Friday, November 17, 2017

The Pattern of Covenant Making Behaviour

UV 2829/10000 Covenant Making Behaviour
And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
Genesis 9 v 9

This uni-verse reflects the amazing covenant-making nature of the Lord. We too can make great progress in all aspects of our lives by imitating the covenant-making nature of the Lord. God made seven covenants : the covenant with Adam, the covenant with Noah, the covenant with Abraham, the covenant with Moses, the covenant with David and the covenant with Jesus. Covenants have a life changing and destiny shaping impact. It does not rely on human will power but the grace of God to fulfil it. As long as we are sincere when we make it and try to keep it to the very best of our ability, the Lord will help us. Amazing blessings flow from covenants not just to the one making it but to the succeeding generations. These covenants are sacred agreements that are inviolable. Each covenant has many clauses and sub clauses. God bound Himself to fulfilling whatever He promised under these covenants. These were covenants with human beings but God also made covenants with the heavenly bodies like the sun and the moon, that these would rise at set times every single day since creation. We too need to imitate God’s covenants with the sun and the moon when we promise to obey the Lord. For instance, if we make a covenant with God that we would not sin against Him by storing His word in our hearts, we should ensure that we are memorising, meditating and implicitly obeying the promise to obey Him every single day even as the sun and moon rise every single day. If we make a covenant that we will not speak ill of others, we should abide by this promise in all circumstances. Suffice it to say, covenants are the foundations of godly habits. A covenant is distinct from a vow for a vow is a promise of a one off action. A vow unlike a covenant does not set in motion a pattern of actions and behaviour. A covenant is a decision and act of the heart and not so much of the mind or the cognitive or reasoning faculties of man.
It is true that God is the stronger partner in our covenants. We need His help to carry out our promises to Him. We need the reminder of the Holy Spirit, the power or grace of the Spirit of God to establish or fulfil our promises. Nothing is too difficult or impossible for the Lord. If we make a covenant with God to kick a particular habit or to do a certain thing, the Lord will give us grace to do it. In this uni-verse, Jehovah makes a promise not just to Noah but to his children and their descendants. The covenants the Lord makes with us outlast our lifetime. They affect our posterity, our legacy and our eternity as nothing else can.
Jacob made a covenant with Jehovah to give a tenth of all his produce as the Lord prospered him. Each of us can make unique covenants with the Lord: to enter His courts with praise and thanksgiving, never to murmur against Him despite the circumstances, not to look on the opposite sex with lust in one’s eyes, to keep the Sabbath holy, to speak wholesome and not harmful words, to be generous and hospitable, to give and help the needy, never to get angry. The Lord is both our witness and our enabler when we make such covenants in our hearts. We should endeavour to imitate the sun and the moon in their faithfulness in rising and shining day after day. I made a covenant once with the Lord that whatever He tells me to do, I would do. That if He sends me a warning like even my toe striking against a leg of a table or I suffer a minor ailment, I would realize that I am erring in some matter that the Lord had asked me to do.

Prateep V Philip

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