We don’t talk about the covenants today, but we should. Covenants are one of the most important themes in the Bible – They are the key to God redemptive plan to restore humanity to its divine calling. Starting in Genesis, God enters into one form a partnership another after with various humans in order to rescue His world. These divine human partnerships drive the narrative forward until it teaches its climax in Jesus. To tell the story of God redeeming humanity through Jesus is to tell the whole story of God’s covenant relationship with humans.
So what is a covenant? And how does the covenant story of the Bible begin?
A covenant is a relationship between two partners who make a binding promise together to work together to reach a common goal. They’re often accompanied by oaths, signs and ceremonies. Which are not very common today. Covenant divine obligation and commitment, but they are very different from the contract because they’re relational and personal. Think of a marriage – A husband and choose to enter into a formal relationship, binding themselves to another in lifelong faithfulness and devotion. Then they work as partners to reach a common goal, like building a life or raising children together.
Covenant relationships are found all throughout the Bible. There were personal covenant between two individuals, political government between two kings or nations, legal covenant with a nation, and so forth. These are found in 1 Samuel 23; and 1 Kings:5. Entering into covenant was a major part of the past. So God partnered with humans through a structure that they already understood.
The covenantal also story began when God created humans in his image to partner with him and spreading the goodness throughout the world.
God invites Adam Eve to be priest kings and represent his generous rule on earth. They could enjoy and reproduce blessing of eternal life as long as I continue to trust and partner with God. But as God lays out the terms of the relationship, he warned them not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil because it would bring a curse of death on humanity. I am pretty sure we all know the accounts that lead up the end of the Garden of Eden.
It was their first test of covenant faithfulness, and humans failed. They ate from the tree, fracturing the human divine relationship and plunging humanity into corruption and death. We were still gonna stuck on the record if God had never intervene. But the rest of the Bible is all about how God repaired this broken relationship with humans.
God had a physical covenant with the people in ancient times this means there was physical dimensions of the land and there would be no over spiritualizing into the realm. They had to have blood covenant, which carried a connotation of the shedding of blood. This were nothing unusual in early times, covenant agreements we ratified by animal sacrifice or an exchanging of blood.
Such a covenant is so binding that to break it you it would have to result in death of a person who broke it and often the family as well.
Abraham, therefore with following ancient custom where he cut the three animals in two and placed each of them in someway that the blood formed a pathway.
The two parties entering into this covenant would walk through the blood to confirm a covenant and with each party how to clean all the positions of the other party.
But in the case of this covenant, only the smoking burning Presence -a manifestation of God that is reminiscent of the pillar of fire that guided the Israelites through the wilderness centuries later walk through the blood.
Why? Only God can establish this everlasting covenant, and the responsibility for maintaining it fell solely on him.
This was no mere contract that could be voided, It was an unconditional, eternal trust. This covenant is often referred to as the Abrahamic Covenant.
The New Covenant
For generations, Israel ignored the terms of the covenant with God, breaking command and living by their own definitions of good and evil. Amidst rebellion and exile, the Hebrew prophet spoke of a new covenant, saying that God would One day per feel one of his promises, repairing his relationship and with his people the blessing the nations through them. (Jeremiah 31:31-34: Ezekiel 36:22-32).
This new covenant is to be everlasting. We are living this new covenant today. God will write his law on the hearts of the people, when you complete forgiveness of sins, and and raise up a king from the line of David who will restore all that is broken.
This anticipation of the covenant pushes the account forward into the pages of the New Testament where we are introduce Jesus (Matthew 26:26-29. Luke 22:19-22).
The physical covenant in the Old Testament and the spiritual covenant of a new testament progressively build upon one another, forming a complete redemptive storyline. God preserved the world through Noah initiated redemption through Abraham, establish the nation of Israel through Moses, promised an internal shepherd King through David, and fulfilled all the covenants through Jesus. With each covenant, God’s promises and plans to see the world through a sheet of a woman become clearer and clearer and how we finally see that redemption can only come through King Jesus.
Jesus Is The Covenantal Climax
New Testament authors presents Jesus as the offspring of Abraham who trusted in God, even to the point of death, and became a blessing to all nations. He is the greater Moses, leading us out of bondage, and He is the obedient Israelite who perfectly follows the law of God. Yes the Royal Sonesta David who inaugurated God’s kingdom in his life, death, and resurrection, and who now sits at gods right hand forever reigning as the one true King.
Jesus perfectly succeeded at every point where humanity failed. He is the guarantor and a mediator of a new and better covenant (Hebrews 7:21; 9:15). Now people from every nation, tribe, and tongue who trust Jesus can become part of God’s covenant family.
In this new covenant, receive the forgiveness of sins and God’s empowering Spirit to help us live lives full of self-giving love. It’s because of Jesus, we can live righteously and partner with Him as He renews the world.
It seems today that many people have forgotten the covenant with God, that our forefathers made when they landed in America. We have forgotten that line in the sand between good and evil. If you have read the Bible you know that God always gives a warning before he says judgment. The warnings are here, and will soon pass. Are you ready to meet Jesus?