Our God is a covenant making God. That is He takes the initiative and builds a relationship with us based on His Word which is His promise. In Genesis 8 & 9 God promises Noah that He will never destroy the earth again. Then in Genesis 12 and Genesis 15 God promises Abraham that He will grant him land and make his name great and all nations will be blessed through his descendants. This is an unconditional promise which is guaranteed by God’s Word and excitingly we see this Word fulfilled initially in Israel becoming a great nation and being given the land of Canaan. Ultimately this promise is fulfilled in the Lord Jesus whose Gospel of salvation blesses the whole world. At Mount Sinai God promises that they will be a great nation if they obey His commands. This is a conditional promise and we see in the history of Israel that they failed continually. We also have the Davidic covenant with King David in 2 Samuel 7 where God promises to grant that David’s descendants will always sit on the throne. This promise is fulfilled in the New Testament through Jesus who is a descendant of David. Later in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 God recognizes Israel’s failure and promises that He will put His law in His people’s heart so they desire to serve Him. This promise points to the Gospel of Jesus and His death for our sin which brings forgiveness of sin and gives us a new heart. Jesus himself affirmed that He himself would inaugurate this new covenant through His blood – Luke 22. Understanding God’s covenant is exciting because we see that God is totally committed to us and blesses us with all He has. We are beneficiaries of His kindness and grace.
Today we are looking at Hebrews 10:20-21 which speaks of God’s eternal covenant. This is God’s covenant with us which is offered through the blood of Jesus. We learn that our God is a God of peace. This means that through the blood of Jesus we are no longer enemies of God but have peace with Him. We can enjoy His presence and fellowship and know that because of Jesus we are accepted. We also learn that He is a great shepherd who looks after his sheep. The idea of shepherd is that of a ruler who cares for His sheep and leads them. It is interesting that the writer to Hebrews in summing up His message tells us what Christ has done for us and then he prays that God would work in our lives. It is very important when we hear God’s Word that we pray that God would work these truths into our lives and into the lives of our fellow Christians so that we may do His will. God’s purpose for our lives is that we will obey Him and God equips us through His Word and His eternal covenant to do what is pleasing in God’s sight. It means that God enables us to lead a pleasing (to Him) and worthwhile life. The writer speaks about us being equipped. This word has the idea of being made fit or fixed up. Not only does the Gospel of Christ save us but God is at work to build us up into maturity in Christ. This is all directed to the end that Christ is honoured in our lives and in our church and in our community. God’s Blessing.
Rev David O'Mara