Covenants and promises


“This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. ” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”   Hebrews 8:10-13

The old covenant: This was weak and bound to fail, because it was between the creature man and a Holy God. The man could not, nor ever could keep the covenant. Mankind made a wretched choice and chose his own way rather than keeping true to his creator. The covenant broke down almost straight away and mankind fell into ruin.

The new covenant actually existed before the old covenant: This was a strong and Holy bond, because it was between the three persons of the Holy Trinity, and depended on them only to keep it and sustain it.

The first covenant was then the one made between the persons of the Godhead, so that sinful man could be redeemed and sanctified and brought safely into heaven itself. The covenant made with man, was seen to be useless, as it could not be upheld by the weak, human party. The two parties of the agreement, were not of equal power or authority.

God therefore demonstrated the weakness of sinful man and the glory of His own Holy strength and power to buy back from slavery and death, a people for his name. God was the active person in this covenant.

God the father willed this event, the Son gave himself as a ransom for many and the Spirit calls those who are being saved and indwelling them and keeping them until the day of final redemption. Thus the Holy covenant is fulfilled and sinful man can now enter in with true confidence that God is able to save to the uttermost, those that come to God through Him. “Salvation is of the Lord..” Jonah

In the scriptures there are many covenants between God and His people. They are the great and precious promises that fill the pages of scripture. These promises are true and forever sure. Not one of the promises of God have ever failed or ever will. God is the upholder of all things, and it is His power alone, that keep us in all circumstances. The promises of God are certain, because of who He is, and they reflect His holiness, supreme and total power, His never failing love, His mercy, justice, wrath against all sin and deliberate sinners. The attributes of God are the manifestation of His eternal being, and His desire is to save all human beings, who humble themselves and trust in Him. This is determined by the everlasting covenant with Himself.

We can know the powerful and steadfast outworking of these covenants, agreements and promises in our daily lives, day by day. To grasp the enormity of what the holy God, the three persons in one, has done for us, brings life and peace. To deal with doubt, we remember that it is God who saves and keeps His people and not one will be lost.


A green shoot


“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”  Isaiah 11:1-5

The people of God we’re reduced to a dead stump. They had succumbed to the enemy and faith failed as they became like the godless people around them. God knew this end state and still He loved them. He knows us also, all our failures and faults, and still He loves us.

That dead stump brought forth a living shoot. This insignificant small green shoot produced a mighty root that became a huge plant or tree, bearing fruit. This shoot is a picture of the Saviour Jesus, who would appear in order to save His people from their sins. His kingdom though small at the start, is now spread throughout the whole world. His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, with power that no human can quench or tame. He is the Lion of Judah and He will deliver His people and break the stranglehold of sin in our lives. 

The Holy Spirit of God rests on Him. He is full of power to choose the right and reject the wrong. He has wisdom and understanding, to decide the will of the Father in all circumstances. He has the Spirit of council and power, because He is the holy One from God.

This Saviour fears the Lord and delights Himself in that holy fear. This is the mark of faith and the knowledge of who God is. The foolish have no such fear.

The insight of this Saviour does not depend on human or physical ability. He judges in righteousness and equity. Those who are down-trodden will come to Him, because they are needy and humble. The rich and mighty have no such need. They judge with eyes and ears and have no spiritual understanding.

Those who refuse this Saviour will be condemned by His mighty Word. They will feel the chill of His breath that judges all humankind and yet still, these futile people will never seek the heat of His love.

The authority of such a Saviour is from eternity to eternity and never fails because He is the righteous One. He will rule forever and those who bow to His sweet rule will also rule in the everlasting kingdom. For those who believe, these words bring joy, for they already know these things, as they read His perfect Word.

We who believe seem like dead people, until the life of God works in our soul and the green shoots appear. May we live for Him and grow up in Him so that we become like He is, perfect in every good work and in love and faith. Anything less is unbelief.