Vol.5, No. 34 – September 6, 2020
Effectively handling the Problems Life Brings — Nehemiah 9:38
Because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests. –Nehemiah 9:38
It was on February 2, 1963, that I entered into a most important covenant. It was quite a deal; a transaction that changed my life forever on this earth. In all these years, I have been privileged to be faithful to that covenant. The covenant was with the wife of my youth; I joined with the great gift God provided (even though I did not know Him as my Savior at that time, in His grace, He still gifted me). I entered the covenant, pledged myself to my wife, and my wife pledged herself to me.
The covenant was important; it was like the covenants our own parents made to one another. It was not long until we recognized the One who provided us this unique privilege as we were introduced to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Have you ever revisited the covenants you have entered?
The covenant that Nehemiah and his people make is the result of a revival in hearing the Word of God. The Word of God rehearses the Jews’ past history. The covenant also reflects their determination to get back to their original commitments. This covenant is intended as a fixed resolution, without any thought or right of recanting.
Their intent is to live, or die by their covenant. ‘Till death do we part! (That is part of my marriage covenant!!) The persons making the covenant pledged their very lives. The intent is to keep the covenant. The covenant made, must stand.
The word covenant signifies a cutting. At times people would cut an animal in two, each taking one half. Most times, the covenant was sealed by pricking a vein, then using the blood as a sacred agreement (reflecting the intermingling of their very lives). There were, also, occasions when people would eat a few grains of salt together, sealing the making of a covenant, with the intent of binding two hearts for a lifetime in bonds of friendship. The Arabs doing this have a saying when two enter into a contract, translated, “he hath eaten of my salt.”
When I lived among the Amish people, the immutability of an agreement was signaled by a handshake; however, at times the agreement was sealed with, “you have my word on it.”
Eighty-four people signed their names to the covenant document, beginning with Nehemiah. The signers are serious. It was, after all, a covenant offered Almighty God. You do not play games with Jehovah God. It was the same kind of vow King Josiah, of Jerusalem, made a little under 200 years before (2 Kings 23:3).
Our Bible is sectioned into the Old and New Covenants (Testaments).the two sections center around seven great covenants. Each covenant also centers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The covenants are God’s gracious promises to His people. They reveal His plans. The Bible is a covenant book, from the heart of a covenant-making-God.
Each of us make covenants. Covenants we intend to finish. Consider that God also makes covenants. God wants us to have perfect confidence in Him. He binds Himself to us by a covenant to state how much we can trust Him.
How do we view our covenants?
When I married, while at the marriage altar, I said, “I take thee, Donna, to be my wedded wife. I give thee Donna, [me!]” Covenants do not mean much unless you make it with someone.
The Almighty God invites our covenants. He makes the covenant two-way, for the purpose of living out its expectations. Willingly, I made a covenant on February 2, 1963. I also made a covenant with God as I responded to His absolute invitation for a permanent relationship with Him.
How are you doing with your covenants?
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations. –Deuteronomy 7:9
Handling effectively the problems and opportunities, that life brings!