Covenant….a simple promise?
Hebrews 8:8-10 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—“not according to the covenant thatr I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people
Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.
Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people
Isaiah 59: 21 “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them; My Spirit who is upon, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”
I have read through the bible several times, and each time find different verses, ideas, meanings that I missed. I will certainly confess that initially I did NOT like reading the Old Testament, especially Numbers and Leviticus. It was not important, nor clear to me to know and understand how many cubits something was, or how many shekels of gold or silver were donated from each tribe. Over the years, and with various teachings whether through church, listening to classes, or the opening of my understanding by the Holy Spirit, I have gotten a lot more out of it.
One of the concepts I missed for a long while was the word ‘covenant.’ And frankly, I have no idea how often my eye skimmed over the word with little comprehension to how important it is to God and His people. But a covenant is very important to God; and it is SUPPOSED to be to us also. It is not supposed to be a casual agreement. In the bible, a covenant is the conditional promises made to humanity by God and revealed in Scripture. God promises to protect His people, the ancient Israelites, IF they kept His laws and were faithful to Him.
However, they were hugely disobedient and did not follow His laws and commands, and were certainly not faithful to Him, so they were the ones to break the covenants, and He then had to follow through with punishments. Usually the punishment was banishment to another country where they were prisoners and forced to work for others in conditions harsher than they lived in Israel and Judah.
But in the Old Testament, God, realizing that no matter how He provided for them, how He was present with them, they were selfish, hard-headed and hard-hearted, and disobeyed again, and again, and…. They broke the covenants each and every time. It was not God who let down His side of the agreement.
So God then charged the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and many others to tell the people that He would send them punishment–Assyrians coming and conquering, marauding through their lands and homes, and taking many back as slaves and prisoners to Assyria; the Babylonians later capturing and taking them from the country of “milk and honey” given them by God’s leadership. Yet, each time after God released them, they would soon sin again. Later, Isaiah and Jeremiah bluntly told of the coming of a Messiah…..yet still it was years they waited.
Then it was 450 years from Malachi until John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, began preaching of the Messiah. During that time, with no correction and prophesy from prophets, the Israelites were sinning more and more, and although occasionally mentioned the Savior, the Messiah, they really did not expect Him to ever come. And if He did, then Glory Be!—they all wanted to fight the Roman domination and the difficulties which was their life at the time.
But the Messiah was a strong, calm, quiet man with a mild manner. Not a warrior! How could He save them? Yet many followed, drawn to him and his quiet manner, his charisma, his -field they could not understand, but felt, and wanted to be near. He had a wonderful understanding of the scriptures, was a good, steady teacher with a knowledge base that far surpassed others, and there was a quiet force… and they were believing He somehow would raise an army and win and free them from oppression.
So yes, the new covenant God had told the prophets to speak of and to promise, came, and every prophecy was fulfilled, and yet no one noticed until He reached adulthood. And although He was charismatic, and pulled people to Him, and healed them, freed them from demons, fed them with little supplies which He could multiply, they wondered how He could free them? How could this mild gent lead the war?
But with His death, He took upon Himself all our sins, and days later sent the Holy Spirit and we then had an internal teacher, Counselor, and were able to understand more of the Old Testament, and the many indicators God had promised through the prophets by promising this new “covenant,” His Son, who would take all the sins of the world, allow us to be heirs with Him, if only we would believe Him to be fully man, fully God, that He died and took all our sins, and we confess to Him, asking forgiveness. What a wonderful covenant!
We are free from our due punishment and death if we believe Jesus lived on earth as man while being God, the Son, He willingly suffered and died on the cross taking ALL the sins of those who believe in God, rose from death, and ascended to heaven—and that defeated Satan and death.
Yes, Satan is still alive, but he knows he has to scramble to gather souls as Jesus has saved many, wants to save any who are willing to believe in Him and follow Him. Satan does not want to perish in hell with just a few….afterall, misery loves company.
But we are saved by the covenant of God sending His Son to free us from death and sin by believing in His life and Death, rising, and living now, seated at His Father’s right hand. That sounds and seems like a win-win to me. What could be the downside? Free from sin, eternal life in heaven (versus the fires and sulphur of hell—cough, cough), and reassurance that we have nothing to fear. “For He is with us and will never forsake us.”
I have two favorite covenants—my freedom knowing Christ is God and Man and died for me and freed me for eternity; and the rainbows. Such visible beauty, His covenant, promising to never send another flood to fill the earth again.
God, my Father, You as Creator, with Your Son, and with the Holy Spirit have freed me, given me rest, and the covenant of life eternal with you. Thank You. My life is so much easier and without anxious burdens. You have freed me and ‘mybellaviews.’