Sermon #45 Exodus Series
Title: Seven Covenant Promises
Text: Exodus 6:6-8
Date: Tuesday Evening — April 3, 2007
Tape # Exodus 45
Readings: Bob Duff and David Burge
When I am discouraged because of some pressing distress, or cast down by the leanness of my own soul, when I am brought low by Satan’s assaults, my own barrenness of heart, or the circumstances in which I find myself, nothing is more refreshing to my soul in these times of trial and temptation than the blessed assurance of covenant grace. Like David, when he was about to die, I find strength for my soul and joy for my heart, when I can find joy and strength nowhere else, in God’s covenant grace and the stedfast and sure promises of that covenant (2 Samuel 23:5).
(2 Samuel 23:1-5) “Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, (2) The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. (3) The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. (4) And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. (5) Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”
I had planned to preach to you tonight from Exodus 7; but I want us to take one more look at chapter 6. I believe the Lord has given me a message for you. The title of my message is Seven Covenant Promises. Our text will be verses 6-8.
(Exodus 6:6-8) “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: (7) And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (8) And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.”
Here the God of heaven speaks of himself as the covenant God of his people. He encourages us to rest our souls upon him, to trust him implicitly, by reminding us of our covenant relationship with him and of his covenant promises to us. The covenant of grace, so frequently portrayed in the covenants God made with his ancient people, is now confirmed to us and sealed in the blood of Christ and by the gracious operations of his Holy Spirit in us. And that which the Divine Writer of this blessed Book has said by his servant John (1 John 5:13) applies to this revelation of his covenant promises. — “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” As Robert Hawker stated, “We can never trust ourselves too little, nor our God too much.”
Our text begins with the word “wherefore,” indicating that everything to follow is directly connected with that which has just been stated. Here are four reasons the Lord our God gives for us to believe the promises he has made. — Imagine that! The God of all grace stoops to reason with us. He whose name is Faithful and True stoops to give us reasons to believe his promises!
1. In verse 3 the Lord God pins his name to the promises he gives in verses 6-8. — He who is God Almighty (El-Shaddai), Jehovah, the one and only God, who is our Savior and Redeemer pins the honor of his name upon the fulfillment of his covenant.
2. In verse 4 he declares, “I have established my covenant with them.” It is, as David said, ordered in all things and sure, because it is God’s covenant. It is a covenant God has established. And it is a covenant God has established with his people.
· By His Decree from Eternity
· By the Death of Christ
· By the Seal of His Spirit
3. Then, in verse 5, the Lord God declares, “I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel.”
Our God is never ignorant of our needs. Our Father’s ear is always open to our cries. Not only that, he hears our groans. Every tear we shed, he records in a book of remembrance (Psalm 56:8). He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities and sympathizes with our groans. He who hears the cries of the young ravens and responds to their cries in pity (Psalm 147:9), will hear your groans, my brother, and your heart pains, my sister, even when you cannot put your cries into words.
4. “And,” in the last line of verse 5, the Jehovah our God, the Almighty, the Triune God declares, “I have remembered my covenant.” — We may often forget his covenant; but he never does! He is “ever be mindful of his covenant” (Psalm 111:5). Therefore he is ever “mindful of us” (Psalm 115:12).
In the light of these four facts, let us hear and believe the seven covenant promises our God gives in verses 6-8. I do not make as much of the numbers used in Scripture as some; but it is obvious that some numbers are used in Scripture for specific purposes.
1. The number 3 seems to refer to God (The Three-in-One Jehovah) and Life. — On the third day God caused the earth to bring forth life everywhere (Genesis 1:11-13).
2. The number 6 is used repeatedly for man. — Man was created on the sixth day (Genesis 1:26-31). Six is the number of man, the number of weakness, frustration, and failure. The number of the beast is 666. And the Lord God appointed six cities of refuge for men.
3. The number 7 speaks of redemption, grace, perfection, completion and rest. — There were seven appointed feast to be kept annually in the Old Testament. — The sabbath day was the seventh day. — The year of Jubilee to be kept every 50th year, after every seven weeks of years.
4. And the promises of the covenant are repeatedly set before us as seven promises, that indicates that the covenant of redemption and grace is perfect and complete. It is a covenant that brings rest. It is the Jubilee covenant of God’s Israel.
In Exodus 6, the Lord God specifically tells us, in verse 3, that the covenant promises of verses 6-8 are the very promises he made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Genesis 17. There God made seven distinct promises to Abraham.
1. “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful” (Genesis 17:6).
2. “And I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee” (Genesis 17:6)
3. “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Genesis 17:7).
4. “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8).
5. “And I will be their God” (Genesis 17:8).
6. “And I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him” (Genesis 17:19).
7. “My covenant I will establish with Isaac” (Genesis 17:21)
These promises are given again in Jeremiah 31, where God describes the “new covenant” (31:31) of grace by which he saves his elect. Again, the promises of the covenant are specifically set before us under the number of perfection, grace, completion and rest.
1. “After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts” (Jeremiah 31:33)
2. “And write it in their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33).
3. “And will be their God” (Jeremiah 31:33).
4. “And they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33).
5. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:34).
6. “And I will forgive their iniquity” (Jeremiah 31:34).
7. “And I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).
Now, let’s look at the seven covenant promises of our God in Exodus 6:6-8. These are God’s promises to his elect. They are the sure and certain promises of his free grace in Christ, covenant promises that come to us by the merit of Christ’s shed blood, “the blood of the everlasting covenant.”
“Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord.” — He is eternal in his being, immutable in his counsels and faithful to his covenant. He is able to fulfil his promises. He can be trusted to do what he has purposed.
1. Deliverance — The Lord God has promised to deliver his people from all their burdens. — “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (v. 6).
You may think nothing of this promise who know nothing of Egypt’s burdens. But to weary, heavy-laden sinners, crushed beneath the load of sin and shame, better news can never be heard than this. — “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians!” If ever you are brought so low before God that you cry, like Job, “My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul” (10:1), you will rejoice to hear the God of all grace speak of sure deliverance.
(Job 16:6-7) “Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased? (7) But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.”
(Job 16:12) “I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.”
(Job 16:21) “O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!”
Truly, “This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest” (Isaiah 28:12). — God himself declares, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians!” What burdens? The burdens of…
· Guilt and Sin.
(Matthew 11:28-30) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
2. Liberty — The Lord God has promised to give the burdened soul in bondage the blessed liberty of grace. — “And I will rid you out of their bondage” (v. 6).
Israel in Egypt was in bondage, heavy, oppressive bondage. But the Lord God promised to rid them of Egypt’s bondage completely. And you and I were, by nature in bondage in Egypt, in cruel bondage, under the heavy, oppressive yoke of the law.
Just as Pharaoh required Israel to make bricks without straw, the law requires us to produce righteousness but gives us no aid, offers us no assistance. But just as the Lord God made a complete riddance of Israel’s bondage to Pharaoh’s yoke of bondage, our Lord Jesus Christ has made a complete riddance of our bondage by fulfilling all the law’s demands as our Substitute (Romans 8:1-4; 10:4; Galatians 5:1-4).
(Romans 8:1-4) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
(Romans 10:4) “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
(Galatians 5:1-4) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
The law demands we pay our debt.
(Justice cannot forgive one cent.)
But grace points to the Lamb of God,
And says our debt He paid with blood.
The law provokes and stirs up sin,
And makes more hard the hearts of men;
But grace, (Almighty grace!), imparts
Life and melts rebel sinners’ hearts.
“Go, do the work,” the law demands;
Yet gives me neither feet nor hands.
But grace the gospel’s good news brings,
Says, “Fly to Christ,” and gives me wings!
With wings of love and wings of faith,
Sinners awakened from their death,
Fly to the throne of grace and see
God in His Son is all mercy!
My soul, on wings of faith, now fly,
And soar aloft to God on High.
Faint not, nor falter in the race;
But run, and work, and sing, “FREE GRACE!”
3. Redemption — This deliverance and liberty comes to us freely by the gift of grace; but it was obtained for us at a very great cost. It is deliverance and liberty bestowed upon us by redemption, redemption by power and by justice. — “And I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments” (v. 6).
The Lord God redeems his elect experimentally by the power of his omnipotent, irresistible grace in regeneration and effectual calling, giving life to the dead (Ephesians 2:1-9).
(Ephesians 2:1-9) “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
But we could never have been redeemed by the power of our Savior’s out-stretched arm of grace, had he not redeemed us “with great judgments,” when he stretched out his arms upon the cursed tree as the Lamb of God, our sin-atoning Sacrifice.
(Romans 3:24-28) “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (27) Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. (28) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
4. Acceptance — The Lord God has promised to give his chosen everlasting acceptance with him. — “And I will take you to me for a people” (v. 7).
But have we not been accepted in Christ from eternity? Indeed, we have (Ephesians 1:3-6). Yet, God promises to make each of his chosen accepted. How can both things be true? The fact is, all that God promised he will do for us in time, in the experience of grace, he has done for us from eternity in Christ our Surety. Let me show you that in the Book.
(Romans 8:28-31) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
(Ephesians 1:3-7) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
5. Knowledge — Next, the Lord God promises that the experience of his grace comes to us by knowing him. — “And I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God” (v. 7).
Salvation is knowing him (John 17:3). And the only way we can know him is by him revealing himself to us (2 Corinthians 4:6).
(John 17:3) “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
(2 Corinthians 4:6) “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
This is not a bare promise of factual knowledge. The Lord God promises that all who are his shall be made to know that he is theirs! What can be sweeter than the knowledge that Christ is my God, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Righteousness and my Salvation?
(Romans 9:25-28) “As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. (26) And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. (27) Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: (28) For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.”
(Jeremiah 9:23-24) “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: (24) But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
6. Rest — Then, the Lord God promises to give his chosen rest, blessed, sweet rest in Christ. — “Ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (v. 7).
When the Lord God grants faith in Christ, he gives rest to the weary. This is that blessed rest that was portrayed in the legal, typical sabbath days of Old Testament.
· Rest from Labor.
· Rest from Fear
· Rest from Enemies — “For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year” (Exodus 34:24).
· Joyful, Jubilee Rest
Remember, the sabbath was for Israel alone. — Christ our Sabbath belongs to none but God’s elect; and all God’s elect find rest in him (Hebrews 4:3-10).
(Hebrews 4:3-10) “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. (4) For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. (5) And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. (6) Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: (7) Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (8) For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. (9) There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.”
(Colossians 2:16) “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.”
If ever you find rest in Christ our Sabbath, you will “call the Sabbath a delight” (Isaiah 58:13), no longer doing your own ways, serving the pleasures and lusts of the flesh, and observing the laws of men, but honoring him alone as your Savior (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
(1 Corinthians 1:30-31) “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
7. Inheritance — The Lord God has sworn and promised, in the covenant ordered in all things and sure before the world was made, that he will give his chosen an everlasting inheritance. That inheritance that is ours in Christ was typified by the land of Canaan. — “And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did sware to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage: I am the Lord” (v. 8).
Not only did the Lord bring his people out of the land of bondage, he brought them into the land he had sworn to give unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were not consumed by the Amalekites (Exodus 17). — Though Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, gathered all their people together and went out against Israel (Numbers 21), — though Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel, — no weapon formed against them could prosper. The Lord God who made the promise performed it; and Israel came into and possessed the promised land.
So it shall be with us! The Lord Jesus Christ shall, at last, bring every chosen, blood-bought sinner safely into Heaven’s everlasting glory. The world, the flesh, and the Devil may array themselves against us, but not one sheep of Christ shall perish. We shall, every one of us, possess that blessed land of promise “for an heritage” by the free gift of free grace.
· All shall possess it completely.
· All shall possess it freely.
· All shall possess it forever.
(Romans 8:16-18) “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (17) And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (18) For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Did you notice, as we read these seven covenant promises, that each promise is prefaced by two infinitely precious words? — “I will.” The Lord God declares, “I am the Lord. I will bring you out. I will rid you. I will redeem you!”
Be sure you do not fail to observe that the Lord’s first words in this string of promises were, “I am the LORD” (v. 6). And his last words are “I am the LORD” (v. 8). That is because the whole thing is God’s doing, not man’s. He who is our Savior is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. And in the whole business of salvation he is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
Let our hearts reply, “O Lord, do as you have said.” And I pray, oh, I pray that he may give us grace to believe to believe him (1 John 5:10-11).
(1 John 5:10-11) “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. (11) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
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