Entering Godís Covenant
God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Samuel 14:14
Shortly after the creation Adam and Eve were told not to eat from tree of knowledge of good and evil. Its not certain how Eve was introduced to the serpent but as they talked the fruit of this tree became the subject of conversation. Eve was unaware of the devilish nature and purpose of her chance meeting. The conversation pursued and the serpent managed to convince Eve that she would not die, but become like God knowing good and evil.
After both Adam and Eve had eaten the serpent faded from sight and left both knowing something had changed. Like most people, Adam and Eve chose to hide their deeds from God because their sin had changed them. Upon seeing Adam and Eve, God understood that they had eaten from the tree that warranted death from a command God gave forbidding the eating of its fruit. It wasnít the body of man that was going to die, but from God's perspective his sin had to be dealt with. For this reason God drove
them from the garden and the access to the tree of life. Sin had separated man from God and sin reigned until the law was given. God saved Adam and Eve in hopes that in a frustrated environment they would lean to obey him.
As man began to populate the earth he inherited a sin nature and it progressively worsen. Man had degraded himself well below Godís expectations so that he anguished with grief regretting that he had made man.
The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. Genesis 6:5-6
To start over, God planned to flood the earth to rid the earth of evil that filled his heart with unbearable pain. God found a righteous man named Noah and instructed him to build a ark of safety for him and his family and when the ark was filled it would look like a floating zoo. Eight people were saved out of the flood but the sin nature of man survived too.
In time God chose another man named Abraham and began to build a nation of men and women around him. Again the people in the vicinity of Abraham chose a live a deviant life style. In response to the outcries of saints he chose to visit the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to see if everything he heard was right.
On the way to Sodom and Gomorrah God stopped by Abrahamís tent to bless his wife with a child. As he left Abraham tagged along as they headed towards Sodom and Gomorrah, this is when God revealed his plan to destroy the city. Filled with compassion Abraham asked God several times if he would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if he found righteous men and women in the city.
On entering the city Lot saw God and took him into his home for the night. It appears as if the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah had other ideas for Lotís houseguest. Standing outside the house they demanded that Lot hand his guest over to them so they could satisfy their pleasures. The insistence and demand was so great his guest intervened. Lot was ushered out of the city and sent to Zoar where he found safety from the storm
that followed. Soon afterwards, Sodom and Gomorrah rose in the smoke of fire and brimstone.
The descendants of Abraham became numerous and in the course of time were enslaved by ruthless men and served the Egyptians for 450 years. God sent Moses to deliver Israel from slavery of Egypt, and after several plagues fell on Egypt, its stubborn Pharaoh not knowing Godís plans ordered the first born of Israel to be killed. In the meantime God instituted a Passover celebration and Israel through faith slaughtered the lamb and put the
lambís blood on every head and doorpost in Israelís camp. That night the angel of the Lord passed over the homes with the blood on its doors, but as they entered the Egyptian homes the firstborn died.
Filled with grief the Pharoah released the slaves and ordered them out of his realm. When Pharoah realized he fired his help and no one was left to do the work his way of life demanded, he relented. He pursued Moses and his former slaves to the Red Sea where he sent his army in after them. However before Pharaohís army could reach the opposite shore the walls of the Red Sea came tumbling down and all of Pharaohís men couldnít be
seen again. On that day God saved his people from being destroyed and Israelís enemies would never be able to enslave them again.
Moses led Israel to Mount Sinai where Moses received the law but before Moses could come down from the mountain, the sinful nature of man grew impatient and began to indulge in sin. On seeing the camp and the golden calf they had made Moses became angry. He had come from the presence of the living God to a people who were worshipping an image of gold they made with their own hands rather than the God that had delivered them from slavery.
After order had been restored Moses returned to the mountain where he atoned for the sins of the camp and received the law again. This time he came down the mountain and assembled the people at its base where they heard the voice of the living God giving them his laws.
The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear." Hebrews 12:21
Once the tabernacle was constructed and operating, trumpets were blown to signal the camp to move. God had promised his people a land of milk and honey but the spies came back with a report so bad that it discouraged the camp from even trying to go into the promise land. It told God that the people trusted the reports of man more than the God who delivered them from slavery. For this reason, the two spies with good reports
survived 40 years in the desert while the rest did not enter Godís rest or the promise land.
Moses died and God replaced him with Joshua and during the lifetime of Joshua the people followed the Lord. After Joshuaís death the people began to live as the saw fit and began to do evil in Godís sight. Israel fell into a rut, when Israel leaders obeyed God they prospered and when Israelís leaders did not obey God they were oppressed because they did not do what was right in Godís eyes.
Finally men became so rebellious that they would not listen to the prophets that God sent to Israel's leaders warning them to return to the God that created them. However, the prophets of baal serving the king rescinded Godís message of impending doom by making the promise of prosperity Ė even when Babylon surrounded Jerusalem. As the Babylonians left Jerusalem, the leaders of Israel were executed before Nebuchadnezzar while hundreds
of men were left dangling from post sharpened for the occasion. Those who accepted and honored the word of the prophet sent by God escaped with their lives.
We see a pattern developing during the history of the Old Testament. The pattern developed around the people as a whole and according to the beliefs and practices of Israelís leaders. When Israelís leaders did what was right in Godís eye Israel prospered. When their leaders served false gods the people suffered from the plagues of Godís wrath and fell by the sword, famine and plague. They were oppressed and subjected to harsh people,
who did not know God, their crops were trampled into the ground by raiders, and they lacked rainfall and felt the heat of the sun. When the leaders worshipped Baal the people were encouraged to worshiped Baal and when Israel's leaders did what was right in God's eye all Israel was encouraged to worship Jehovah.
The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. Isaiah 1:11
All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations ó a people who continually provoke me to my very face, Isaiah 65:2-3
Although the people knew that God existed they chose to neglect the knowledge of God and lived as they saw fit. They had the patriarchs, the covenants, the law, the temple worship and the promises of God and through them, the ancestry of the messiah was traced back to Adam the Son of God. With all this they were an obstinate people who continually provoke God to his face.
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 1 Corinthians 10:1
About two thousand years ago the history of man and his relationship to God changed dramatically. History of mankind was changed so dramatically that man changed the calendar to commemorate the event. God set a great light in the sky and encouraged wise men to follow it to the newborn king. The angels of God announced with joyous praise saying,
Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14
God sent his one and only Son into the world to fulfill the law, to be the atoning sacrifice as the Lamb of God. Through the death of Godís Lamb the sin of every man was paid for and by fulfilling the law Godís fellowship with men was restored. By the death of Godís Lamb, a new covenant was developed with better promises through the shed blood of Christ.
Just as Moses sprinkled the blood of the covenant on the people the blood of the new covenant is sprinkled on our hearts.
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22
We find that men have been obstinate towards God as long as men have populated the earth. Although God had plans to give man a hope and a future, Godís plans were not designed to harm man, but prosper him. He instructed men to meditate on his word and promised if they would do all that was written they would prosper and be successful. With all of Godís advice, man has continually turned their backs on God and did what is right in their
eyes while seeking the pleasures of sin.
God has gone the extra mile so man could have eternal life by way of a new covenant. Anyone can enter into his covenant through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In this covenant you must publicly confess that "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, to be saved. Then, Jesus Christ will come into you heart and help you to live right in his fatherís eyes as long as you allow him to have
his way. The Choice is yours.
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