Greater Than a Promise

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

Deuteronomy 8:18 KJV

“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

From a theological perspective, The Oxford Dictionary defines a covenant as “an agreement which brings about a relationship of commitment between God and his people.” The Jewish as well as the Christian faith are based on the biblical covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In the Deuteronomy text, Moses writes to the newly formed nation of Israel reminding them of that covenant and what role they were to play to solidify the agreement. The covenant could have been unilateral, meaning the Lord could have just given them the land with no expectation of them to do anything. But this covenant was bilateral, conditioned on their obeying the commandments they were given.

The covenant assured them that they would inherit The Promised Land if they kept the commandments. The Promised Land was a land flowing with milk and honey, which in today’s vernacular would be a land that abounds with physical and spiritual richness. They would drink from wells they did not dig; eat from gardens they did not plant and live in homes they did not build. All they had to do was keep the commandments.

Verse one establishes the standard, “Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors” (NLT).

The covenant was more than a promise, it was a contract. All the Israelites had to do was be obedient to do the commandments and all the blessings specified in the covenant would be given to them. However, to be sure they wouldn’t deceive themselves into thinking it was their prowess, strength, knowledge, or ability that gave them these great possessions, the Lord cautions them to remember that He gave them the power to get those possessions. Not just that, He also tells them why He is blessing them; to fulfill the commitment made to their ancestors.

It was a covenant that remains with followers of today. That’s what makes it so much greater than a promise.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at

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