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Monday, September 10, 2018

“What Will Happen”

Ps. 105:1-11

This is a song of praise to “the Lord, our God.”  The opening is an exultant series of praises to God.  A critical affirmation here is the call to “Remember the wonderful works he has done.”  God has not only been active in the past.  He continues to be active in the present and on out into the future.

We are then introduced to one of the most central themes in the Bible, that of covenant.  The psalmist states that God is “mindful of his covenant forever.”  He refers to the covenant that God made with Abraham and reaffirmed to his descendants Isaac and Jacob.  This covenant ultimately is forever.

So what is a “covenant?”  A covenant is essentially a treaty between two parties in which each pledges to uphold their half of the agreement.  Covenants were fairly common in the ancient world.  They were often the kind of treaty made between two rulers or between a king and his nobles.  God made a covenant with Israel in the wilderness after the exodus.  The terms of the covenant, in which Moses represented the people, was the Law that was given to Moses on Mount Sinai and later expanded on in the first five books of the Bible, the books of Moses.  As we will see Israel failed to live up to its terms of the covenant.

Yet the covenant with Moses was not God’s primary covenant.  As Paul would later argue (Romans 4, Galatians 3) God’s original covenant was with Abraham not Moses.  This is an everlasting covenant.  In reality it is not actually a treaty made with Abraham.  Abraham is a witness to the covenant.  He and all his descendants are the beneficiaries of the covenant.  The everlasting covenant is a promise that God makes to himself that God will be Abraham’s God (Gen. 15:1-19).  The writer to the Hebrews puts it this way, “When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself.”  The promise land was a sign of this covenant but the covenant itself was lodged and established in God’s word.

Through Jesus Christ we are all heirs of this everlasting covenant.  Our destiny and purpose is established now and forever.  The consequences of the brokenness of the covenant was borne by Jesus on the cross.  The covenant is finally God’s promise to Jesus Christ confirmed by the witness of the Holy Spirit.  Our faith then never depends on us.  In Christ we truly are the heirs of God’s covenant promise.

Most faithful and gracious God I praise you that I have been grafted into your covenant by what Christ did on the cross.  May I live always in this confidence and assurance.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.