It has been stated, you cannot truly understand the purposes of God without understanding the Covenant of God.
Does that thought surprise you? Do you agree, disagree??? Not sure what to think bc you’re not really sure what a Covenant is.
So, let’s talk about covenants. Unfortunately covenants are not something we hear or talk about in our culture. This is unfortunate bc as I understand it, covenants are a VERY important part of Scripture.
So, what is a covenant. A covenant is an unalterable decision or agreement which cannot be canceled by anyone. It cannot be undone. In fact, part of making some covenants is to declare that God should kill you if you break the covenant. It is an unbreakable pledge that is made by one person to another or by two people to each other.
It can occur between friends, rulers, a ruler and his/her people, God and His people…. There are many covenants in Scripture. There are many different types of Covenants in Scripture. Genesis 9 gives an example of one, and Genesis 15 gives an example of another type of covenant. But all carry the same heavy weight of not being able to be annulled, broken, removed, stopped…
The closest picture we have today is the marriage covenant which is a sad picture bc many don’t last. It is no longer “till death do us part…” but “till I no longer want to be with you” or “till you no longer make me happy and fulfill my wants and needs.”
Well, we serve a God who deliberately makes covenants bc He intends to keep them. In fact, He must keep them. In one sense, God has no choice in the matter. Once He enters into a Covenant He has bound Himself to that person or people and to fulfilling His end of the Covenant. If God were to break Covenant, He would no longer be God and the Universe would cease to exist bc the One upholding all things would be gone.
No matter what the response of the recipient, God is bound to fulfill His end of the Covenant.
As I said earlier, you cannot nullify a covenant or remove it. However, it can be added to and you also see this in Scripture.
All throughout the Bible God builds on previous covenants that He has made. Start with the Noahic Covenant in Gen. 9, God then expands on that Covenant and yet narrows parts of it in Gen. 15. Another layer is added by God’s covenant with David in 1 Chron. 17, and yet another layer in Jer. 31
Now, each new covenant does NOT nullify or do away with the Covenant that came before. Rather, it’s like a new layer has been added on, a new piece of information is given, a new promise of God is added that He must fulfill. Nothing is removed.
Go back and read those passages with that thought in mind, you might be surprised what you see.
To make this a bit more practical for us today – this means there is a tension in our relationship with God and we need to recognize it. On the one hand, through the faithfulness of Jesus we are now in Covenant with God! He will not raise His hand against us bc He cannot! He is our Father and we are to come like a child before Him, intimate and fully assured of His love, trusting in His faithfulness and goodness. He is our Abba!
On the other hand, we are in Covenant with God! He is our God and we are to come with respect and even humility as a slave before the Master. He is not a man. He is not like us. He is God.
Believer, may we grow in our understanding of covenants that we can grow in our understanding of Scripture and our God. And as we grow in knowledge, may we rest in the peace this is suppose to bring. The God of all, the Lord of the Universe has entered into Covenant with us! He cannot break it, we belong to Him forever.