Home > Covenant Theology > The Covenants-Chapter 5e-The Covenant of promise in Christ to Abraham

The Covenants-Chapter 5e-The Covenant of promise in Christ to Abraham

Six hundred years had now passed away since the transfer of the covenant to Judah. Israel had taken possession of the promised land. Every foe was conquered, and all the tribes, united, prosperous and happy, lived securely under the government of the “man after God’s own heart.” Under these circumstances God appeared to David, and “swore with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ” (Acts 2:30). The form of inspired language, ever after this renewal of the covenants, connects Messiah with the throne of David; his throne being plainly a metaphor employed to express with emphasis, Christ’s spiritual reign. “Thy seed,” said Jehovah to David, “will I establish forever, and [thus] build up thy throne to all generations (Psalm 89:3-4). It was in allusion to these promises, that David himself said, in his last moments, “The God of Israel hath made with me, an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure” (2 Sam 23:5). The exposition of this covenant is beautifully given by one of the prophets. Referring to the coming of Christ he says:- ” In that day [the opening of the gospel] there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious (Isa 11:10). Previous to this transaction, Messiah was known only as “The seed of the woman,” who should redeem us by suffering; the substitute for man to divine justice; the Deliverer appointed by the Father; the seed of Abraham; the Shiloh, in whom it all the nations and families of the earth should be blessed. Thenceforward he is known as “the Prince;” the “Ruler of the people ;” “the David ;” the “King of Israel ;” and by one or another of these, or similar titles, he is constantly designated. This is the style of Jeremiah, for example, through whom God said to Israel :—” If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season, then may also my covenant with David be broken, that he should not have a Son [the Christ] to sit upon his throne” (Jer 33:20-21). It is the style of Daniel, to whom it was said by the angel: “Understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore, and to build Jerusalem, unto Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks; [of years] “and after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off but not for himself” (Dan 9:25-26). Take Micah as another example “Thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be Ruler in Israel! whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting” (Mic 5:2).

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

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