Parables And Promises
God knows that human beings cannot easily understand what we cannot see. So, throughout the Bible, God uses examples from everyday life to help His people to grasp eternal truths. For example: the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament help us to appreciate the sacrifice of Christ; the tabernacle and temple of the Old Testament help us to grasp how sinful people can worship the holy God. In the same way, Jesus used parables to explain how to enter His kingdom and grow as a disciple.
When a Will is written, it is a legal declaration of how a person wishes his or her possessions to be disposed of after death: it is a covenant which is binding. So Paul uses the example of human covenants to explain that God’s covenant promises cannot be altered by people or lose their meaning over time. What He has written stands until the action is completed (the Old Testament laws all find their fulfilment in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20)). Paul’s Jewish readers needed to know that the ‘law’, they respected so much, was not abandoned by Christ but fulfilled by Him. What He promises will be fulfilled, and Christ is the fulfilment of the law (Romans 10:4).
We sometimes forget that the Bible is more than nice thoughts, good ideas and helpful advice. No, the Word of God is permanent and cannot be bent to our whim: whatever He promises to give will be delivered and all His instructions must be obeyed. In the same way that we are used to living in a ‘cause and effect’ world, God expects us to understand that our actions have consequences. But in the same way we should expect undeserved love and forgiveness from our human parents, we can appeal to the Lord to fulfil His promise to forgive those who repent.
© Dr Paul Adams