1 Chronicles 16:15
Be you mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;…
Comparing the first clause of this verse with the answering clause in Psalm 105:8, it would seem that it is rather a statement concerning God than a counsel given to man; and it may be rendered, "He hath remembered," or "He hath been mindful always of his covenant." But man may very properly be urged to keep God's covenant ever in mind, on the very ground that God himself, in Divine faithfulness, keeps it ever before him. We may dwell on the moral influence exerted by cherishing thoughts of those covenant conditions under which God has been graciously pleased to set us. Explanations should be given of the Adalnic covenant, or covenant of creation; the patriarchal covenant, renewed again and again in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the Mosaic covenant, solemnly accepted by God and the people at Sinai, and made the condition of the national prosperity; and the Christian covenant, pledged for all believers in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It should be shown how fully the Mosaic covenant became interwoven with Jewish thought; and how, by fresh and arousing incidents, the claims of the covenant were renewed; and also how, to the more devout Jewish mind, that covenant was glorified. The following points will be suggestive. It is morally helpful to keep before us -
I. THE HONOR OF BEING IN THE DIVINE COVENANT. All accesses to God are honourable. Compare our estimate of the honour of presentation to an earthly sovereign, and our sense of the yet higher honour of coming into direct relations of friendship and service with him. Illustrate by Abraham's oppressed feeling at the honour of close communion with the Lord and permission to intercede for Sodom, or by the surprised feeling of St. Paul when he thinks of himself as being a co-worker together with God. This "honour" exercises a moral influence on us especially in this, that it inspires us to be our best. It makes us feel, "What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness?'
II. THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING IN THE DIVINE COVENANT. For we must be favoured above others; and if we are right-minded, all signs of special favour and regard bow us down in humility, as they did David, leading him to say, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Seeing that there is "no respect of persons with God," it is necessary that we should keep from associating favouritism with his dealings. If he brings some - a few - under a special covenant, it is only for the service of the many, and with a view to the final blessing of the whole through them. So the sense of "privilege" should always be associated with the "humility" of the true servant; and we remember the covenant that we may be ever kept humble under God's gracious hand.
III. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING IN THE DIVINE COVENANT. For it involves solemn pledges bearing relation to the
(1) maintenance of a high character;
(2) rendering of a pure witness; and
(3) doing an earnest work.
These may be set forth in both their Jewish and their Christian phases. The sense of responsibility has this moral influence - it cultures earnestness and diligence, and it arouses the whole powers to the attainment of "faithfulness.
IV. THE REWARDS OF BEING IN THE DIVINE COVENANT. Those rewards come in the fulfilment of the promises attached to the covenant. In the Jewish case they concerned material good, national peace and prosperity. In the Christian ease they concern moral and spiritual blessings, with earthly good conditioned upon the Divine wisdom and will. Rewards have this moral influence - they brighten, cheer, and encourage those who may be in the midst of toil and trouble. In each of the above it may be shown how the sense of covenant-relations is corrective of the precise forms of worldly influence to which we are subject. And, in conclusion, we may dwell upon the holy rest of the thought that God himself is in pledged and holy covenant with us in Christ Jesus. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;