Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The God of the Promises: 7th August, 1012. Devon UK.

So today is scheduled to be the second of our Bible Studies on the Promises of God. I wanted to give some thought to the nature of the God who has determined to work his purposes through the fulfilment of his promises. What kind of a person would take this route?

We could know nothing of God unless he had chosen to reveal himself and the record of the Bible is just that. God revealing himself in this record of history and revelation. Often God revealed himself by his name. This may be a little difficult for us to see clearly, but God's names are not arbitrary identification labels, as so often our are. Each name is a personal revelation of his character. The names of God Almighty or Jehovah are not used accidentally in the Bible but as recorded insights into the character of God. If the first question is 'is there a God', the second must be 'what is he like?'

God told the people of Israel that he was going to reveal himself to them under the name of Jehovah. It was probably pronounced Yahweh, but we won't get distracted with that. The name was so special that God said anyone who used it with disrespect would be cut off from God's people. The people were so anxious to ensure that they did not misuse it that they almost stopped using it altogether. You will not find it in most modern translations. In the old King James version you will find it used just four times; Ex 6:3; Psa 83:18; Is 12:2; 26:4. In the American Standard Version of 1902 you will find it used 6777 times! From Exodus to Malachi the story is of Jehovah and his people. The people of Israel were intended to be the authentic 'Jehovah's Witnesses';
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. Is 43:10 ASV.
When God 'introduced himself' to the people of Israel he gave the name by which they were to know him and signed his name to an amazing plan. With the meticulous care of a legal document he signed his name at the beginning and at the end of an amazing manifesto;
Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am Jehovah, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments: and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God, who bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land which I sware to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage: I am Jehovah. Ex 6:6–8 ASV.
Seven times, the words ring out like the peal of a great bell; I will.., I will.., I will.., I will.., I will.., I will.., I will.., God declared his will with absolute clarity… and put his name to it.
This is the 'kind' of God who stands behind his promises. A God who cannot lie and has staked his name and reputation on his power to deliver what he has promised.

And the New Covenant is better than this! Take each one of these seven declarations and transpose them into the language of reality of the better covenant. It is little wonder that the writer to the Hebrews writes…
But now

He (Christ) has obtained a more excellent ministry,

inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant,

which was established on better promises.

Heb 8:6–7 NKJV.

No comments: