The Value of a Covenant With God
John G. Lake
I want to bring you some of the facts of Scripture that bear on the value of a covenant with God. I shall use as my subject Exodus 15:26. God calls His people into a special relationship with Himself. God binds Himself by covenants, and a covenant is more than a contract. A contract is an agreement between two parties. A covenant is more. For instance the State of South Carolina grants no divorce upon this ground. Marriage is not a legal contract in the state of South Carolina. It is a covenant. They explain a covenant like this. A man and woman have covenanted with Almighty God to live together as man and wife. At a later time the man and woman may change their minds, but the law holds that God, being a party to that covenant, does not change His mind. Hi is the first party, the man and the woman the second party. One party alone cannot break the agreement. The covenant must be dissolved by both parties.
Beloved, I want you to see that God is a party in the Covenant of Healing. It is an eternal arrangement, eternally binding. God entered into covenant with man when the Children of Israel were formed into a nation after their escape from the land of Egypt. He made the arrangements for the acceptance of other people who were not Israelites to be received into the nation under certain conditions. The party thus wanting to be related to Israel and become a part of it, would have to subscribe to the terms of the original covenant God made with Abraham. Exodus 12:48-49.
We find instances in which there was a violation of a covenant, and we notice the far-reaching consequences. The sons of Jacob covenanted with the Shechemites to give their sisters to the prince, Shechem, in marriage. The covenant was sealed by the rite of circumcision. But instead of adhering to the covenant, Levi and Simeon in the anger of their soul took their swords and slew all the males in the city of Shechem and robbed them of their possessions. The result of this act was to bring the brothers under the judgment of God. Old Jacob prophesying in the Spirit, spake, “Cursed be their anger for it was fierce: and their wrath,’ for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.” Genesis 49:7.
Healing is one of God’s covenant. God made a definite and specific Covenant of Healing, known in the Scripture as the covenant of “Jehovah=Rapha” or “The Lord thy Healer.” You will find that Covenant in Exodus 15:26. There are four divisions to the Covenant of Healing.
First: “If thou wilt diligently hearken unto the voice of the Lord the God.”
Second: “And wilt do that which is right in his right.”
Third: “And wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep his statutes.”
Fourth: “I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
Beloved, I want you to see that when men take upon themselves faith in the eternal God, as revealed through the Lord Jesus Christ for healing, they enter into a covenant relationship with God. It is a divine union, God has put Himself on record, and given an eternal pledge as to His faithfulness concerning that Covenant. We then as intelligent men and women are invited to come into relationship with Him, and become partakers with Him in that Covenant.
This Covenant does not simply mean that when we are sick and dying, the Lord will come and heal us. That is a small portion of the Covenant of Healing. The Covenant has three great principles involved. The first is DIVINE HEALING. The second is a bigger thing than Divine Healing; it is DIVINE HEALTH. If God keeps your family or your city or your nation in Divine Health there is no need for Divine Healing. The third is DIVINE LIFE. Divine Life is greater than Divine Health. Divine Life is that union of the soul with God by which the recipient becomes the partakers of His life.
Now are involved the three underlying principles that unfold the whole subject of healing. They are Sin, Sickness and Death, and unholy brotherhood, the representatives of the Kingdom of Darkness. They are the children of the Devil and Disobedience. If you want to look for their parentage, Satan is their father and Disobedience is their mother, and out of this union, Sin, Sickness and Death are born. All three are specifically declared by the Word of God to be the enemies of God. God hates sin, and God equally hates sickness, for sickness is incipient death.
The final result of the Redemption of Jesus is the destruction of these three enemies of God, this triumvirate of darkness! All the Christian world is clear on this point, that Jesus Christ came to redeem the world from sin. They may dispute His methods but on general principles they believe that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer from sin.
The Christian world is not so well agreed that He is the Redeemer from sickness. The Church was agreed on this question at one time. In the early centuries of the Church’s history there was no other method of healing known among Christians, except healing through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. John Wesley says, in his notes on the New Testament, under James 5:514-16: “The only system of physics known in the early church for four hundred years was the prayer of faith for the sick.” The early Christians had a Remedy, bless God, but it was an eternal one, the living eternal Spirit of Christ in the world, and in their heart, and in their person, when they needed Him for healing. God’s remedy is a person, not a material remedy. It is not an “it” but a “Him.” Beloved, receive this Spirit of God into your heart, into your life, into your being.
Someone has given a definition for omni-presence, as we use that word to express an attribute of God, “Equally present everywhere. Consequently there is not place to go from His Presence. David emphasized this truth in splendid form: “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost part of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139: 7-10. There was no place of which the mind of the prophet could conceive, where God was not present.
Sometimes people get an idea that the only place that God is present is at church or in their home.
A man was seeking for salvation and he went out to his horse stable to pray. God came to him, and the consciousness of salvation was born in his soul. Then ever afterward when he was interested in anybody’s salvation, he wanted to take them to the horse stable. We ought to get it in our mind that God can meet me anywhere. Blessed be God!
There is a great difference between accepting and expecting. You must take Christ as your Healer—not as an experiment. Have you really committed yourself to the Lord as you Healer? Has there been a definite act of committal to the Lord? If there has, it has settled in your mind all questions of relying on other means for healing.
I was sitting one morning, suffering terribly from a disease with which I had been afflicted for nine years. That morning as I sat in my chair I reviewed all the failures of other remedies that had been used in my family and my father’s family. I could not recall a single instance where we had received the least benefit. We had buried four brothers and four sisters. Four other members of the family were dying, chronic invalids. It was a matter of life and death. Faith was beginning to dawn. I suddenly made a decision that from then on I was going to put my trust entirely in the Lord.
I did not then fully realize what I had done, but by that decision of my soul, I had cut myself off forever from the help of man. I had separated myself unto God. I had no one else to look to, for I had refused the help of man. I was not aware of having prayed at all. I went about my affairs, and to my surprise I awoke to the fact that I was perfectly well. I had not the least idea when it took place. It may have taken place so gradually that I was not aware of it. That is the value of committal.
A. B. Simpson says concerning the committal of the health of our bodies to the Lord: “It ought to be very deliberate and final, and in the nature of things it cannot be repeated.” Separated unto Jesus Christ as your only Physician, for time and eternity. If a man commits himself once and for all to the woman he is going to marry, it is done; he cannot repeat it. If you commit yourself once and for all, and forever to Jesus as your Healer, it is done forever. As A. B. Simpson says, “Like the marriage ceremony it is the signalizing and sealing of a great transaction, and depends for its value upon the reality of the union which it seals.”
In the Boer War of South Africa, the Boers held a mountain peak that commanded the country all around, and particularly the city of Ladysmith. It was known as Spoin Kop. Tugels River ran along side. One day in the midst of a tremendous charge, the British succeeded in breaking through and crossing the river on pontoon bridges, and taking possession of the mountain.
That night the Boers called a Council of War and it was decided that the repossession of Spoin Kop was necessary to the successful progress of the war. Realizing that the retaking of Spoin Kop would result in a tremendous slaughter, and the officers not wishing to take responsibility of ordering men to attack, they called for volunteers. The word was passed along, and those who wished to volunteer stepped out and took their place one by one. They were committing themselves to life and death. In the morning when the sun arose, the Boers were in possessions of Spoin Kop, but two out of three of both Boer and British were dead. Men will do that for war’s sake.
It means something to commit yourself to the things of this world. It ought to mean just as much, and a lot more, to definitely commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. The definite act of receiving and accepting and placing yourself in committal to the Lord, should be very solemn and deliberate. And by the Grace of God I am trying to bring to your hearts this splendid truth. If you have been toying with the subject of healing, and experimenting with God, end it, and commit yourself in faith and love to Jesus Christ as your Healer, forever. Then you have placed yourself on the ground of blessing. You have placed yourself where the Lord meets you, or rather you meet the Lord.