Illustration from the Nuremberg Chronicle of the destruction of Jerusalem under the Babylonian rule
By Pastor Glem Melo
Today at Kagay-an Reformed Church:
GOD GOES TO COURT WITH HIS COVENANT-BREAKING CHILDREN
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the LORD has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. (Isaiah 1:2-4)
- In the covenant, a legal father-children relationship is established between God and His people.
- In the covenant, God and His people are legally obligated to mutual love, loyalty and faithfulness.
- Covenant-breaking incurs covenant wrath.
“The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem” in A.D. 70, by David Roberts (1850)
God condemns covenant rebellion and evildoing, and He is faithful in visiting covenant breakers with His covenant wrath. Yet through it all, He continues to fulfill His gospel promises. Unstoppably, YAHWEH the Great I AM executes His plan of salvation.
Without Christ’s death and resurrection, all we get in the covenant is God’s wrath, i.e. the just execution of His covenant sanctions. On the cross, Christ our representative and substitute suffered the penalty of God’s covenant wrath. Because of His death and resurrection, we are free from hell and judgment, as the Savior Himself declares: “whoever believes in him is not condemned“ (John 3:18a).
“A covenant is a bond-in-blood. It involves commitments with life-and-death consequences. At the point of covenantal inauguration, the parties of the covenant are committed to one another by a formalizing process of blood-shedding. This blood-shedding represents the intensity of the commitment of the covenant. By the covenant they are bound for life and death.” – O. Palmer Robertson, The Christ of the Covenants
“The people had not been brought to reflection and repentance either by the riches of the divine goodness, which they had enjoyed in the time of Uzziah-Jotham, the copy of the times of David and Solomon, or by the chastisements of divine wrath, by which wound after wound was inflicted. The divine methods of education were exhausted, and all that now remained for Jehovah to do was to let the nation in its existing state be dissolved in fire, and to create a new one from the remnant of gold that stood the fiery test.” – Keil and Delitzsch
“There would be a purging of the nation because God is holy. Before the nation could inherit the promises made to the fathers, it would have to be made holy. So God would use the pagan nations to chasten Israel for its sins and cleanse it from iniquity. And even though the judgment of the captivity would punish sin and destroy the wicked unbelievers, the removal of iniquity would ultimately be the work of the Servant of the LORD, the promised Messiah.” – Allen Ross