What is a covenant? A covenant is a sacred contract. A covenant is a binding agreement. A covenant is an unfailing promise. God had made a covenant with His ancient people, and God has made a covenant with me and with you.
Several things I want you to see about the covenant, the promises of God.
The Promises of God Are for All Saints
First of all, they’re for all saints. Look in verse 7: “And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses,”—listen to this—“so I will be with thee.” (Joshua 3:7) Now the promises are for all saints. “Now, Joshua, I made some promises to Moses; but they’re just as good for you. As I was with Moses, I’ll be with you.”
Now, what’s the point? The promise did not die with Moses: Moses was dead. And the promises in the Bible did not die with the Bible saints. Do you know what some of us think? You think they were different than we are. For the Bible says Elijah was a man of like passions as we are. (James 5:17) Somehow we think they breathed different air. Somehow we think that God was more powerful or something in that day than in this day. Friend, the promises are for all saints.
One man picked up his wife’s Bible and saw that she’d underlined a lot of passages but didn’t seem to be putting them into practice. She was using them more as slogans than as promises. Do you do that? The man said to his wife, “Why do you call it shopping? You never buy anything.” You know, women do what they call window-shopping. She said, “Why do you call it fishing? You never catch anything.” Some people just sort of window-shop through the Bible. Do you ever window-shop through the Bible? “Oh, what a precious promise!” “Oh, that’s a lovely one!”
The Promises of God Are for All Seasons
Listen, friends. These promises are for you. They’re for all saints. And they’re for all seasons. “As I was with Moses, I’ll be with you.” (Joshua 3:7) And two thousand years has not eroded the promises away. Don’t you let them keep you from a promise.
The Promises of God Are for All Situations
And they’re for all situations. Now here’s the interesting thing. Moses had failed. Now, is Joshua going to say, “Because Moses failed, and Moses died on Mount Nebo, and Moses didn’t get to lead the children of Israel in, then I guess I’m going to have to fail, too”? No! If there are others that do not believe the promises of God, that’s no reason that you should not.
Friend, listen. Let Him guide you with His promises. They’re for all saints. They’re for all seasons. They’re for all situations. The main thing again: What you have to do is to understand that He’s made a promise to you—a covenant. “Well,” you say, “that was the covenant to Israel.” Yes, He’s given us a new covenant, a new covenant in His blood, which the book of Hebrews says is a better covenant. (Hebrews 12:24) And listen to Hebrews chapter 12, verse 2—listen to it. We are to be “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) Just as they were looking to the ark, we are to be looking to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, notice: not looking at Jesus, “looking unto Jesus.” What does it mean to look unto someone—to look unto Jesus? Well, suppose Mark here is a very wealthy man, and suppose I’m a beggar; and I’ve got some real problems, and I say, “Mark, I’m in serious difficulty.” And Mark says, “Pastor, look to me: I’ll take care of it. Look to me.” He doesn’t mean, “Look at me.” He means, “Depend upon me.” That’s what the Bible means when it says “looking unto Jesus.” (Hebrews 12:2) It doesn’t mean “looking at Jesus”; it means “depending upon the Lord Jesus Christ.” It is a word that means “to look away from everything else”—aphoraó—looking away from these two guys and looking to this man. It means “turning away from one thing to look at another.” That’s the way I am to live with my covenant-keeping God.
Adrian Rogers, “How to Arrive at Your Destination without a Map,” in Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust, 2017), Jos 3:3–13.
We have just released a new Bible Study based on the topic: The New Covenant.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
The New Covenant, Lesson #1
Jesus Institutes the New Covenant
Mark 14:17–25; Hebrews 8:6, 7, 10–12
The New Covenant, Lesson #2
Jesus Seals the New Covenant
Mark 15:6–15, 25, 26, 33–39
The New Covenant, Lesson #3
The New Covenant’s Sacrifice
The New Covenant, Lesson #4
Hearts United in Love
The New Covenant, Lesson #5
The New Covenant, Lesson #6
Fulfilling the Law
The New Covenant, Lesson #7
Love One Another
The New Covenant, Lesson #8
The New Covenant, Lesson #9
Matthew 7:1–6, 15–23
The New Covenant, Lesson #10
A Covenant Between Friends
1 Samuel 18:1–5; 19:1–7
The New Covenant, Lesson #11
A Mother-Daughter Covenant
Ruth 1:6–11, 14–18
The New Covenant, Lesson #12
A Covenant to Marry
The New Covenant, Lesson #13
A Covenant of Mutual Love