Thursday, November 22, 2012

Covenants,Oaths and Promises,Psalm 64-66

Rainbow (Photo credit: homer4k)
Covenants,Oaths,Vows and Promises
Do we live up to our words or live in Gods word ? do we take pride in keeping our
word or God in keeping His ?

Do we live up to our own words ? or do we live in His word ?

Genesis 1 , 1 John 1 LET THERE BE LIGHT

In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God and The WORD was God

The WORD brought light into the darkness and revelation to the world that was yet unformed and
as the molecules and particles and the atoms and elements stood to attention before THE WORD
and gave an account of their being, they sat into place as commanded and obeyed the will of

The molecules and particles wondered and questioned where they should go in the beginning and
asked what their place might be and what their function and purpose was to be..they never once
said " I will do this " or "I will be that " because creation did not know what tomorrow was to bring

All creation waited for the voice of God , THE WORD, and at the shout of the word all was revealed
and put into place and revelation was brought to creation by the WORD

Bringing order and order upon order and THE WORD became flesh and dwelt amongst us and the WORD
is a living word and His Name is Jesus

Now we approach His throne who is THE WORD and we come through the blood of THE WORD

And we enter in through the veil by the sacrifice of THE WORD

Now we come to Psalms 64,65 And 66 we look to Covenants,Oaths,Vows and Promises

Lord God in Jesus name light your flame in our hearts, let there be light and let us run the race
before us in Jesus name amen

I was seeking about what to bring and I had the picture of the olympic torch being carried by
many athletes across many destinations and countries to its destination before the grand opening
of the olympic games

Now I was reluctant to bring this picture as I thought " No Lord this does'nt really go with this message
and it does'nt sound right "

Well I disgarded this picture and started looking into the message that might come from Psalms 64/
65 and 66 and I was still struggling to find a string to join this message together

So this morning I went to Church and on the projected screen at the front was the image of
a person, the image was darkened and within the image was a flaming torch, burning within the persons image

"mmm maybe I'm wrong Lord and you are right" I thought....

Sooo I looked down and on the Church blog..on the front page was an article abouttttt ?

Yes The Olympics and torch and the runners in the races and how the athletes ran for the prize

mmm okay I thought maybe I should bring this picture after all, so I have

We can't really relate to sacrifices in this day and age, we might find it even more difficult to relate
to animal sacrifice, we might find it difficult to relate to the cutting in half of animals or a "Covenant"

These things are not really part of our society or culture and relating to these things may be difficult

Even the word "Promise" may not really mean much to us, as promises in this society and age
are not the same as "Promises" in biblical times

So I give you the picture of the Torch bearer, the torch carrier, the athlete who carries the light accross,
the globe and who is not running alone but has many people cheering them on

And the final destination being the torch that iluminates the stadium and all around and can be seen
by all

I give you this picture as we come to Psalms 64/65 and 66

And in Psalm 64 we see the opposite side of a promise which can be seen as a threat, in human terms
when a person makes a threat against us we take it sometimes with more meaning and we put up
defences against that threat and immediatley close up and defend ourselves

We note that David had many enemies and we note that we have an enemy and his threats are

But we hold onto Gods promises to us and rather than fighting back oursleves we hand over to God
an enemy that is far greater than flesh and blood, knowing that we walk in the new covenant and we are sealed and separated into the eternal promise

For this is the covenant that I will
make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God,
and they shall be My people... .In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete." Hebrews 8:7-13

And as an introduction to this message I need to show you firstly where we are going and where I am
coming from here as you may wonder why and how Psalms 64,65 And 66 relate to the title "Covenants,Oaths and Promises"

As we turn to Psalm 65:4 we read about Gods Holy Temple and how God had chosen "separated"
a group of people to enter this Holy Place
And we see that separation is salvation, for how can you be saved from something unless you are
separated from it !

It like a kind of cutting in half..

And in Psalm 66 we read about the new song of salvation, the song that God puts in our hearts,
a new song, and we see mentioned how the chosen and separated people were taken through
the waters of the red sea in Verse 6

THEN we read in Verse 13 that David mentions a vow ?
Mmm !

I wonder whether Christians should make vows ?

As a child I remember knowing nothing of Church or Christianity or of the bible and a Church
was a place where you went for weddings and funerals and a place that had lots of fancy windows,
with strange images in them !

But I remember having a time when I talked to God and I worshipped Him and I knew of Him

I remember one day in my childlike way I prayed to God that He would help me to find my homework
that was lost and if He helped me then I would always worship Him and serve Him all the days of my
life !

But you know never make a can we make a promise when we do not know what will
happen tomorrow ? We don’t know what will happen tomorrow James 4:14

When we make a promise to someone else we just may not being able to hold up to that promise..

When we make a promise to God God might just take us at our word ....

In this day and age and in this society there is much mistrust, words such as promise and oath and
covenant are seldom used, the first being the most used but unheard of

We have so much mistrust of each other and we know that when someone makes a promise to us
we immediately relate to past promises that have been broken and we seldom commit ourselves
to believing a promise

After all when we commit ouselves to believeing a promise we can quite often be let down and the
bump is quite hard at times

In fact the only times I see the word "Promise" in society is when I look at a bank note with the
inscription "I promise to pay the bearer the sum of "
Strange is'nt it ? strange that the only thing that can be seen as a promise in our societies today
is the promise of money ?

Is it any wonder that money is the central point of the major nations ?

This is the only time we actually relate to the word "promise" without realising it

You would never think of receiving your wages and getting your weekly shopping only to be told
"Your notes are not worth anything " would you ?

BUT when God makes a promise we can be certain that He will carry it through, He is respeonsible
to complete that promise, It Is His responsibility as a Father to fulfill that promise


"Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he
took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.'
And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these
words.” Exodus 24:6-8

In Old Biblical times, a promise meant a promise and covenants between families were binding

"I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He BROKE it and said, 'Take, eat;
this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.'
In the same manner He
also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'" 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The Hebrew word for covenant is karath berit, “to cut a covenant.”

God, through the apostle James, clearly states that Christians must not swear by an oath: “But above all things, my brethren, swear not…but let your yes be your yes; and your no, no; lest
you fall into condemnation” James. 5:12


"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate
themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:" Numbers 6:2
PROMISES promises promises

Politicians often make promises, they commit themselves to an agenda, maybe they may have to
eat their words or about turn sometimes..
New years resolutions never seem to last do they ? we promise ourselves we will do something or
give up something.. and yet we don't always or neverkeep a new years resolution !

When I first became a Christian I wondered how on earth I would be able to keep to reading Gods
word and attending Church and committing myself,
When we say things the words we speak don't always get acted out in our lifes

When we hear people make promises we wonder whether they will actually do what they say they will

Is it any wonder we have problems with relating to the promises of God at times, is it any
wonder we have doubts twickling into our minds, is it any wonder we fear or wonder !

Well is it any wonder we do not trust a promise given to us by another ? when the promises we make
to ourselves are often broken ?

Prophesy Prophesy Prophesy

And it shall come to pass...words spoken by God through men....but do we always listen ?

There is one thing for certain, Gods promises are true because God cannot lie

But this is the "New Covenant" the "New Testimony" the "New Creation "

When God says " Covenant" He sends His Son to be in us, the Son who was crucified between
two others, the type of "Torch" that is now in us, the light of the world

When God says "New Testimony" He promises that He will never leave us and gives us a testimony
, this testimony is where we give up and He carries on

When God says "Let there be light " He shines that light into our lifes

This is the Covenant of the Here and Now, relating to us as individuals and as a family of believers

His promise is for life and that promise stands however we might feel

The is where we have the "Cut" the halfing, the dividing, the separation,
Do you remember the torch or fire that led the chosen ones through the desert to the promised land ?

“The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar
of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away
the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people” (Ex. 13:21-22).

I wonder who the pillar of fire was ? or was it a flaming torch ?

The smoking fire pot represented God, and the flaming torch Jesus Christ, the light of the world.

And we turn to

Genesis 15 (New International Version)

9 So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.  Genesis 15:10

Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other;
the birds, however, he did not cut in half.

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.

This is the important part here, they were cut in two, the sacrifices were cut in two..

“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise”
Galatians 3:29

We are reminded of Jesus hanging on the Cross as darknes fell upon the earth and the two criminals
between Jesus were separated , both were condemned as we were condemned before salvation

But Jesus made that sacrifice of His blood, He at that time on the Cross was the Lamb of the new covenant and through His blood the new is brought into being

The blazing torch separated and divided as indeed the Lord still divides today, and judges the heart attitudes and motives Hebrews 4:12

Jeremiah 34:18
The men who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces.

We are consecrated, separated, divided up, gathered, we now as Christians ( Christ In ) can walk
through that dividing wall into the Holy of Holies

2 Corinthians 6:16

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they
will be my people.”17“Therefore come out from them and be separate,

Ephesians 2:14-19

"For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross.... For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father."
And so back to Psalm 64 were we see mentioned the threats of the enemy and we turn to Psalm
65 and we see mentioned how the Priest were the ones "set apart" to enter the Holy place in verse

Now as the blood is shed so we too can enter into that place were the priests entered

Psalm 50:5

"Gather to me my consecrated ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice."

2 Corinthians 6:14

Believers are separated [from the world] unto God: "Do not be unequally yoked together with
unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial?
Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.

As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them.
I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'

Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord.

The sacrifice was cut in two and the flaming torch went between the two pieces, here we see the divide, on the Cross we see the divide, at the temple we see the divide as the veil was torn in
two, at death we see a divide, in life we see a divide

What is the divide ? who or what was the flaming torch ?

Hebrews 10:19-24

"Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,

having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."
God promises and He has made a covenant with His chosen people, those people who have been called
by name and those who have had the "Torch" of His cleansing separating them from the world

A great chasm appears between two people, the person in the middle is Jesus,
The people walking through the red sea or the sea of reeds were chosen, they went through that great
divide and they followed that pillar of fire through the wilderness

Now that pillar of fire is in us who believe and walk daily with Jesus

Remember God promised the chosen people that He would lead them into a land of milk and honey,
a land of plenty, but did they always believe Him ?
When God makes a promise he cannot lie, as a Father He is responsible for all His children

His covenant to us stands forever and it cannot be taken away, it stands firm and secure

So we can enter the Holy Of Holies as Priests of God Psalm 65:4 and we can come through the blood
shed and the sacrifice made and through Jesus the Lamb of God, the torch .

And we see the New Covenant that is for us
Remember next time you see the Olympic Torch being carried, remember that picture and relate
to that picture, this is the New Covenant that Jesus is not just an external theological figure in a dusty
book on the shelf

But that Jesus "The Torch" is the very much alive person of the Trinity who can
burn inside and blaze inside, who can change a life and change others lifes,
who can divide the heart attitudes and motives Hebrews 4:12 for the word of God is living and active John1:1 and the word is Jesus

Pray with me for that flame of God to burn inside and to give us a new and living passion for the things of God

Speak these words to God with me
Lord God Father In Jesus Name bring that fire to burn in me, that I would have a passion for your heart
and ignite a flame in me and a desire to follow you Lord in the way YOU want me to go

Be the torch bearer through me and bring that light to shine In Jesus name amen