Read This Week’s Passage: Isaiah 24–27
It’s a Big Deal
Why a passage of four entire chapters to start this series? As a pericope (thematic unit), Isaiah 24–27 contains the inScribe verses Isaiah 24:5, 6, which bring the presence and theme of “the everlasting covenant” into sharp focus. It deals with the concepts of judgment and blessing especially in the last days, when God will have final victory over evil.
From this straightforward, rather jarring introduction, we learn several important things: (1) “the everlasting covenant” exists—there really is such a thing, whether or not we may have heard much about it; (2) “the everlasting covenant” is a big deal in Scripture, not a creation of imaginative theological minds or a mere sideline issue meant for esoteric seminarian study only; (3) the covenant has universal application: “the earth . . . its people . . . the earth . . . its people . . . earth’s inhabitants” (NIV, compare Gen. 9:16); (4) it involves “laws” that, if “disobeyed”/”violated” (NIV) result in devastating consequences: earth’s “people must bear their guilt,” “a curse consumes the earth,” “earth’s inhabitants are burned up” (NIV).
The resolution of this broken “everlasting covenant,” and the devastating results that follow, emerges later in Scripture in a single, cryptic phrase: “the blood of the eternal covenant” (Heb. 13:20, NIV). The entire biblical revelation swirls around this “blood of the eternal covenant.”
Between the dire conditions described in Isaiah 24:5, 6 and the resolution disclosed in Hebrews 13:20 runs a story. It began in eternity past with “the everlasting covenant” and proceeded on earth through a series of subsidiary covenants (with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Israel, David, and finally the new covenant). Each of these subsidiary covenants, in its turn, is referred to as “an everlasting covenant” to affirm its relation to the overarching, parent “everlasting covenant.” Through these subsidiary covenants, God chose to progressively reveal the plan of salvation as it existed in His mind and heart “before the beginning of time” (2 Tim. 1:9, NIV).
Our purpose this week is to expose ourselves to a sweeping glimpse of that story as it unfolded through the historical succession of subsidiary covenants in both Testaments. Fasten your seat belts. This week will be intense but an important foundation for the journey ahead. No worries if it doesn’t all come together this week; we have miles to go before we sleep.
As God initiated and continued bringing the creation into being, He embraced them and enfolded them into His covenantal love. He would always treat them as He would want to be treated Himself were He in their place and they in His. He created them with that same moral DNA of love toward Himself and one another.
Fast forward to the creation of our world and Adam.