When the book of Exodus opens, we are told that the children of Israel “were fruitful and increased greatly” (Exodus 1:7). This is on the heels of the text telling us there were only about 70 family members who came to Egypt to live under Joseph’s care. Even after Israel was enslaved, it happened that, “the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad” (1:12).
At first glance, this may seem like a relatively innocuous detail, not pointing to much but Pharaoh’s fear of their numbers. It is, however, a powerful reminder that God has been at work fulfilling his promises for generations. All the way back in Genesis 15:5, God promised Abraham that his children would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. That promise was hard to believe at the time, Abraham had no children, but Abraham did believe. And God did fulfill his promise.
Between Abraham and Exodus chapter 1, there are many reasons to believe the promise would not be fulfilled. God calls on Abraham to sacrifice his only son, only to save him at the very moment when Abraham was ready to plunge the knife. Jacob, Isaac’s heir, is exiled and returns under the shadow of conflict with his brother. The sons of Jacob sell Joseph into slavery. But through it all there is a golden thread that cannot be broken by the corrosive effects of human sin: God made a promise to Abraham and God will always do what he said he would do.
God makes covenants he will complete. While covenants are two-sided agreements, and we spoil our commitment with our sin, God’s will and power are greater than our inevitable unfaithfulness.
God has made a new covenant with his children. This one is established by the body and the blood of his son, Jesus Christ. This is his covenant “for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28). This is the ultimate expression of a covenant made by God on his own terms that benefits people who can do nothing to be worthy of it. All of us are sinners and none of us are righteous. God, however, has the power and the desire to fulfill the covenant established by the cross and tomb of Christ. Believe in him and have everlasting life.
Take comfort. Your salvation does not rely on your strength of character or any talent you possess. It relies on trusting in the God who always fulfills every promise.
While covenants are two-sided agreements, and we spoil our commitment with our sin, God’s will and power are greater than our inevitable unfaithfulness.Tweet