Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 6 February 2017

And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:  “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’”  Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.  Hebrews 7, verses 20-22.

Zero in on that last sentence.   “Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.”   God swore an oath on Himself.   There is no higher guarantee possible.   Nowhere in the universe can you find a surer promise than one God makes and swears by Himself.   It WILL happen.   Nothing can deny it, nothing can stop it, nothing can change it.  When God says He loves you, He loves you unquestionably.   When God says He will provide for you, He will ALWAYS provide for you.   When God says He forgives you, He completely and fully forgives you in every way He promises.  When God guarantees the better covenant of His salvation, it is permanently guaranteed.

Just last week He proved it again to me.   He didn’t need to prove it, but He did.   You’ll recall in the last proverbial how I confessed my bitterness against my former employer.  I’ve been out of a full-time job, and I’ve felt deep anger over it.   I was working part-time in a new job but it wasn’t getting us by.   It seemed like a waste of their time and mine, and I was beginning to feel despondent.  Through all of my sin, God still promised “I love you, I will provide for you, I forgive you, trust Me and Me alone.”   I never doubted that, but I also never fully surrendered to it either…until I did.

You can’t make this stuff up.  That was Thursday.   Friday morning I went back to my part-time job which had been challenging me all week.  And Friday morning I was supposed to have heard news from a recruiter, news about a new position; I didn’t.   By noon, still nothing.  It was deeply disappointing, and I didn’t want to stay with the call center.   I sat there thinking of anything I could do to change the situation, but there was nothing…nothing except God.  About 1:30 or so I finally made peace with Him.  More appropriately, I surrendered to His will.   I silently prayed “if this is where you want me, Lord, I’ll give it my all.   I’ll give it my best.   I’ll do whatever You want me to do here.”   It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was what God wanted.   He had me where He had me for a reason and He would never let me down even when He provided what I didn’t expect.  Not five minutes later, I got the call about the new job and accepted it.

Stop right here for a gut check.   This isn’t some prosperity gospel; this isn’t some “God will be good to if you only do X, Y or Z.”  That kind of thing is a lie.   God isn’t a wishing well.   God isn’t some Pavlov trainer where if you give him a prayer He gives you a treat.  God chose to bless me by answering a prayer on HIS schedule, HIS way, not mine.   He could just as well have not given me what I wanted.   He could keep me there; He could send me where He wanted to.   I don’t start the new job for a week or more, and it could indeed turn out that the new job is a bust, or a harder challenge, or a path to more unemployment.   That doesn’t matter.   What does matter is that a man surrendered his will to his God, and His God always kept His promises.   God had kept His promise even before I realized it.   He always had.  God had been providing for me all along.   God had loved me all along.   God had blessed me where He had me even before the job search started.

All that is because God swore by Himself that He would always be God.   He then proved it by sending the God-man, His son Jesus, as our only Savior and as the true priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.   I don’t deserve it; neither do you.   We’ve never done anything to earn it or deserve it or make it happen…but God did.   He did it because He’s God.   We aren’t.

Sure, you can pooh-pooh all this.   You can say that my Indeed.com application was processed and that my new employer and I negotiated an arrangement.   You can insist it was all started as coincidental, and that we engineered the outcome we desired.   You can say those things and I’ll even listen to them, perhaps even find a few grains of truth in them.   Then I’ll tell you that my God is bigger than all those explanations.   He’s bigger than a job, or a website, or some process, or anything you or I could engineer here on the Third Rock.  God is bigger than us, or our emotions, or our plans, or anything we can conceive.   And He’s pure love.   His pure love is guaranteed by the better covenant that He Himself engineered on our behalf.

For further reading:   Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Malachi 3:6, Romans 11:29, Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5:6, Luke 22:20.

My Lord and my God, You alone are God.   You alone are good, and You alone saved me.   Thank You forever for that, and for providing for me, and for giving me what I don’t deserve.

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