The Covenant with Heaven
Copyright 2013, John Manimas Medeiros
The covenant we have with the Heavens, or with God, or with whomever has the ability and the will to make an agreement with us, is a topic persistently discussed. People often speak as though this agreement – for protection and a guarantee of final justice -- is personal. That is, an agreement not between our entire species and the Kingdom of Heaven (or “The Federation” of Star Trek, TM, C, etc.), but an agreement between the individual and the Cosmic Boss of the Universe. Whoever has made a covenant with us, that covenant is the most compelling theme that we find trailing through the Bible, a book that some argue is the Word of God, or at least sacred and immutable. If the Word of God, or of the Covenantor, does in fact never change, then it is of course unique in all of existence, because everything that we observe changes over time.
What is The Covenant, the most important agreement in human history and in human experience. I propose here that it includes an important detail that is rarely mentioned, if ever. We know this covenant as an agreement that provides us with a right or a privilege that we might not have otherwise – permission to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. This means something not entirely clear, although it has been described in various ways that suggest peaceful music, eternal comfort and peace, or access to cool water and warm virgins. We are also led to believe that The Covenant provides us with certain forms of protection. One, the Boss of the Universe is watching over us and will protect us from being permanently mistreated. Although we may experience hard times, what is sometimes called a “test,” in the end, meaning ultimately or eventually, we will be treated with perfect justice, and receive a wonderful reward for our patient and persistent commitment to the moral recommendations of the King of Heaven. Two, there will be an end to our chaotic and unfair world, and it will be replaced with a world of perfect justice, where all good people will be happy, forever, at a kind of eternal picnic.
What is not fully explained, in my viewpoint, is why the King of the Universe, or a Superior Power (also known as a Higher Power), made this agreement with us. It does not seem logical that we would be in a position of any power or advantage. Negotiating an agreement between two parties requires that both of the parties have something to give and something to take. Both sides must have something that the other side wants, or the right and power to do something that the other side wants done. Whatever the relationship was at that point in time that we call “Genesis,” which was the birth or beginning of The Covenant, we did agree to terms, and my purpose here and now is to clarify what I believe those terms to be. Of course, the original covenant was judged defective in some way, and was replaced, according to the addition of the New Testament to the Old Testament. The new Covenant is supposed to be either more fair, to someone, or a re-confirmation of the original Covenant, apparently because it looked like the original covenant had been broken or violated. We are inclined to believe, if the original Covenant had been broken, it must have been broken by us. It is beyond reason for us to believe, except during episodes of bitterness and pessimism, that the Boss of the World would breach an agreement. He (or She for the equalists) is deemed perfectly just, and therefore could not and would not violate an agreement, a commitment to provide something to us.
So, I see and confirm that we have an agreement to be protected and an agreement to be satisfied by final justice. However badly our civilization might evolve, or however complex and troubled our relationship with the Natural World (God’s Creation) might become, we will each and all be treated justly in the end. This is defended as a wonderful, sacred, and generous agreement, with the One and Only God Who is Compassionate and Merciful. Yes, Thank You. However. We are also advised, logically, that the Covenantor, the Boss of the Universe, is perfectly just. Cannot make a mistake. Cannot make an error or uphold an error that occurs by any other means. Therefore, The Covenant must be perfectly just and fair. We must have some obligation under The Covenant, terms that apply to us, such as in agreements we make among ourselves here on Earth. Like: If party A does action X then result Z will follow, or Rule 10 applies, et cetera.
The important detail that I see in The Covenant, as I read between the lines of The Book and human history, is derived from the origin of The Covenant. Before the Covenant we were like infants in the care of our parents. We had little or no responsibility to take care of ourselves or anything else. We were like animals, just living, doing what we instinctively did in order to live. We were “natural” and had no knowledge that anything we did could be either good or evil. God, or the King, was in control. Then, one day, we decided that we really did not like that arrangement. We wanted to be on our own. We wanted the apple in the tree, and the tree itself, and the planet that the tree lived on, with us, to be ours. We wanted to be in charge of our own Garden. We were in the Garden of Eden, the Garden that was managed and protected by the Boss of the World. But, we wanted a change. We wanted to have the Garden of Eden to be subject to our management. We would be the caretakers, and the products of the Garden would be ours, for us to enjoy. God was not pleased with that demand, it seems. We did not really know what we were asking for. So, God, being perfectly reasonable, offered conditions. Okay, God said, you can have the Earth, this wonderful Garden on a very beautiful life-supporting water planet, this planet of abundant life; but, you must take proper care of it, and in turn I will protect you from outside forces that could snuff out your life. I will protect you from meteors and killing bursts from the Sun or any other stars or other mischievous goings on in this spinning, swirling, bouncing universe. However, there is one more condition you must accept. I will not protect you from any dangers, including yourselves, that originate on or in the planet itself. If you fail, if you are not able or willing to take proper care of life on Earth, and the natural consequences come to haunt you, to hurt you, possibly even to destroy your civilization and render you extinct, I will not protect you from yourself. The Covenant protects you only from the outside world. I will stand Guard at the Door, and you will be safe in your room. But I will not intervene in any trouble that you cause or bring upon yourself. If you destroy yourself, I can only watch and learn. I can give you an indefinite measure of time, but by virtue of your demand for freedom and your own knowledge, I am obligated, by the Laws of Heaven, to let your destiny be determined by your own will and capacity. The terms of The Covenant are based on your request to be on your own, to be self-determined. Therefore, The Covenant must include this condition, logically, in order to be just. Freedom is what you requested, freedom is what you get. And that means the results of your behavior will come from the Natural Laws, and I cannot and will not make any adjustments or interventions to protect you from yourself. The Garden is Yours, and I am here, but I am no longer your Guardian in the Garden itself. I am only Guarding the Gate. Go then. I wish you well. It is in my interest that you succeed. But whether you succeed or fail, the outcome of your self-directed enterprise shall be added to the History of Heaven. We like to keep good records. Records are evidence, and the Kingdom of Heaven is an evidence-based operation. I suggest you use this kind of scientific process. Base your decisions on concrete evidence instead of how you are feeling. This is my last lecture to you. Out. Get out of my Garden and go into your own. The Earth is yours, until you break it.
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