The Power of the Covenant
One of the most powerful miracles in the Bible occurred when God stopped the sun at the prayer of Joshua (Joshua 10:13). One of the most righteous men in the Bible was Moses, who reached the highest level of personal holiness (Deuteronomy 34:10; Hebrews 3:5).
Joshua's miracle was done in answer to the covenant demand of the Gibeonites. They were one of the Canaanite tribes that God had commanded the Israelites to destroy. The Gibeonites made a covenant with the people of Israel by deceiving Joshua and the elders. These were the worst possible terms for a divine covenant. Yet, on the basis of this covenant, the most powerful miracle in history was done.
One day, God tried to kill Moses because he had forgotten to circumcise his son (Exodus 4:24). Moses had forgotten to secure his covenant agreement with God. Here was Moses, the most righteous human according to the Law, on a divine mission to lead one of the greatest events in biblical history, and God was ready to kill him.
What's the point? The power is in the covenant. The most unrighteous covenant in history provides for the greatest miracle; while the most righteous man in history is condemned to death, when he forgets his covenant.
We have an eternal covenant with God by faith through Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. It's not based on our righteousness, but on His. We lean on that covenant. We trust that covenant. We are covenant people.
Cooperating with God
Covenant touches the very purpose of creation. God is love (I John 4). Love demands relationship. The covenant is the means of securing that relationship. A covenant is a commitment to long term relationship. It is a declaration of trust in that relationship. It is a description of the terms in a relationship.
When two people enter into a business partnership, they need a contract to define the partnership. Our covenant with God is a contract of partnership. He gives us all that He has in exchange for all that we have (John 17:10). The New Covenant not only gives us forgiveness of sins, it makes us full partners with God and co-owners of everything that belongs to Him (Romans 8:17, 32).
Since God's purpose in creation was our personal relationship with Him, He does all things in cooperation with us. Anything outside of that covenantal relationship is not worth His involvement.
God does nothing on this earth without sharing His plan with His prophets (Amos 3:7) and covenant partners (Genesis 18:17). Miracles are done through believers trusting in their covenant partnership with God. God does not intervene in miracles on earth without the faith cooperation of His people.
A relationship works both ways. We trust in the person we are in relationship with, and we endeavor to be trustworthy to them. We have faith in our covenant with God, and we endeavor to be faithful to Him. Faith works by a cooperative relationship between God and man.
A woman cannot have a baby without a man; and a man cannot have a baby without a woman. It takes two. They are united by the covenant of marriage. Similarly, we have a covenant with God which unites us to Him. Out of that covenant relationship comes life-giving, miracle power.
Respecting God's Covenants with Others
God had a personal relationship of love with Yeshua before the foundation of the world (John 17:23). He invites human beings to enter into that same circle of love. Our fellowship is both with Him and with one another (I John 1:3).
If I am to be loyal to you, and you already have a covenant with someone else, then I have to be loyal to that person also. God cut a covenant with Abraham. Abraham also had a covenant of marriage with Sarah. Therefore God had to honor Abraham's covenant with her as well.
God gave first-born covenant rights to Isaac instead of Ishmael, because God had to respect Abraham's covenant with Sarah. If Hagar or Ishmael or anyone else would like to have a covenant relationship with God, he or she is free to do so by faith just as well.
God respected Jacob's covenant marriage with Leah as his first wife, even though Jacob loved Rachel more, and even though the marriage with Leah was brought about by Laban's deceit. Eventually the Messiah would be born from Judah, one of Leah's son's, not Rachel's.
Since Yeshua is the King of Israel, the nation of Israel has a covenant with Him. Since Yeshua is the Head of the Church, the international Church also has a covenant with Him. Because both Israel and the Church have a covenant with Yeshua, they also have a covenant with one another. There is a covenant partnership between Israel and the Church, even though it remains a mystery to most (Ephesians 3:6).
A covenant is not the goal; the personal relationship is the goal. The covenant is the means to accomplish that goal. The covenant contains the words on which our faith is based. It is the framework for our loving relationship with God (Hosea 2:19-20.
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