14. COVENANT FAITHFULNESS
"How precious also are Your thoughts unto me, O God!"
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor My covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
The mountains are the most stable objects in the material
world—nature's noblest emblem of immutability. But these have "change" written upon their stupendous brows. Time is furrowing them with wrinkles—wearing down their colossal forms. Atmospheric influences are subjecting them to continual waste and decay. The hoary-crowned Alp is included in the doom, "All these things shall be dissolved." But, more enduring than mountains of primeval granite is God's kindness. Whatever is dearest to us may change—and sooner or later must perish. The gourd we have lovingly nurtured and tended may wither, like Jonah's, just when most needed. The gold we have taken a life-time to amass, may be forfeited by one adverse turn of capricious fortune. The brook which for long years has sung its joyful way at our side, may be dried in its channel. The "staff and beautiful rod" which blossomed in our household may be broken, and strewed in withered leaves at our feet. The cistern—hewn with such pains—may be fractured by a stroke of the chisel while hewing it, and lie scattered on the ground in fragments of shapeless ruin.
But God's love is immutable and immovable! Mark the succession of golden links—"precious thoughts," in our motto-verse. He speaks of the "covenant,"—"the covenant of peace,"—of "My peace"—a covenant not to be "removed." These are glorious guarantees. Mountains, rocks, forests, all may decay and will decay; but "the Lord lives"—"His years shall have no end;"—"The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon those who fear him."
Nothing can assail the believer's safety or undermine his security. The oriental shepherds were used to girdle their flocks and folds with a belt of fire, to scare away the devouring wolves. 'I,' says God to His Zion, and to each child of Zion, 'I will be that fiery defense. This covenant of My peace will be as a wall of flame—once within My fold you are safe forever. My sheep shall never—can never, perish.' "Our cause," says Luther, "is in the very hands of Him who can say with unimpeachable dignity, 'No one shall pluck it out of My hands.' I would not have it in our hands, and it would not be desirable that it were so. I have had many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have been able to place in God's hands, I still possess." "As soon might Satan," says Charnock, "pull God out of heaven, undermine the security of Christ, and tear Him from the bosom of the Father, as deprive His people of their spiritual life."
Believer, rejoice in this faithful, covenant-keeping God. Anchor your soul on this Rock of the Divine veracity. The great adversary may try at times to impair your confidence—shake your trust—lead you to question your personal interest in the great salvation. But what are his negatives, to one affirmative of that God who cannot lie? His covenant of peace has something better than your own ever-fluctuating frames and feelings to rest upon. It is ratified by His own oath and promise. "The counsel of the Lord stands forever; the thoughts of His heart to all generations."
Just as the mountains surround and protect Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds and protects His people, both now and forever. Psalm 125:2