Friday, 17 November 2017

Light the Red Candle ~ Ganeida.

For a greater understanding of covenant you are referred here, though we will be looking @ this story again when we come to the Abramic covenant.

As we consider Hannukah please remember the idea behind the festivals is not new revelation ~ though we may receive that~ it is to remember.

We sing:
Though the world sees and soon forgets
We will not forget who you are and what you've done for us
what you've done for us [Jesus Culture]

We remind ourselves what God has done for us!

These are the things I would like to remind you of before we begin:

·      In each instance it is God making the covenant & He says: I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. Malachai 3:6

·      Covenants are legal contracts & as such are absolutely binding.  Once entered into they cannot be altered or changed in any way. Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the LORD, the First and the Last. I alone am he.  Isaiah 41:4

·      The end purpose of all God’s covenants is restoration For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. But with eager hope the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. Romans 8:19~21

·      Each & every covenant is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding "Yes!" And through Christ, our "Amen" (which means "Yes") ascends to God for His glory.

And so we light our first candle. Red.  The covenant with Adam. The Light is separated from the darkness.

Genesis says that God created the heavens & the earth & the earth was chaotic, dark, empty. Then God said, Let there be light… Isn’t that interesting? 1 John 1:5 says: This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. God brings light: the light of revelation; the light of wisdom; the light of salvation. Remember, we have studied the Hebrew of the opening sentence of Genesis & understand that the cross was laid @ the very foundation of the world ~ something the New Testament reminds us of in Revelation 13:8.

In this world God planted the garden we call Eden & He created a custodian to look after this garden. Note Adam was placed in the garden to tend & care for it but his mandate from God was to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth & govern it: shomer, someone entrusted with the custody & care of another’s possession, so he was meant to do this from the garden but something went wrong. He & Eve sinned.

Sin has consequences. By sin death came into the world, both physical death & spiritual death. It cost them a life where everything was provided for them.  It cost them marital harmony. It cost them ease of childbirth & sibling harmony but in amongst it all is the promise: I will cause hostility between you & the woman & between your offspring & her offspring. He will strike your head & you shall strike his heel. We know from Genesis 1:1 & from Revelation [13:8] restoration was already provided for but now God has spoken it forth. Here begins the epic battle between God & satan for the possession of man’s soul.

As Numbers 23:19 reminds us:
God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
Adam died without seeing the promise fulfilled.

The world carried on & the seed of sin grew until God flooded the earth but God did not forget His promise. There is a short account in Numbers 21:4~9.

The Israelites have come out of Egypt & have been wandering around in the wilderness for some time & they’ve had a gut~ful. They complained long & loud ~ against Moses.  Against God: There’s nothing to eat!  There’s nothing to drink.  We hate manna! They were very ungrateful. They got poisonous snakes for their trouble.  Many were bitten & died.

They came to Moses & confessed their sin & God instructed Moses to make a bronze snake & hang it on a pole so that all who looked upon it would be healed.

Have you ever tried to hang a snake on a pole? I tell you, it can’t be done.  My sons were notorious for bringing me dead snakes, occasionally live ones, & snakes are slithery, slippery creatures that slide off sticks! However, if you put a cross piece on your pole you can drape your snake with some hope he’ll stay put. Or you can nail your snake to a pole.  Either way it is a picture of sin being nailed to the cross, of Christ bearing our iniquities & bringing our healing. I believe this is what Moses did because John 3:14 tells us: And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up

The promise came to fruition in another garden, on another tree & satan was defeated.

John 1:3~ 5 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
From the moment God first spoke into creation He dissipated darkness & brought light because all darkness is, is the absence of light.

Scripture contains greater & greater revelation of the nature & character of God until He reveals Himself in the person of Jesus Christ who enjoins us to:
Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light." After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them. John 12:36

This is the first promise, the promise of restoration.  It was made to the first woman. At that point @ which she bit into the fruit of the knowledge of good & evil, God’s glory departed.  Without God we stand naked & ashamed & the only clothing that can cover our shame & nakedness is the clothing God Himself provides.  Adam & Eve were provided with skins but Jesus clothes us with His own righteousness.

Up until the moment they sinned Adam & Eve had not known pain, or want, sickness or death. All is provided in Jesus Christ.  As the children of Israel were commanded to look upon the bronze snake & be healed, we look to the one God lifted up, in whom all the promises are yes & amen.

There is a beautiful symmetry to everything God does. As the tree brought a curse through Eve so were those who were hung on a tree cursed

…the body must not remain hanging from the tree overnight. You must bury the body that same day, for anyone who is hung is cursed in the sight of God. In this way, you will prevent the defilement of the land the LORD your God is giving you as your special possession.  Deuteronomy 21:23

That is no longer so because Jesus took it all upon Himself: the curse of the land, the curse of sin, the curse upon mankind. 

Colossians 1:19~20
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross.

All we have to do is reach out & claim it.
This promise is fulfilled for satan was defeated on the cross but we are still waiting the completion of the promise when satan is removed completely from his position of usurpation of those God chose to govern & the governance of the earth will be returned to us. Revelation 5:10

We have been promised so much.  It can be difficult to hold it all in remembrance but God doesn’t have our problem. He doesn’t forget.

Psalm 89:34
My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.

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