Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Promises, Pledges, Oaths

O. T. #191  "Promises, Pledges, Oaths"
Dec. 18, 2013
Exodus 19-Part 5
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.  Exodus 19:6 KJV


Have you ever taken an oath? I did when I served on a jury and another time when I was a potential juror. I said a pledge of faithfulness of marriage when on my wedding day. We signed papers promising to repay loans throughout our years. Are there any others that I am leaving out? We don't call these promises, pledges, oaths a covenant, like the Bible does. Israel was taking a conditional covenant with God in this chapter. Let's take a closer look.

The three titles which God gave to the children of Israel were a peculiar treasure, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.
These summarized the divine blessings which such a nation would experience.
  • belonged especially to the Lord
  • represented Him in the earth
  • were set apart to God for His purposes.  (MacArthur)
As God's people we must be set apart, thinking and doing differently than others in this world.
Israel was to be a holy nation, saved from their sins, righteous in their conduct, holy in their hearts. They were to be a kingdom with God as their king; a nation of people united together with order and organization, having their own laws and religion.
[Resources: David Guzik Commentary and Adam Clarke Commentary]

Are we representing God to the world as His special people, chosen and set apart for His purposes?
Are we living as holy believers, living in God's kingdom in which He is the King?
Who is king of my life? Am I walking by faith in the Lord Jesus and not by sight?
Have you been saved by Jesus from the penalty of your sins? Have you asked Him?
Are you holy in your heart?
Are you righteous in your conduct?
Do you know the One who's birth we celebrate this month? He is the Savior. Is Jesus your Savior?


What happened next?
  • Moses obeyed God and told the elders what the LORD commanded him to say.
  • The people said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. (verse 8)
  • Moses told the LORD what the people said.
That was simple. Wait a minute. Did they stop and consider what was required of them? What God was saying to them?
They were to obey God's voice fully and  keep His covenant. If they did this, then they would be to God as a treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.

NIV gives their response, We will do everything the LORD has said.
(Of course, we know they didn't and weren't. It did not take long for them to break this agreement. While Moses was up on Mt. Sinai getting the Ten Commandments, they made an idol of a golden calf and worshiped it.)

Here is the case of  if you will, I will. God offered a conditional covenant to the Israelites.

A covenant is a vow, a promised oath, a treaty. (Strong's Concordance)

God made several covenants in the Old Testament times, with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David.
There were various kinds of covenants-blood (Gen. 15:7-17), shoe (Ruth 4:7-9), salt (Num. 18:19).
Jesus in the New Covenant.
Hebrews 12:24 NIV says, to Jesus the mediator, of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

The church participates only in the salvation aspects of the new covenant. (Falwell)

So, it is not the keeping of the Law that gets us to heaven or makes us right with God. It is the believing that Jesus' blood was shed for us sinners, in our place as payment for our sins, that makes us righteous, right before God.

This time of the year we should stop to thank God for sending His Son Jesus to provide our salvation.
Think on His coming in the form of a baby, mankind, leaving His home in heaven to walk among men.
What love!


Turn from my sins and turn to Jesus my Savior.

Seek His forgiveness of my sins daily.

Thank God for His gift of love-Jesus.

Share this gift of love with others.

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