Summary: God told ancient Israel that they would be His “special treasure” IF they kept His covenant. (Covenant is used nearly 300 times in Scripture)
America’s Fork In The Road: Keeping or Cutting Covenant Series
(Based up Perry Stone & Bill Cloud’s book, America’s Controversy with God’s Covenant)
March 1, 2015 Chester’s FBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A Exodus 19:5-6 (NASB) 5 'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."
1 God told ancient Israel that they would be His “special treasure” IF they kept His covenant. (Covenant is used nearly 300 times in Scripture)
a It means “to bind, to cut, divide”, evident in meaning
Genesis 15:17-18 (NASB) 17 It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
when God directed Abram to take certain animals/birds/arranging them (presumably on an altar) and wait.
aa The cutting/dividing/shedding of blood part of the covenant is seen what Abram did to the animals.
bb The purpose of this covenant was so that Abram and his descendants would be a source of blessing & represent God to the nations so the nations would turn to YHWH as Israel did.
Genesis 12:2-3 (NASB) 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
b Israel was not chosen because they were “Jewish”, but to show the world they were His people and He was their God.
aa This is the message found in the Passover’s Lamb’s blood over the door facings: “We’re marked in blood for Him, we identify ourselves as belonging to Him.”
c The same idea is found in the NT when the Apostle Peter writes about the Church.
1 Peter 2:9 (NASB) 9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
aa We’re not chosen people because of what we are (American’s, Baptist): we’ve been chosen to become what we’re supposed to be . . . conformed to the image of the Son/inspire others to do the same.
bb By living by His Word, in the light, being a witness for Jesus . . . we, the Body of Christ, becomes a blessing to the nations.
cc Messiah puts it this way:
Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB) 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
2 A covenant is more than a contract (people break contracts everyday)—a covenant is a matter of honor (to GOD) & responsibility (for OTHERS).
a IL. Marriage is a covenantal relationship (serious stuff, not for the faint of heart or players): Marriage is challenging.
aa In a successful covenantal marriage both husband & wife learn to sacrifice their own needs for the sake of the other for their entire lifetime (put the other person first, stay faithful)
bb The marriages that have both people rising to the challenge are blessed, their marriages get better over the years than what it was in the beginning.
cc Your marriage becomes an encouragement, fount of wisdom for others. (Duty)
b If the covenantal relationship of marriage is that important, how much more important is the covenantal relationship between a man/woman & God, or a nation & God.
aa God made a covenant with Israel not because they were special as much as it was to challenge them to become a special people & to fulfill a special purpose.
bb First, as a responsibility to God first (to live by His Word/Commandments) before the nations . . .
cc Secondly, as a duty to our fellow man as a witness of YHWH before them.
dd If God’s people fail in the latter, then we’ve also failed in the former. (Broken the covenant)
B The essence of the covenant boils down to these verses:
1 John 4:20 (NASB) 20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.