In Scripture God says several dozen times, “I will be your God, and You will be My people.” Much has been made of this ‘covenant formula’ by OT theologians, either in search of its supposed theopolitical Sitz im Leben (e.g., Smend, Lohfink, and Perlitt) or in search of its existential and relational rhetorical effect (e.g., Weinfeld, Good, Sohn, and Rendtorff).
This study will argue the covenant formula is the declaration of a nation-deity relationship with the God of gods, fulfilled in the ascended Messiah and His international people. First, I will examine the history of modern research on the covenant formula, arguing that it should be understood as the declaration of a nation-deity relationship with the God of gods. Second, I will overview the formula’s canonical uses in the Old and New Testaments and demonstrate that it connotes global mission and Christ’s ascension. Third, I will consider the potential contributions of this biblical-theological motif to current discourse on political theology, especially regarding the contemporary application of the OT theocracy and the church-state relationship.