But for an accident of history the Orkney Islands might still be part of Norway and ruled by men with names such as Erik Bloodaxe and Thorfinn the Skull-splitter. Only a failure by King Christian I to pay his wedding dowry in the fifteenth century led to the Scots taking the islands for themselves. Fast forward 600 years and it seems that the Orkney islanders are wishing they hadn’t been quite so rash. Once again the issue is money. Not this time a wedding dowry but the perceived failure of the Scottish government to properly provide for the islanders. Where this will all end only time will tell but it reminds us of the importance of keeping promises and looking after those in our care.
In the Bible the images of a faithful marriage and a good shepherd caring for his sheep, are central to an understanding of the character of God and how he wishes to relate to his creation. He invites us to surrender our sovereignty to him and when we do so, we need never doubt that he will keep his promises nor that he will ever fail to care for us and provide for all our needs.