Know: The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them. (Psalm 25:14)
Consider: What comforts you when you’re afraid? God’s Word reminds us that some look to their wisdom or strength or riches (Psalm 20:7; Jeremiah 9:23) Linus even looked to his blanket. But God comforts and protects the Body of Christ by wrapping them in His covenant (Genesis 15). What is a covenant and what’s so special about a covenant that the Lord God makes it the foundation of His friendship?
A covenant is a solemn promise, like marriage, yet God bases His covenant love for us on the basis of His perfection and faithfulness, not ours. Maybe a more familiar image will clarify the picture and power of a covenant.
Our family recently moved to Maryland for my next duty assignment. After much prayer and searching for our next home, the Lord led us to a house that answered our deepest desires. It’s zoned for a great high school for our teens, close to a wonderful church, spacious enough to host new friends for Bible studies and fellowship, and priced low enough to resource the other prayer requests above. It’s just a bonus that it’s also in a beautiful neighborhood. It seemed perfect – for about a week.
A few days after we moved in, we were driving home from the grocery store and were less than 100 yards from home when we were struck by one of the saddest sights I’ve ever seen: a family was being evicted.
All of their belongings had been stacked head-high and haphazardly in two piles from the curb all the way to the front door where a posted sign warned against re-entry. What seemed to be collection agents were putting some of the more valuable items in trucks. An elderly lady holding a baby and a middle aged couple were standing in that narrow path between the piles looking around as if to say, “what now?” Within hours other people were picking through their possessions as a light rain began to fall on the remaining furniture, children’s clothes and family photos. The family had promised to pay a debt they could not pay.
But what if the scene wasn’t an eviction? What if it had actually been the home of the banker who was voluntarily sacrificing everything he held precious to the collectors in order to free the guilty family forever?
In the culture of Old Testament times, people making a covenant with one another would normally walk a narrow path together between two piles of their prized possessions: slaughtered animals (Jeremiah 34:18-20) Their action indicated that “if either of us violates our relationship, the guilty person will become as these animals!” But when God cut the covenant with Abram in Genesis 15, Abram doesn’t walk through the pieces. God put him in a deep sleep and only the Lord passed between the pieces. If either of them violates the covenant, He will give His life!
Remembering (and relying upon) God’s covenant love for us and covenant friendship with us helps us fight our fears because our earthly and eternal security rests in One who is trustworthy and true. Take comfort in God’s covenant!
Key Concept: [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][tweetthis]Exchange your fleece of fear for God’s security blanket of unfailing friendship! [/tweetthis]
This Week’s Faith-Over-Fear Challenge: It’s the nature of our fallen flesh to fear that we aren’t good enough for God to love us. And that’s true! But God comforts and protects His people by the grace and power of His death in our place. This week, meditate on the practical implications of God putting Abram to sleep and passing through the pieces Himself in Genesis 15.
Questions for Discussing & Journaling:
- What worldly security tempts you most (money, health care, home ownership)?
- What is a covenant?
- How can understanding God’s covenant bring us more godly fear and joy?
- Is it contradictory for God to be our Friend and King? Explain by Scripture.
Continue Bible Memory & Daily Homework:
Day 1: The Psalms can be powerful tools to help us relate honestly to God and increase our reliance upon His covenant love and friendship. Today read Psalm 25 and work on memorizing Psalm 25:14.
Day 2: Psalm 34 is arguably one of the best passages of Scripture to help us understand God’s kindness toward us, which can put our fears to flight. Today’s homework (and this week’s “creative component”) is to make a bookmark of Psalm 34 and tuck it into your Bible to use with homework in Days 3-5.
Day 3: Read Psalm 34 and fill in the blanks:
Psalm 34 reminds us that a friend of God values _________________.
Psalm 34 reminds us that that a friend of God believes ______________________.
Day 4: Read Psalm 34 and fill in the blanks:
Psalm 34 reminds us that that a friend of God has relationships with___________.
Psalm 34 reminds us that that a friend of God acts _________________________.
Psalm 34 reminds us that a friend of God feels ___________________.
Day 5: Read Psalm 34 and respond by writing a “song” of praise of your own.
Creative Component (Pin it!): Make a bookmark of Psalm 34. Post your ideas in the comment section below or your photos on the Planting Roots Facebook page!
Submitted by Jeff Dillard[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]