Genevieve commented on my last blog, about the difference between covenant and promise, and expressed some surprise that I didn't start my sermon with the great bible promises/covenant with Noah and Moses.
Good question and query! God's covenants always involve God's promises, as he initiates amazing relationships (out of the goodness of his grace) with us. Just look at God's covenant with Abram (Genesis 12:2,3,7) promising to make him into a great nation, and by him, blessing all peoples on earth. There seems absolutely no shred of evidence that this could be remotely true...yet Abram steps out in trust BECAUSE GOD HAS PROMISED. Carpe promissum. And God does it!
Covenant talk is powerful, taking us to Jesus Christ's use of the word (Mark 14:22-5, 1 Cor 11:23-25). Covenant talk thrills me with God's claims of a new covenant in Christ's death.
But in this series I am focussing on a wide range of His promises, and that's why I began where I did.
Promises are serious stuff. They reveal God's heart as He deals with us. God could have given Abram instant action, instead of promises to be worked out over the long haul. But it seems God always works by promise, giving us space and room to respond. It's the same for Christmas. God could have provided instant success for Jesus and his mission, but he works by promise and fulfilment over the long-term.
I am working hard on the next sermon - God promises happiness (Psalm 1). Any help you can give me?