This Week's Focus Passage

Neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith Jehovah

Focus Passage: Isaiah 54:10

‘Neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith Jehovah.’

What is my covenant of peace about which God here speaks through His appointed prophet, Isaiah? The pericope which makes up the two verses, nine and ten, is well worth setting forth for our consideration and encouragement:

For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but my lovingkindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith Jehovah that hath mercy on thee.

It is, of course, important to note that which precedes this blessed promise. The previous discourse through Isaiah from the beginning of this chapter to our focus verses is a prophecy of the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the ingathering of the Gentiles far beyond the borders of Israel; yea, reaching beyond geographic lines or ethnic barriers. This demonstrates that this covenant of peace may well be speaking of the covenant promises made by the Father to the Son, who, as we know, is the Prince of Peace. This speaks then of the New Covenant of which we read in the prophecies of both Jeremiah and Ezekiel; in Jeremiah 31:31, cited by the writer/preacher of Hebrews in 10:8-12, as well as the covenant promise contained in Ezekiel 36:26. This surely is the covenant of peace found in our focus passage. The only true and sure peace requiring that

a new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

Well might we consider this beautiful utterance of Isaiah 54:9-10, as ‘the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.’ The pericope—if we take its beginning from Isaiah’s first verse in chapter 54—is all about the recovery of the people of God through the anointed One, the Messiah. God’s voice echoing from His prophet, Isaiah, resounds in the encouraging announcement and call to worship, if we may so say, Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith Jehovah. This passage has been cited by Paul in Galatians 4:26-27, and it is in reference to the ‘Jerusalem that is above;’ which the apostle demonstrably means to be a reference to the church of Jesus Christ.

‘For the mountains and the hills may depart’….surely did the sight of them ‘depart’ during the flood spoken of in the days of Noah; Genesis 7:19, ‘And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered.’ Both before—Ezekiel 34:25—and behind—Ezekiel 37:26—the glorious expression of the New Covenant in Ezekiel 36:26, we discover two of the four occasions of reference to such a ‘covenant of peace.’ It hardly seems that this would be mere coincidence. Actually, it fits in well with the entire context of that portion of Ezekiel. The one use other than that of our focus passage is to be found in Numbers 25:12, where in the context of the sin of Peor and the ‘zeal of Phinehas’ which stayed the tide of the ensuing plague upon the children of Israel; God had sent a plague because of their fornication with the Midianitish women. God told Moses that which he was to say concerning the zeal of His servant, Phinehas;

Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: and it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.

Was Phinehas a type of the Lord Jesus Christ of whom it has been written that ‘the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up’? And Ezekiel 34:23 rather inaugurates the context of the New Covenant pronouncement of God’s salvific purposes when God announces in that passage;

And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I, Jehovah, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, Jehovah, have spoken it.

The New Covenant is then found in 36:26-27 with that declaration—yea, that covenant promise so beautifully stated, and easily bearing repetition;

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them.

and then in 37:26, after the vision given to Ezekiel of the dry bones—a most beautiful picture of God the Holy Spirit bringing new life to the chosen of God, and this is concluded with a restating of the promise of the greater Son of David, the eternal Shepherd/King:

And my servant David shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd………..and David my servant shall be their prince for ever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them.

Is it not most reasonable to make a connection between Jehovah’s ‘covenant of peace,’ and He who is the ‘Prince of Peace,’ Isaiah 9:6? He was given for a ‘covenant of the people,’ Isaiah 49:8. Is He not our covenant and our covenant of peace that shall never be removed? The Prince of Peace will maintain His cause among His people and guarantee everlasting peace unto them.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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