Scriptures: Deuteronomy 7:6-16 & 1 Corinthians 15:23
Song of Praise: Doxology
"The Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock."
This promise, that God gave to His covenant people, stood in stark contrast to the life that the Israelites lived while they were in Egypt.
For over 400 years, they lived as slaves in Egypt.
The life of a slave was certainly not marked by great flourishing.
Famine and struggle were commonplace for Israel during their captivity.
Newly liberated, God gave them this great promise of covenant blessing.
Hedging the covenant with a warning, fruitfulness and abundance were only attainable if the Israelites would obey God's commands.
God warned His people not to intermarry or have pity on the pagan nations living in the nearby territories.
God knew that the Israelites were fickle, and would easily assimilate to pagan culture.
Despite the promptings, Israel did not keep covenant with God for long; they had been freed from the bonds of Egyptian slavery, but they were still trapped in the bondage of sin.
All was not lost, because God remained faithful to the covenant, even when Israel was adulterous.
God had not made a covenant with Israel because they were great, but rather, because they were not great.
God chose to use the underdog.
Israel was weak and few, but God delights in using the weak and small to display His might and magnitude.
Even though they were small, it was through their people that the Messiah was to be born.
In final fulfillment of God's covenant, Jesus was born and liberated his people from their most precarious slavemaster...Sin.
Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, His resurrection from the grave, and ascension to the throne, we are freed from the power of sin, and are made new creations.
Christ's own resurrection acts as the first reaping of this new covenant blessing wherein He promises a bountiful harvest, re-creating all of His creation, removing from it the curse of sin and famine.
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Table Talk Questions:
What covenant stipulation did God give to His people if they wanted to experience His blessing?
Did Israel obey God and keep covenant?
How did Jesus keep covenant and restore the harvest?
Meal: Chicken Alfredo, Cheesy Pepper Jack Brussel Sprouts, Molasses Brown Bread, & Peaches & Cream Bars
Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes
3 cups full fat Milk
½ medium Onion, Finely chopped
8 ounce of Parmesan Cheese
½ cup Butter
¼ cup Flour
1 teaspoon Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder or fresh Garlic
4-6 Chicken Breasts
1lb Fettuccine noodles
Fill a large pot with heavily salted water, set aside for later.
In a large pan, add finely chopped onion and butter. Saute on medium heat until the onions until tender.
Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
Add the flour and cook the mixture for another 30 seconds.
Add milk. cook on medium heat until the sauce thickens to desired consistency.
Turn down the heat to low.
Add parmesan cheese and allow the cheese to slowly melt into the sauce, being careful not to scorch your sauce.
If your sauce is too thick, add more milk.
add salt and pepper to taste
Season your chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook in a pan until fully cooked.
Allow your chicken to rest for 10 minutes before you slice your chicken into bite sized pieces.
Add chicken to your sauce mixture. Turn of the heat.
Bring your pot of salted water to boil,add your noodles and cook to desired tenderness.
Before you drain your noodles,
add ½ cup of starchy noodles water to your sauce and chicken mixture.
This will allow the sauce mixture to easily stick to your noodles.
Combine drained noodles with sauce mixture and enjoy.
Cheesy Pepper Jack Brussel Sprouts
Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes
4 cups Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 small yellow Onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup Butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Salt, or to taste
6 ounce Pepper Jack Cheese, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Spray large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Place the halved brussels sprouts onto the baking sheet, cut side down.
Top with sliced onions.
Melt the butter in a microwave-safe glass measuring but.
Add olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
Drizzle the butter mixture over the brussel sprouts and give the pan a gentle stir, making sure to keep the brussels cut side down.
Spray sprouts with non stick cooking spray- this ensures every bit is coated with oil.
Bake 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of roasting, grate the pepper jack cheese.
Remove the sprouts from the oven. They will have shrunk while roasting.
Using the spatula shift the brussels to the end creating a single yet crowded layer. This will ensure all of the brussels are covered with cheese and not the pan.
Top with cheese and return to the oven under the broiler on low for 2-4 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and starting to brown.
Molasses Brown Bread
Prep and Cook Time: about 2 ½ - 3 hours
Yields: 2-3 loaves
2 ½ cups warm Water
1 ½ Tablespoons Instant Yeast
⅓ cup Molasses
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
3 Tablespoons Oil
½ cup Honey
2 teaspoons Salt
3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
3-4 cups Bread Flour
3 Tablespoons Butter, melted
Old Fashioned Oats, for sprinkling on top
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the water, yeast, molasses, cocoa, honey, salt, and 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Mix until combined.
Gradually add the rest of the flour starting with the whole wheat, then adding the bread flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (you may not need all the flour)
Kneed for 5-7 minutes.
The dough should be soft and slightly tacky.
Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl, then cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Punch down the dough and divide into two or three evenly-sized pieces.
Shape into loves and place them into parchment-lined baking sheets, making sure they have space to rise without touching each other. Lightly cover the plastic wrap and let rise again until puffy and doubled in size
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Bake the loaves for about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and lightly brush with melted butter then sprinkle with the oats and bake for another 5 minutes.
Peaches & Cream Bars
Prep and Cook Time: 1 ½ hours
Crust and Topping:
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/3 cups Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Butter, cold
4 large Eggs
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Sour Cream
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
pinch of Salt
6-7 ripe Peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (you may peel them if you wish, but do not need to)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray, set to the side.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix in the butter until it is combined and the mixture is crumbly.
Reserve 1/4 of the mixture and set aside. Press the remaining mixture into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown, about 13 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar, sour cream, flour and salt. Gently, mix in the sliced peaches. Pour the filling into the crust. Take the remaining ¼ dry mixture and sprinkle over the top of the bars. Place them back in the oven and bake until the top is lightly browned and the filling is set, 45 minutes. Cool before serving, they slice better that way.
Store in the refrigerator.