Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Covenant for Day and Night

 Jeremiah 33:20 “Thus says the LORD, ‘If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time,

Today we want to consider what the Bible calls: "the covenant for day and night."  God's creation is a covenant based work - meaning He has committed Himself to see it through to the end. (Romans 8:18-25)  The significance of this covenant lays the groundwork for the laws God wrote to govern our universe, life and humanity.  Just some thoughts below out of Jeremiah 33:20-26 reveal to us what God did in the creation of the heavens and the earth through this Covenant of "day and night".

1. God wrote the laws of creation.  Jeremiah 33:20 When God speaks about day and night's "appointed time", He is speaking literally about the sequence and regularity of the earth's rotation on its axis and its orbit around the sun.  Laws of gravity, mass, the speed at which the earth itself goes around the sun were taken into consideration.  The earth rotates at a rate of over 1,000 miles per hour, orbits the sun at over 60000 miles per hour and takes 365 1/4 days to make one orbit.  Not only that, but God also created the moon on the fourth day in Genesis 1, which we know from modern Astronomy functions to regulate the tides.  The moon, being roughly one quarter of the size of our planet, is some 240,000 miles away, orbiting our planet every 29 days.  The sizes and shapes of our planet and moon were factored into the processes that God made to sustain life on our world. 

2. God made the creation to have consistency.  Scientists call this feature of our physical laws "constants".  The laws governing the earth orbiting the Sun in an ellipitical orbit, which enables it to be closer to the sun in the summer months and further away from the sun in the winter months. 

3. God determined the size of our universe. Jeremiah 33:22 states - "As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’”  When you look at the creation account of Genesis 1:6-8, it speaks of Him creating an "expanse", a stretched canopy of atmosphere over our planet.  The idea of "stretching" our space is found over fifteen times in the Bible.  At this present moment, all Astronomers can do is estimate how many stars are in our universe:

a. The size of our universe is estimated to be over 70 billion light years across

b. Our own Milky Way Galaxy is estimated to be some 100,000 light years across. 

c. Estimates between 100 billion to 400 billion stars are given for the amount of stars in our Galaxy, with and estimated 100 billion galaxies stretched across our universe

d. Our sun, a medium size star, is gravitationally connected to 30,000 other stars in our particular portion of the Milky Way Galaxy. 

These numbers defy the human mind in terms of their sheer enormity.  The Bible is right, we cannot pin down the exact numbers.  Why so much? One answer - to put on display the glory of God! (Psalm 19:1-6)

4. God preserves the creation that He made. Jeremiah 33:25 tells us - 25“Thus says the LORD, ‘If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established. " The underlined word here in Jeremiah 33:25 is the same Hebrew word that we sometimes see translated elsewhere in scripture as "statutes" or "laws". (Psalm 119:23)  A statute is an instruction in God's Word that tells me "how I ought to live for God from day to day by means of His preserving grace".  Thus think of the "statutes" or physical constants as God instructing the universe on "how" to function under the Sovereign, providential work of preservation made possible by the direct supervision of God the Son. (Colossians 1:16-17)

When God completed the creation of the Heavens and the earth in six days, the Bible says He "rested", meaning He established Himself as King over all he had made.  All of the laws, constants and sizes of things went from being created to regulated - preserved.  Thus God is no longer creating things, rather He is, through God the Son, preserving and sustaining all He has made. (1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16-17). 

Application - The Principles of Creation also carry over into how the Lord deals with His people.
In citing this covenant of "day and night", Jeremiah is using it to illustrate two covenants that He made with His people in the Old Testament - The Covenants with Abraham and David.  Note how the principles above tie into and correspond to how God deals with believers on a daily basis:

1. God wrote His will down for our lives in the words of scripture.  (Deuteronomy 29:29)  God's Word is reliable, and His promises sure.  Just as His promises to the Jewish people will be fulfilled (the main point of Jeremiah 33 in evoking the covenant of "day and night"), so it is concerning the promises of God to believer's living life here in the 21st century. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

2. God's Word is the constant for the Christian, providing the means by which to regulate and maintain our Christian growth. (2 Timothy 3:17)

3. Jesus Christ is the author and Finisher of the Christian's faith.  He determines which trials will enter into our lives to test and grow us, and what blessings to remind us of His great love for us. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

4. The Lord is preserving the believer until the day of Christ's appearing.  A Christian is defined as a new created creature at salvation. (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Following the miracle of regeneration at faith and repentance, the ongoing growth in Christ is what we call sanctification.  God the Holy Spirit is preserving us as we go through process.  All true Christians will make it, will persevere and be presented faultless and blameless before His throne with great joy. (Jude 24-25)

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