“But WITH THEE WILL I ESTABLISH MY COVENANT; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” — Genesis 6:18
Do you remember the great financial crisis of 2008? It was a humdinger. There are those who say something even more substantial is approaching. But, that’s not my wheelhouse.
If you recall, a large factor was the housing bubble collapsing. But, it wasn’t that people weren’t buying homes. People were getting mortgages and then a great number couldn’t or wouldn’t pay. So much so, that the banks were short on funds. Investment firms were short on funds. This made a great cascade effect.
Individuals, banks, investment firms, pension funds, cities, businesses — many, many, many could no longer keep their word. Because too many had promised too freely for too long and things went sideways.
As I listened to the news back then (which I often did then, but no longer do), I was reminded that our society no longer understands giving and keeping your word, and have no comprehension whatsoever of covenant at all. It’s not a thing discussed or talked about, or (with great exception) modeled.
It got me started thinking, how can we raise up a people who know they have a covenant making and keeping God, who has made a pledge to them, if they are willing to be in relationship with Him, UNLESS they learn this term, unless their mind becomes aware of the sacred significance of giving your word? And keeping it.
“Now THEREFORE, OUR GOD, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, WHO KEEPEST COVENANT and MERCY, LET NOT ALL THE TROUBLE SEEM LITTLE BEFORE THEE, THAT HATH COME UPON US, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
Howbeit THOU ART JUST IN ALL THAT IS BROUGHT UPON US; for THOU HAVE DONE RIGHT, but WE HAVE DONE WICKEDLY:
NEITHER HAVE OUR KINGS, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, KEPT THY LAW, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
For THEY HAVE NOT SERVED THEE IN THEIR KINGDOM, and IN THY GREAT GOODNESS THAT THOU GAVEST THEM, and IN THE LARGE AND FAT LAND WHICH YOU GAVEST before them, NEITHER TURNED THEY FROM THEIR WICKED WORKS.
BEHOLD, WE ARE SERVANTS THIS DAY and FOR THE LAND that THOU GAVEST UNTO OUR FATHERS to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, BEHOLD, WE ARE SERVANTS IN IT:
And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us BECAUSE OF OUR SINS: also THEY HAVE DOMINION OVER OUR BODIES, AND over OUR CATTLE AT THEIR PLEASURE, AND WE ARE IN GREAT DISTRESS.
And BECAUSE OF ALL THIS WE MAKE A SURE COVENANT, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
Here a remnant of the Jewish people have gathered to rebuild their city, rebuild the wall, come back to the covenant their God had cut with them through Abraham and reiterated through Moses and through David. They judged Him faithful and righteous and pled mercy that they may live in freedom and in righteous covenant with Him as intended, once again.
Covenant: a formal, solemn, and binding agreement: a written agreement or promise under seal, between two or more parties, under seal, especially for the performance of some action. A pledge: to make a covenant by promise.
In the Biblical times a pledge would be marked by blood, or by salt, quite frequently.
The Bible mentions covenant 280 times.
“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart… In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. HE THAT SWEARETH TO HIS OWN HURT, AND CHANGETH NOT….He that doeth these things SHALL NEVER BE MOVED.— Psalm 15:1-2,4,5b
We are made in the image of God. He is a sacred promise/pledge maker and keeper. Jesus taught the wisdom of counting the costs before undertaking an endeavor. Don’t do things lightly. Be aware. Be all in. Trust Him for your weaknesses in order to see it through.
“But THOU SHALT REMEMBER THE LORD THY GOD: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, THAT HE MAY ESTABLISH HIS COVENANT WHICH HE SWARE UNTO THY FATHERS, as it is this day.” — Deuteronomy 8:18
Batman is super affirming of me and those he is close to. Not quick to criticize. It has always been that way for us in our relationship. So, on the rare occasions he speaks a criticism, a correction, it really carries weight and gets my full attention.
In the early days of our marriage he pointed out that I could be quick to speak good things I wanted to do, but maybe not so quick to follow through. Those were not his words, but the essence of it. But, it was about 32 years ago, and I still remember where we were. I, right there in that moment, mentally took stock and KNEW he was speaking the truth. And I also KNEW, that I wanted to permanently do better. From that point on, I have made a focused effort to take stock, make a mental and/or heart assessment before making my commitment.
Yes, if we will be teachable, keep a listening heart, God will speak to us through our loved ones, especially our spouses.
It has served me well, though the failures, the misses hurt, I press on. Thank God for grace and for renewal and for training us, bit, by bit!
“If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.” —
Hebrews 8 (especially verses 6-12) is a chapter that I strongly urge you to read, as it explains how the first covenant was for a time and season, but was always intended to be replaced by a new and even better covenant. That’s how the Lord works, everything improves, ‘(the path of the just is as the shining sun, shining more and more unto the perfect day.’ Proverbs 4.)
An excerpt from Hebrews 8: “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” Hebrews 8:6-7
He’s a covenant keeping God! He’s our Father and He has made us for a purpose and has good plans for us. He has indeed counted the cost. He’s all in, in His good plans and purposes for us. We are made in His image, and I just stopped by to say we will not be as fulfilled as we long to be until we discover the joy of functioning as made. To be people of our word, who are careful to swear to our own hurt. Be all in. Pray. Seek (ask Him) daily for His wisdom. Then go fulfill those words. He grows us in our vision, our patience, our faith, our endurance, our generosity, our persistence, our heart…He does a work in us as we partner with Him to be a people of our word, because He is a God of His word. He is trustworthy, we are His children, His sons and daughters, and He helps us fulfill our word.
If we want our society, or even our own lives to be better, we must do the work, BY FAITH, THROUGH GRACE, to be and do better.
I think being a people of our word is a great place to start.
“NOW THE GOD OF PEACE, THAT BROUGHT AGAIN FROM THE DEAD OUR LORD JESUS, THAT GREAT SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP, THROUGH THE BLOOD OF EVERLASTING COVENANT, MAKE YOU PERFECT (complete) IN EVERY GOOD WORK TO DO HIS WILL, WORKING IN YOU THAT WHICH IS WELLPLEASING IN HIS SIGHT, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” — Hebrews 13:20-21
Thank you so much for coming along in this ramble of ponderings with me! Sometimes we just need to talk it out to process, right?
Love and faith, Y’all! Love and faith!!💛