The Basis of Covenant Renewal

KEY VERSE: “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” —Deuteronomy 33:27

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 29:2-15

WHEN God makes a covenant with a nation, or an individual, the terms of that agreement are unchangeable. When the compact is violated by the covenanter, the covenant or agreement must be renegotiated if the transgressor desires to maintain his relationship with God. But before the Heavenly Father will consider reestablishing the covenant relationship, the transgressor must manifest a heart-felt repentance for the error. In addition, the Lord often permits hard experiences to come, in order to point out the error of the sinner’s way.

The Lord’s dealings with the nation of Israel provide beautiful illustrations of these principles. In Joel 2:12,13 is recorded a plea from the Lord to the Israelites to repent of their transgressions in order that they might avoid the promised terrible punishment for their unfaithfulness. “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”

In order to help the Israelites be faithful to their covenant, the Lord, through the prophets, made repeated references to all the wonderful works that he had performed on their behalf. One of these incidents is recorded in our Selected Scripture text: “Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land, the great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs and those great miracles. … I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot … and when ye came unto this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against ‘us unto battle and we smote them. … Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.”—Deut. 29:2-9

In spite of all the encouragement, the Israelites were not able to keep the precepts of the Law. Being constantly exposed to the carnality of their neighbors proved too great a temptation for them; nevertheless, the Lord stood willing to forgive them even up to the end of the Jewish Age. Jesus, just before his crucifixion stated: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”—Matt. 23:37,38

In I Corinthians 10:6-11, the Apostle Paul tells us that all these things that happened to the nation of Israel are to be examples to the footstep followers of Jesus. “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. … Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [the ages, margin] are come.” Then the apostle continues with the assurance that the experiences the footstep followers of Jesus will have—even though severe, and comparable to those which the nation of Israel experienced—will not be more than they can endure if they have faith in the Lord’s overruling providence in their lives. The scripture reads, “There bath no temptation [trial] taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted [tried] above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape [direct the issue, Diaglott] that ye may be able to bear it.”—I Cor. 10:13

Even though the footstep followers of Jesus are not required to perform perfect works, their wills and hearts’ desires must be perfect toward God, and as in times past, the Heavenly Father is willing, yea, anxious, to forgive those who have transgressed but come to him in a repentant and contrite attitude of heart.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |