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A Covenant Promise

By Watchman | August 4, 2009

     “Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven; and he said:  ‘Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.'”    (1Kings: 8:23)                                              

      Solomon,  the king of Israel after his father David, was given a gift of great wisdom as a sign of God’s favor.  He, like David, understood the meaning of being in a covenant relationship with God and was, in the above verse, glorifying God for His faithfulness in fulfilling the  promises He made to His people.  Are we today as understanding of covenants as the ancient Hebrews were?  Probably not, because in today’s society keeping a vow or a promise  is simply not of  such  grave importance as it  was in Biblical days.     Our word is no longer our bond.    We  can usually find some sort of excuse why it is really better that we not hold up our end of a bargain or keep one’s word.  But to God, words mean a great deal.  When a covenant (an unbreakable pact) was made, God kept His end of the deal, and expected that the other side would be upheld as well. 

God made two kinds of covenant:

One was given as an unconditional promise.  This is best illustrated by the covenant that God made with Abraham, considered to  be the first Jew.  When He first drew Abraham (then known as Abram) out of the country of his birth, He told Abraham that “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing…and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  (Genesis 12:2-3)  Later, in the seventeenth chapter of Genesis, God tells Abraham that He “will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.”  Of course, a covenant pact obviously requires that both participants have an active role, and Abraham was instructed to see that the generations to come would observe the covenant.  God also covenanted with His people generations later, saying that although He was dispersing His people amongst the nations for their unbelief and their sins, He would, in the latter days, gather them from their exile around the world and return them to their own land of Israel.  In 2 Samuel, God tells the prophet Nathan to assure David that his “throne shall be established forever.” In other words, this first kind of covenant was dependent only upon the giver to give and the receiver to receive. 

The second kind of covenant was a conditional one, and was (and is) relevant to both nations and individuals:  Deuteronomy 28 informed the people of Israel (through the agency of Moses) that IF they obeyed the voice of God and kept His commandments, THEN the Lord would confer specific blessings upon them; it also informed them specifically of the evils with which He would reward them IF they were disobedient.  In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Lord tells Israel through Solomon that “IF My people…will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven…”  When Solomon prayed praises to the Lord for keeping His covenant and mercy with His people who loved and followed Him, he may well have been thinking of the words from Deuteronomy 7 :11-15: “Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them.  Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.  And He will love you and bless you and multiply you…You shall be blessed above all peoples…and the Lord will take away from you all sickness…”

     So, what do these Old Testament covenants have to do with us today?  Mainly this:  God is the same for  all  eternity. His promises are unchanged and unchangeable–with one exception:  besides being able to appropriate all the old promises that God made His people from the beginning, we have been granted the new covenant  for eternal salvation through the precious shed Blood of His Son, Jesus!   Because of this covenant, all who choose to turn to Him and love Him will receive love, forgiveness of sin and life everlasting, and His promise that He will be with us, “even to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:20)  Since we know we can trust the word of the Most High God, that His covenants are eternal and that He will never go back on the promises He has made to His children, we can rejoice in the midst of sorrows; we can feel rich in the middle of a financial crisis; we can feel strong while in the grip of a debilitating disease.  Our God will not break His promises to us! 

Lord, there is indeed no God in heaven above or on the earth below like You who keeps covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts!

Maranatha!

    

 

Topics: A Special Word for Today, Kingdom Living | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “A Covenant Promise”

  1. Tyler Says:
    August 4th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    How can you honestly believe this absurd fairytale?

  2. Watchman Says:
    August 5th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Understanding the truth of Scripture lies in the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit. You have apparently not yet heard the voice of the Most High calling to you, but I promise you that He loves you very much and is desirous of granting you His grace and mercy. I will be praying for you as I do for all those who are living in unbelief, that you will be granted that insight into who Jesus is; that you will be blessed as He continues to work on drawing you to Himself. Please open yourself to His love. Your immortal soul is in the balance.

  3. Shirley Says:
    September 12th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I’m always amazed when someone calls God’s Holy Word a “fairytale.” Too many things have been fulfilled to ignore that there must be something to this “book”. I don’t begin to understand all of it, but I’m working on a greater understanding by reading it on a daily basis. Thank you, “Watchman” for your courage to speak and to show Jesus’ love in the face of derisive remarks. Keep on shining!

  4. Watchman Says:
    September 20th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Paul was right when he said that “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18) Since ” faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), it is obvious that the ears of the heart must be open to hearing and understanding truth. Unfortunately, more hearts are closing than opening in today’s society.

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