sales resistance, the children were all too willing (and never too embarrassed) to ‘go for the close’ and ‘ask for the order.’ By adolescence the stakes became higher and their powers of persuasion even more finely tuned and fully impassioned.

“Jack got skis. Why can’t I have skis?”

“Well son, we don’t have the money for that.”

“Well dad, just go to the bank and get some!”

“Money in the bank.” The thought resonated with me. It became a concept to embrace and eventually a child-raising theme of mine. I tried to explain that “money in the bank” did not just appear. Someone had to put it there. I told my kids they could have anything they wanted if they would just put “money in the bank.”

The principle is not financial only. It applies to far more than the acquisition of material things. “Money in the bank” is an emotional, relational, and spiritual truism. If you put “money in the bank,” you can have anything you want.

My beautiful deceased wife did a fair amount of child care for our neighbors when we were all a little younger (e.g., transporting kids, babysitting, gift giving, meals, play dates, etc.). Not surprisingly, our children were the regular beneficiaries of ample and similar child care from the neighbors. Every time the woman I married gave to a neighborhood child, it was “money in the bank.” Even now, just a couple years after her death, I am still reaping the benefits of neighborly support from the seeds of kindness she so willingly sowed decades ago. I can still withdraw favors from our friends at the bank of love whenever I need them. The good investment Adonica made with her life still pays dividends to the children and me. 

This is “the covenant of brotherhood” in action. We give and take. We reap and sow. We invest and withdraw. We share and receive. “What goes around…”

“The covenant of brotherhood” must never be forgotten. We are here for each other. We must give when we can and receive when we must. We take care of each other. Without “the covenant of brotherhood” our community of faith, our network of business, our culture of connection, our bonds of friendship simply fail. Our society and humanity depend upon “the covenant of brotherhood.” We need each other.

“Remember the covenant of brotherhood.”


CharlieTD said...

“Price tags took a major hike… $180.00 designer jeans, IPODs, Play Stations, trips to Mexico, boats, cars, etc., etc.”

Good grief!!!
I always suspected there was a good reason I never had kids, now I know what it is....

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Kids are expensive. But, for the record, I always made the kids buy their own desinger jeans. We provided regular run of the mill clothes. The rest was up to them.

P.S. I think you would have made a great parent.