God the Covenant Maker
Jehovah makes covenants with men which are solemn agreements that set the terms for how He deals with us.11 Although covenants are similar to contracts, they differ significantly in that they are based upon the promises and grace of God. God’s covenants remain inviolable even upon the death of the person with whom He makes it.
For example, God told Abraham He would make him the father of a great people, which led to the birth of Israel. His dealings with Israel today are based upon that promise given to Abraham. God’s covenant with Abraham is still effective 4,000 years after his death.
Jehovah is the God of Israel who gave Moses the Ten Commandments, defeated Israel’s enemies, judged their sins and promised to bless those who trusted and obeyed His words.
Regardless of how YHWH is pronounced, the Bible teaches that He alone is Lord, Savior and Creator. He tells Isaiah,
This is what the Lord says, who saved you, who formed you in your mother’s body: ‘I, the Lord, made everything, stretching out the skies by myself and spreading out the earth all alone.12
Jehovah is the One who created the universe, dealt with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and the prophets. He is the “Lord, mighty in battle.” He is a God of judgment against those who oppose Him.13 Yet, He is also the One who saves and redeems us when we turn to Him in faith and obedience.
Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God.14
God promises through Isaiah that Jehovah would send Jehovah of hosts to be our Redeemer.15 The holy name, I AM, is used for Jehovah and Jehovah of hosts, our Redeemer.
In spite of God’s promise that He would be Israel’s Redeemer, they continually disobeyed Him and suffered the consequences. Tragically, since God made His covenant with Abraham, Israel has been conquered and recaptured 44 times.16
In 70 AD, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman army of Titus, and the remaining Jews were dispersed into other countries. However, God promised to bring back His people in order to fulfill His promise of being their King and Redeemer. And He tells them He will do so by making a new covenant with them.
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.17
The promise that God would redeem Israel became the great, abiding ray of sunshine, providing hope through the centuries of darkness and oppression. Prophets continually wrote of God’s future deliverance through a future deliverer called the Messiah.
But would the Messiah be a special man like Moses, or would he be greater than Moses and the prophets? What would his name be? God provides a great clue through the prophet, Isaiah.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.18
There is compelling evidence that this prophecy is telling us that the Messiah would be both man and God.19 But how could a child be given names of deity?
Seven hundred years after Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah, a child was born in Bethlehem. In a sudden blaze of light, God sent his angel to proclaim the good news to some frightened shepherds.
The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord.20
Was this the child Isaiah wrote about? Was Jesus Christ the fulfillment of all the messianic prophecies in the Old Testament? If so, how could Jehovah Himself be our Savior and Redeemer as He promised?