“And He said: ‘Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.’ ” Exodus 34:10
What is a covenant?
A covenant is all the promises, conditions, rules, blessings and penalties that govern a relationship between two or more parties.
The most important aspect of the definition that I just gave you is the fact that there is a relationship. Without that one essential reality all the rest has no purpose or meaning because there isn’t any context in which it could have purpose or meaning.
What did Israel have to do for God to offer to renew his covenant with them?
They had to repent of their hard-heartedness and turn their hearts in worship towards God.
Their recent history with God was all lop sided. God, and Moses, were almost exclusively occupying the faithful side of the relationship and the rest of the people were settled into the side where there was dissatisfaction, complaints, and rebellion.
Twice God had demonstrated his ability and willingness to protect them from their enemies, twice he’d miraculously provided them with water, twice he’d provided them with food. His presence was continually before them and his blessings sustained them every moment of every day. In return they complained about every trial and difficulty as if they expected that they would die as a result of it and when there came a time when they hadn’t seen Moses, the human face of God’s leadership in their lives, for several weeks they completely fell apart, apostatizing and turning to the worship of idols at the foot of Mt. Sinai, where the cloud of God’s presence could be clearly seen.
If it were us, under these circumstances, we’d have been looking for a bit more assurance of stability for our relationship, more of a down payment, more collateral, if you will, to give us some sort of guarantee that the road ahead would be different. But God never asks for what we cannot give. We can’t give him any guarantees. We can only give him an honest confession and sincere repentance and worship today and that’s all he asks for or requires to begin again.
We’re helpless to give any more without him in our lives. He will end up asking for more from us but that all comes after he’s once again the focus of our living. Do you desire what God has to give? Do you want to be able to return grateful service back to him for all the service he’s done for you? Turn to him today and give to him the worship and repentance you can give. He’ll accept it and he’ll supply the rest.