Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Blogging God's Promises (5)

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?


Michael Pugh said...

Any help I can give? Heck no! Any encouragement? You bet! I know that God wants us to be happy - and that His commandments ultimately ladder back to this.

Still, it's an exciting promise, that of happiness. I think many secular people view God as a stern father who wants to squash all the fun out of life. Which, of course, ain't the case.

Anonymous said...

Michael - I share your love for trees. Appreciated your references to them this morning. I'd love to show you my favorite Oak Park tree, just blocks from Calvary -- a copper beach (Fagus Purpurea). Your nature references made me think of the writings of George MacDonald who said, "The heavens and the earth are around us that it may be possible for us to speak of the unseen by the seen; for the outermost husk of creation has correspondence with the deepest things of the Creator." So true!