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Monday, 7 January 2013

Covenant Glory - Rich Novek

 From Rich Novek's Blog

When Jesus said, “take not a thought for your life” He was in fact pointing to Covenant.
The two parties involved in making the Covenant would cut up an animal (or animals) into several pieces and then walk between the pieces in the form of a figure eight, symbolizing the eternal nature of their Covenant.  And all along they would recite the Covenant blessings, curses, promises, etc.
By agreeing to participate in the Covenant ceremony, each partner was saying, “let what has happened to this animal happen to me if I ever break Covenant with you.”
In the following two passages in Psalms 50, God is talking about the seriousness of Covenant.
“Gather to me this consecrated people, who made a Covenant with me by sacrifice.” (Psalm 50:5)
“Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue: (Psalm 50:22)
The reference having to do with being torn to pieces points to the animal pieces they both walk through, and points to the overall seriousness of the covenant.
This was the type of agreement that was made between David and Jonathan, and also the reason David was obligated to search for Jonathan’s descendants (Mephibosheth) after Jonathan was killed in battle along with his father Saul.
So Jonathan made a Covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.”  And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself. (I Samuel 20:16-17)
Thankfully, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Abram (Abraham) before he was able to walk through the broken animal pieces, and woke up just on time to see something truly amazing!
And He said unto him, Take me a heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.  And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.  And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.  And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.  And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.  And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.  But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.   And it came to pass, that, WHEN THE SUN WENT DOWN AND IT WAS DARK, BEHOLD A SMOKING FURNACE AND A BURNING LAMP THAT PASSED BETWEEN THOSE PIECES.  In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: (Genesis15:9-21)
So what was this SMOKING FURNACE AND BURNING LAMP that passed between the pieces in place of Abram (Abraham)?
His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters. (Revelation: 1:15)
Moses is writing these words in I Samuel to the Israelites who are walking in the wilderness.  They are being led through the wilderness by the presence of God.  In the daytime they see God’s Glory as a cloud over the tabernacle and at night a pillar of fire.  A smoking oven and flaming torch is none other than the Eternal One, Christ, walking through the pieces and fulfilling the terms of the Covenant with His own Father.
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent (covenant) promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (II Peter 1:4).
Since we could never keep the promises of any Covenant, especially a Covenant with God Himself, Christ took our place and then included us IN His Life…by Grace alone through Faith alone.
The one characteristic of Covenant that overshadows anything is the mutual agreement that takes place between each partner, that it is no longer I who live for myself, my purpose now is to live only for my Covenant partner (s).
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives IN me. The life I now live IN the body, I live by the Faith of  the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God IN Him. (II Corinthians 5:21)
The very heart of Covenant: I no longer live for myself or take a thought for my own life.  I have in fact willingly died to everything that concerns me, including my hopes, dreams, debts, and assets, not to mention every one of my earthly relationships.  I NOW count all of my life as loss in comparison to knowing my Covenant partner as my new Life!  NOW my only concerns are His concerns, just as all of my concerns are NOW His only concern.
So what does that mean to us as believers?
It means we receive all of our Covenant partner’s assets and liabilities and that He in turn receives all of ours. BUT…because of the sacrifice of Christ and the “it is finished” work of the Cross, God is NOW our Covenant partner, and as the ALL who fills ALL, we also know He doesn’t have any liabilities.  And in the exact same way we NOW know apart from Christ who has become our life, we don’t have any assets!
For you died, and your life is NOW hidden with Christ IN God.  When Christ, who is your (only) Life, appears, then you also will appear with Him IN Glory. (Colossians 3:3-4)
So who is it that gets the better deal, and what are the similarities between the Glory of God and Covenant?
“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my Glory to another or my praise to idols (Isaiah 42:8)
Not only is the Gory of God all about Him alone, but our only reason for being here is for the Glory of God.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, DO IT ALL for the Glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)
But the reality is, we can DO nothing without the One who we NOW know as our Life doing it IN and through us.
For it is God (alone) which worketh IN you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
Covenant is all about our Covenant partner, it is all about a life that has as its only focus, “I no longer live for myself, but for my Covenant partner” and in the same way my Covenant partner literally lives His Life for me.
Christ IN us really is our only hope of Glory!. (Colossians 1:27)
God’s Glory is all about God, and as we give Him the Glory that He alone deserves, we realize the Christ who lives IN us and as us is the GLORY OF GOD!  In other words, we NOW are able to see how we also benefit in ways we never could have, had we never received the revelation of His Covenant Glory!
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power (alone) He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by Faith (by the Faith of the Son of God).  We pray this SO THAT…the Name of our Lord Jesus may be “glorified” IN you, and you IN Him, according to the Grace (alone) of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (II Thessalonians 1:11-12)

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