Covenant Makers & Covenant Breakers

18 Jan

I was recently reading in 2 Chronicles, and came across a passage that served as a reminder of why I ( and we) need Christ, as well as of the amazing grace of God to a sinner like me (and you):

[Asa] put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord…And they [the people of Judah and Benjamin] entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul…And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around. (2 Chronicles 15:8, 12, 15)

“Because you [in the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa] relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you.  Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen?  Yet because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand.  For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.  You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars. (2 Chronicles 16:7-9)”

In these two passages detailing events during the reign of King Asa, we find Israel rejoicing in the way God has delivered them from the Ethiopians and the provided peace in the land.  In response, they make a covenant to the Lord, promising to seek Him with all their heart and all their soul.  Yet, within a generation (20 years), we find the people of Judah and Benjamin in danger of being destroyed yet again.  This time, King Asa pays for the Syrians to fight for them.  However, this does not go unnoticed, and God sends the seer Hanani to the king to give him a message of judgment: Because you relied upon Syria and not the Lord, your God, you will have wars, and not peace.

Throughout Scripture, we see that we are covenant makers and covenant breakers.  We have the tendency to make big promises, with all sorts of commitments and plans to do great things.  Yet we all too often break those promises, fail to follow through on the commitments we make and our plans fall short of the monumental accomplishments we envisioned at the outset.  The people of Judah make a covenant with God, declaring that they will seek Him with their whole heart and soul, which is reminiscent of the law in Deuteronomy 6:5, which they had also promised to keep (but didn’t).  But the very next time that danger comes around, the nation does not rely on the Lord, but rather on the powerful nation of Syria.  Once again, they have broken their promise.

Where does that leave us?  Are we to be resigned to the fact that we fail to keep our promises and follow through on our commitments?  Are we doomed and without hope?  No, because while we are covenant makers and covenant breakers, we have a God who is a covenant keeper.  Though we may fail, and we may forget the commitments and promises we make, God does not forget or fail to follow through with the plans and promises He makes.

This is nowhere more true that in the sending of the Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus Christ into the world to save a people from their sins.  God promised throughout the Old Testament that He would send one who would redeem a people for His glory and their joy.  He had promised that He would make a great nation of Abraham and King David, made up of a people who served a King who would reign forever.  And all of these things were accomplished in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  He atoned for sin, taking on Himself our due punishment for our sins, and gave us His righteousness so that we might be reconciled to God (have a restored, right relationship).  He defeated sin, death and the devil and ascended into heaven.  He now has all authority in heaven and on earth, and will one day return to fully establish His reign and bring in the fullness of His people, a great multitude from every tribe, tongue and nation.

What a joy it is to know that I (and we) have a gracious God who is faithful and keeps His promises! Rejoice in the fact that you can be assured by and satisfied in the Lord, our God!  Praise Him, the great covenant keeper!

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One Response to “Covenant Makers & Covenant Breakers”

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  1. Resources for 2 Chronicles 16:7 - 9 - March 8, 2012

    […] 1Covenant Makers & Covenant Breakers « Surpassing Joy SUBMIT […]

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