Sunday, August 18, 2013

Honoring God - The Implications of Covenant

1 Samuel 2:29-30

Life Lesson:    Living in God’s covenant means that we seek to honor Him.

A man of God brings a word in a setting for an amazing revelation of the heart of God and His ways among His people.  He sent a man to warn his people of the faithless Eli but also to pronounce a significant transition.  God in his love would seek to lead his faithless

Those who honor God, God will honor, and those who do not honor God, He will lightly esteem.

This message would ring down through the rest of time for God’s people.  Over and over he warns and encourages His people to walk faithfully with Him in His covenant.  This is His invitation to His people of every generation to this very day.

Gen. 12:3; Ex. 19:5; Matt. 13:11-12

God’s people had to decide . . .

1.         Did they believe God?

2.         Would they remain faithful to the covenant God made with them?

3.         Would they bring their lives into the covenant relationship that they had entered with God?

4.         Would they listen to God, hear His voice, and obey Him?

5.         Did they expect God to do His works through them? 


God sends messengers and messages to His people

The Lord is always challenging us to hear, to listenMatt. 11:15; 13:9; Rev. 2:7,11,17,29;

Sometimes people reject God’s messages/messengers   Matt. 23:31,37; Acts 7:51-53


God will honor those who honor Him – the Covenant relationship

            Exodus 19-20; Deut. 28

            The covenant says, If you will . . .  then I will.  If you do not . . . then I will not do.

God emphasizes fear in the covenant relationship (Jer. 5:22; Ex. 20:18-21)

It is no minor significance that when God first gave His people the privilege of entering a covenant relationship with Him, He deliberately gave it in a way as to create fear in Him.

 The loss of the fear of Holy God – is nearly always at the root of all sin, even in our own day.  When God’s people lose their fear of God, they lose their fear of sin.  When they lose their fear of sin, they depart from God and become of little use to God.  Then God sets out, in mercy, to discipline them so they will return to their covenant with Him.  Once Israel agreed to this covenant, God held them accountable to their promise.  Theirs now was a life of faith.  This has always been God’s way.  – Henry Blackaby

What happens when our hearts turn away?  (Deut. 30:17; Is. 29:13; Matt. 15:8-9)

* We no longer hear Him.                  
* We no longer experience His manifest presence.
* We no longer obey Him.                 
* We listen to other voices and follow them.
* We become hardened.
* We may still continue our outward allegiance to God through religious activity.

God’s people may try to continue an outward allegiance to God in spite of their hearts 

            Is. 29:13; Matt. 15:8-9; Mk. 7:6-7; Rev. 2:4

When we no longer obey, we have departed from our love relationship with God.  (Jn. 14:15,23-24)

God’s antidote for a departing heart is one word: “Repent”  (Ez. 18:31-32; Matt. 4:17)

            Repent is one of the most important words in the whole Bible.

             The Bible never talks of "rededication."  It speaks of repentance.  The basic message of Jesus, John the Baptizer, and the early apostles was "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."

Repentance brings us back to the covenant relationship where we can once again honor God and be    honored by Him, minister to God and receive His manifest presence, bless od and be blessed.

Repent is a positive - not a negative - word.

Honor Him or be lightly esteemed

For God to honor a person is incredible.  But for God to lightly esteem is a fearful statement.  It carries with it the withdrawal of the affirming presence of God.  It means His blessings are now withheld, including protection, provision, and victory. 

John Piper wrote, “God’s own glory is uppermost in His own affections. In everything He does, His purpose is to preserve and display that glory. To say His glory is uppermost in His own affections means that He puts a greater value on it than on anything else. He delights in His glory above all things… God’s overwhelming passion is to exalt the value of His glory. To that end He seeks to display it, to oppose those who belittle it, and to vindicate it from all contempt” (Desiring God, p. 43).

Sources Used: Chosen to Be God's Prophet by Henry Blackaby

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