FROM "THE LEATHER JOURNAL": "THE LORD KEEPS COVENANT WITH HIS PEOPLE"
"The Lord Keeps His Covenant"
(used by permission)
Please enjoy The Gospel as found in Dr. Phil Newton’s “The Leather Journal.” Phil is the co-pastor of South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. Other sermons can be heard at https://www.southwoodsbc.org/. Stop by and check them out! This is a service of https://www.invertedchristian.com/
“I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations. . . . My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, and in My name his horn will be exalted” (Psalm 89:3–4; 24).
David succeeded where Saul failed as king, but not because of particular worth in David. Rather, David succeeded by the covenant faithfulness of the Lord. He was king due to the Lord’s purposes and faithfulness. His kingship continued because of the Lord’s covenant mercies (“lovingkindness”). The Lord was with him. The Lord lifted up his authority (“his horn”) that he might shepherd the people of Israel.
This covenant, though, met with lots of tests. Solomon began well but floundered as he fell into idolatry due to his foreign wives. Rehoboam, his son, listened to the counsel of his youthful colleagues while spurning the wise counsel of the elders of Israel. The kingdom split as a result. Under his reign, the kingdom of Judah (his part of the divided kingdom) built worship places, altars, and shrines to pagan gods, following their sordid and immoral worship. His son Abijam did as his father. Asa followed Abijam and turned from his father’s and grandfather’s poor examples, removing idols and cult prostitutes. Jehoshaphat (I love that name!) followed his father in honoring the Lord except that he lacked discernment. He ended up joining forces with the wicked king of Israel to the harm of the nation. His son, Jehoram, took up with the ways of the house of wicked Ahab of Israel, having married one of Ahab’s daughters. At times like this when reading the narrative (Kings and Chronicles), one wonders if God’s promise could ever come through!
Jehoram’s son Ahaziah had a short, one-year reign, ended quickly by a bowshot from Jehu who brought divine judgment on Ahab’s house. Ahaziah’s godless mother, Athaliah, granddaughter of another of Israel’s wicked kings, Omri, took over the throne, following in the same path as Israel. She went so far as to kill all of the royal descendants! But by God’s mercy, Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, took a lone son of the king, Joash, and hid him from Athaliah for six years. As a boy, he was crowned king and Athaliah executed. He did well until his uncle by marriage who had trained him in the things of the Lord, died. Then he turned from the Lord. His son Amaziah followed the Lord to some degree. His son Uzziah did much more so, as did Uzziah’s son Jotham. But Ahaz followed, walking in evil and idolatry. Hezekiah followed him, trusting the Lord as none had done before him. Unfortunately, his son Manasseh and grandson Amon—the next successors, followed a tortuous, wicked path. Then came Josiah, crowned as an eight-year old and faithful until death. His sons, Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim did evil, as did Zedekiah who followed them. Judah fell into the hands of Babylon and went into exile.
All seemed hopeless. But the Lord kept His covenant. The angel announced to Mary 600 years later, “And the Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” He reigns!