Category Archives: covenant

God’s Treasured Possession

exodus_8284c“Be mine!” may be a message on a valentine card. But what does it mean to be God’s treasured possession? How can you be God’s people? This reflection focuses on God making his covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai–and his covenant with you in Christ.

β€œGenesis 3:15 already contains the entire covenant in a nutshell and all the benefits of grace. God breaks the first covenant made by the first humans with Satan, puts enmity between them, brings the first humans over to his side, and promises them victory over the power of the enemy. The one great promise to Abraham is ‘I will be your God, and you and your descendants will be my people’ (Gen. 17:8 paraphrase). And this is the principle content of God’s covenant with Israel as well. God is Israel’s God, and Israel is his people (Exod. 19:6; 29:46; etc.). Israel, accordingly, receives a wide assortment of blessings, not only temporal blessings, such as the land of Canaan, fruitfulness in marriage, a long life, prosperity, plus victory over its enemies, but also spiritual and eternal blessings, such as God’s dwelling among them (Exod. 29:45; Lev. 24:12), the forgiveness of sins (Exod. 20:6; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut 4:31; Pss. 32; 103; etc.), sonship. . . sanctification. . . and so on.” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, p. 221).

 

A Kingdom of Priests

1peter2cWho are we? What does it mean to be a kingdom of priests?

β€œIn Exod. 19:6 God says to Israel, ‘You shall be to me a kingdom of priests,’ which likely meant that as a whole nation they were to serve as kingly mediators of divine revelation between God and the unbelieving nations (see also Isa. 43:10-13). They were not faithful in this witnessing task. Therefore God raises up a new priest-king, Jesus, and those identified with him are a ‘kingdom of priests,’ as expressed by 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10, which clearly allude to Exod. 19:6.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 678).

In preparing to preach on Exodus 19:3-6 at Trinity Presbyterian Church I ran across this helpful quote. Some questions with which I am wrestling — Who are we? We live in culture that is feeling centered. Is there something outside of us, something objective, that defines our identities? God’s words to Moses and through him to Israel in Exodus 19, as well as their references in the New Testament, help to provide answers.