REF: JOSHUA 21:43-45; 23:14
Today we delve into the key theme for this month - the Covenant. In the last three Sundays we saw the promises of God on how He was to bring us out from the Egyptian’s burdens, how He promised to redeem us and how He will be our God as we become His people. Finally then we run through the topic ‘the covenant keeping God’ derived from Joshua 21:43-45 and Joshua 23:14.
Now, the term covenant is derived from the Latin word, con venire which generally means coming together of two or more parties to make a contract which contains promises, stipulations, privileges and responsibilities. The Hebrew term berit and the Greek diatheke, literary translated covenant describes an agreement between two parties with specific agreements, promises, privileges and responsibilities. In the Bible, covenant describe an agreement between God and His people. Many covenants are recorded in the Bible but the major covenants include the Abrahamic covenant—Genesis 17, the Sinaitic covenant—Exodus 20-24, the Davidic covenant 2 Sam. 23:5 and the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31) and fulfilled in Jesus Christ. In all these covenants, God initiated and stated the promises, the privileges and the responsibilities of the beneficiallies. In Joshua 23:14, Joshua states, “you know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled, none has failed” when we look at all the covenants that God made with His people, we see that God fulfilled all the promises which He gave.
In Joshua 21, The bible records how God gave the land of Canaan to all the tribes of Israel. Here we see that every tribe was allocated a piece of land and in verse 43-45 it is stated that, ‘so the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers and they took possession of it and settled there’. This was in fulfilment of Abrahamic covenant. The Sinaitic covenant was fulfilled as God led the Israelites to Canaan, gave them the land He promised and established a special relationship with them as He had promised. The Davidic covenant established David descendants as the everlasting kings among God’s people. The ultimate fulfilment of God’s covenant with David comes at Christ’s second coming when he sets up His kingdom on earth. The Christian view of the new covenant is a new relationship between God and Human beings mediated by Jesus Christ which includes all the people both Jews and Gentiles and which is always fulfilled through Jesus Christ.
1.We worship a great God who is able to fulfil all His promises as stipulated in His covenant with us- He is a 100% dependable in fulfilling all His promises. There is nothing that God promises to do and fails. We need to understand the type of promises that God has promised so that we can claim them and God will grant us the desires of our hearts. God has promised to expand and grow us. Which areas do we need to grow spiritually, socially, economically? God will enlarge us.
2. All God’s promises are completed at God’s right time—God fulfils His promises at His own time. Abraham and Sarah had to wait for 24 years to get the promised son. We need to claim God’s blessings through prayer and then wait for God to answer us at His time. Sometimes God fulfils His promises immediately, other times He tells us to wait but sometimes, on others still He may not grant us exactly what we are asking but give us what is the best for us.
3. The promises of God give us strength, rest and hope— strength, rest and hope so that we always a covenant keeping God.