“Now [may] the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will . . .” (Hebrews 13:20,21).
We have been looking at the favorite old hymn-written in 1834 “The Solid Rock.” When first published, the author entitled it “The Immutable Basis of a Sinner’s Hope.” This title more directly describes verse three of the hymn.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
With Israel, God had made a covenant, but now we have a new covenant. At His last supper with His disciples Jesus said, “This cup is the new testament [same word as covenant] in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20). The covenant is unbreakable, for it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).
The fact that our sins are forgiven gives us the sure hope of a life with Him in heaven. This certain knowledge buoys us along in times of trouble. If God has given us His oath, and sealed His covenant with His blood, how can we doubt?
The hymn speaks of His ministry to us in times of darkest despair-how that He becomes our “stay.” This word was used in David’s psalm of deliverance to mean protector or support. “They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay” (Psalm 18:18), protected by His covenant. He provides all that we need.
His covenant with us is unconditional, and immutable. It can never be annulled. Our response should be to submit to Him, and if we do, as we see in our text, He will “make [us] perfect in every good work to do His will.” JDM