The Covenant of Christmas

Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament and it is interesting that the last words of the book have to do with remembering and family.

“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” – Malachi 4:4-6

10-commandmentsTo Moses was given the Ten Commandments, laws to live by to please God.

“Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.” – Deut. 4:11-13

When Elijah comes he will “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers”. How will he do this? By encouraging the fathers of their duty to teach their children –

“Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the worn Biblethings your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,” – Deut. 4″9

“You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” – Deut. 11:19

Parents today are too busy with ‘the cares of life’ to take the time to do this. They feel they have fulfilled their duty to their children if they feed them, cloth them, and ship them off to school on time. They are often content to let the TV teach their children instead of assuming the responsibility. And the same could be said of grandparents as well.

Remember what King David said about children? He said they are the heritage of the Lord.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” – Ps. 127:3-5

Children are the heritage of the Lord and a reward to man but, only if we train them in the ways of the Lord. And holidays are an excellent time to do this, especially Christmas. By celebrating Christmas we are remembering that Christ came to fulfill the Law that God delivered to Moses on Mt. Horeb.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” – Matt. 5:17

manger sceneI can only imagine what joy Father God had at the birth of His Son, Jesus. I and my wife have been given eight little bundles of joy and they have grown into men and women who honor God but, Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Father’s hope for mankind. He would indeed grow to “speak with the enemies in the gate” as He stood against all the forces of hell on the cross – and won the victory for all mankind.

Yes, Christmas is a worthy celebration to remember and to teach to our children. Not just with gifts reminding us of God’s perfect gift to us in Jesus but, with remembering the hope of living in a covenant relationship with the eternal God – our heavenly Father.

“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” – Matt. 17:1-5

two-witnessesLuke tells the same story but he tells us Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus about his death on the cross and the victory it would insure. Remember, a covenant is ratified in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Jesus’ death on the cross sealed our covenant relationship with God. The Book of Revelation tells of two witnesses that will be in Jerusalem, ministering for 3½ years, reminding us of this covenant – are these Moses and Elijah? I think so.

As you celebrate Christmas this year, remember it is reminding us that God honors His part in the covenant and sent His Son to ratify it on the cross. I want to conclude this article with a recent song I heard. I hope it will bless you as it has me.

May you have a blessed Christmas this year – and remember.

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