Monday, August 08, 2005

A new marriage, a new covenant: Is 54:4-10

" 'For the LORD has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one's youth when she is rejected,' says your God. 'For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you.' " (Isaiah 54:6-7)
God is calling out to all those who have failed in the walk with God. God entered into a covenant relationship with the people Israel through the laws and commandments given by Moses. God referred to His new relationship with Israel as a marriage, He was the husband and they were the bride. In the covenant God promised to be their God and to prolong their days if they would keep His commandments. "All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers." (Deuteronomy 8:1) However, Israel could not keep their promise. They, along with the rest of mankind, failed to keep the laws of God. They failed to keep their marriage covenants with God. Because they broke their covenant and because of their continual sin, God divorced them. "Thus says the LORD, 'Where is the certificate of divorce by which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.' " (Isaiah 50:1)

Though God divorced His people, He still loved them. Therefore, He set out to establish a new covenant and to invite all mankind into a new marriage relationship with Himself. This new marriage, unlike the former, would not be based upon the ability of His bride to keep their promises but upon the ability of God to keep His promises. This marriage would be based upon God's promises. "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises." (Hebrews 8:6) Consider some of the promises that God makes in this passage of scripture.
  • You will not be put to shame, you will not be disgraced (vs 4).
  • You will not remember your past shame and reproach (vs 4).
  • God's everlasting compassion and lovingkindness will be yours (vs 8).
  • God will not be angry with us or rebuke us again (vs 9).
  • God's lovingkindness will not be removed from us, nor will His covenant of peace (vs 10).
We are called into relationship with God, not based upon our own works, but based upon the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Our assurance in our relationship with God is based upon His promises, and His ability to keep them. What we could not do, God has done for us. Thanks be to God!

David Robison

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