The Covenant Keeping God
Happy New Year! Resolutions are the talk of the time, everyone seems to make one. Losing weight, getting in shape, turning over a new leaf, lots of ideas, but how many accomplish them through the year? So many are done in the flesh, but what could we do like them in the Spirit? My suggestion is to trust God more. In a moment we will look at Genesis 15, but you know the hymn, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus" and the phrase “Oh for grace to trust Him more.” Can we not resolve to trust Him more this year? He is worthy, He is wonderful, and He is faithful! He is our covenant keeping God. Let's take a closer look.
Please read Genesis 15, in verse 8 Abram asks how will He know God's promise of giving him the land will come true. The Lord has Abram bring Him a 3 year old heifer, a 3 year old female goat, and a 3 year old ram. The Lord has Abram cut them in halves and place them opposite each other so there is a path between them. The custom at the time was that as two parties made a covenant, an agreement, that the stronger party would agree to protect the weaker, to watch over them, and the weaker would agree to continue to pay taxes, allegiance , etc. to the stronger. So a path between the animal pieces would be a bloody pathway and the two leaders would walk between the animal pieces and it would signify to the other that if I fail to keep the covenant, that what has happened to these animals laying in halves would happen to me.
So a deep sleep falls upon Abram, and God being a Spirit and not a man in verse 17, a smoking oven and a flaming torch passes between the pieces. And we can conclude it was God Himself that passed through by Himself, as He often reveals Himself in fire as the pillar of fire by night,(Exo.13:21) or in the burning bush,(Exo.3:2)or as He is called a
consuming fire(Heb.9:27) All to show that He will not break His covenant knowing that Abram will and God takes full responsibility for the keeping of the covenant all by Himself. That is grace. God will definitely bring them into this land. And from their seed will come Someone through Whom all the nation’s will be blessed. In Genesis 22:16”By Myself I have sworn,, declares the Lord" about the promise. And in Hebrews 6:13,”For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself" What does that refer to?
John Piper comments,” When you want to stress the validity of your promise, you pick out some great value(Bible, your Mother's grave, God)and you swear by it. “On my mother's grave, I swear I did not steal your purse.” Why do you swear on something great and valuable? Because what you are saying in an oath is this, if I prove false, if I am lying, then let my dead mother be a liar. Or, God be false. Or let the Bible be condemned. So the degree that you value and esteem the basis of your oath, to that degree your word can be trusted.” So since there is no one greater than God, He swore by Himself. And though everyone from Adam to Abraham to Moses to David have broken His laws and not obeyed the covenants made with them. Jesus Christ is the guaranteer (surety) of a better covenant,(Heb.7:22.) He's the guarantee so that our covenant with God can never be violated. Every time we bring a debt to bear, Jesus pays it, that is what a surety does, and therefore the covenant is remains in tact.
So to close, the Scriptures back this up time and time again, I will spell out one and give references to others, Deu.7:9,”Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps His covenant
and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” That is a favored group of people, I hope you are part of it. Also, 1Thess.5:24, 2Tim.2:13, Gen.9:15, Exo.34:7. So will you trust Him more this year by the Spirit on His promises which are “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes.” He will always keep His promise, and often times give more, but you will never receive less.
Happy New Year, Elder Randy Slak