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Five Great Bible Covenants

Five Great Bible Covenants

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Published by acts2and38
In form, a covenant is an agreement between two people and involves promises on the part of each to the other. The concept of a covenant between God and His people is one of the central themes of the Bible. In the Biblical sense, a covenant implies much more than a contract or a simple agreement between two parties.
The word for "covenant" in the Old Testament also provides additional insight into the meaning of this important idea. It comes from a Hebrew root word that means "to cut." This explains the strange custom of two people passing through the cut bodies of slain animals after making an agreement (Jeremiah 34:18). A ceremony such as this always accompanied the making of a covenant in the Old Testament. Sometimes those entering into a covenant shared a meal, such as when Laban and Jacob made their covenant (Genesis 31:54).
Abraham and his children were commanded to be circumcised as a "sign of covenant" between them and God (Genesis 17:10-11).
At Sinai, Moses sprinkled the blood of animals on the altar and upon the people who entered into covenant with God (Exodus 24:3-8).
The Old Testament contains many examples of covenants between people who related to each other as equals. For example, David and Jonathan entered into a covenant because of their love for each other -- this agreement bound each of them to certain responsibilities (1 Sam. 18:3).
The remarkable thing is that God is holy, omniscient, and omnipotent; but He consents to enter into covenant with man, who is feeble, sinful, and flawed.
In this article, we want to examine five great covenants of the Bible.
God's Covenant With Noah
Centuries before the time of Abraham, God made a covenant with Noah, assuring Noah that He would never again destroy the world by flood (Genesis 9).
Noah lived at a time when the whole earth was filled with violence and corruption -- yet Noah did not allow the evil standards of his day to rob him of fellowship with God. He stood out as the only one who "walked with God" (Genesis 6:9), as was also true of his great-grandfather Enoch (Genesis 5:22). "Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations" (Genesis 6:9). The Lord singled out Noah from among all his contemporaries and chose him as the man to accomplish a great work.
When God saw the wickedness that prevailed in the world (Genesis 6:5), He told Noah of His intention
In form, a covenant is an agreement between two people and involves promises on the part of each to the other. The concept of a covenant between God and His people is one of the central themes of the Bible. In the Biblical sense, a covenant implies much more than a contract or a simple agreement between two parties.
The word for "covenant" in the Old Testament also provides additional insight into the meaning of this important idea. It comes from a Hebrew root word that means "to cut." This explains the strange custom of two people passing through the cut bodies of slain animals after making an agreement (Jeremiah 34:18). A ceremony such as this always accompanied the making of a covenant in the Old Testament. Sometimes those entering into a covenant shared a meal, such as when Laban and Jacob made their covenant (Genesis 31:54).
Abraham and his children were commanded to be circumcised as a "sign of covenant" between them and God (Genesis 17:10-11).
At Sinai, Moses sprinkled the blood of animals on the altar and upon the people who entered into covenant with God (Exodus 24:3-8).
The Old Testament contains many examples of covenants between people who related to each other as equals. For example, David and Jonathan entered into a covenant because of their love for each other -- this agreement bound each of them to certain responsibilities (1 Sam. 18:3).
The remarkable thing is that God is holy, omniscient, and omnipotent; but He consents to enter into covenant with man, who is feeble, sinful, and flawed.
In this article, we want to examine five great covenants of the Bible.
God's Covenant With Noah
Centuries before the time of Abraham, God made a covenant with Noah, assuring Noah that He would never again destroy the world by flood (Genesis 9).
Noah lived at a time when the whole earth was filled with violence and corruption -- yet Noah did not allow the evil standards of his day to rob him of fellowship with God. He stood out as the only one who "walked with God" (Genesis 6:9), as was also true of his great-grandfather Enoch (Genesis 5:22). "Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations" (Genesis 6:9). The Lord singled out Noah from among all his contemporaries and chose him as the man to accomplish a great work.
When God saw the wickedness that prevailed in the world (Genesis 6:5), He told Noah of His intention

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Published by: acts2and38 on Nov 11, 2010
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Five Great Bible CovenantsIn form, a covenant is an agreement between two people and involves promises on the part of each to the other. The concept of a covenant between God and His people is oneof the central themes of the Bible. In the Biblical sense, a covenant implies much morethan a contract or a simple agreement between two parties.The word for "covenant" in the Old Testament also provides additional insight into themeaning of this important idea. It comes from a Hebrew root word that means "to cut."This explains the strange custom of two people passing through the cut bodies of slainanimals after making an agreement (Jeremiah 34:18). A ceremony such as this alwaysaccompanied the making of a covenant in the Old Testament. Sometimes those enteringinto a covenant shared a meal, such as when Laban and Jacob made their covenant(Genesis 31:54).Abraham and his children were commanded to be circumcised as a "sign of covenant" between them and God (Genesis 17:10-11).At Sinai, Moses sprinkled the blood of animals on the altar and upon the people whoentered into covenant with God (Exodus 24:3-8).The Old Testament contains many examples of covenants between people who related toeach other as equals. For example, David and Jonathan entered into a covenant becauseof their love for each other -- this agreement bound each of them to certainresponsibilities (1 Sam. 18:3).The remarkable thing is that God is holy, omniscient, and omnipotent; but He consents toenter into covenant with man, who is feeble, sinful, and flawed.In this article, we want to examine five great covenants of the Bible.God's Covenant With NoahCenturies before the time of Abraham, God made a covenant with Noah, assuring Noahthat He would never again destroy the world by flood (Genesis 9). Noah lived at a time when the whole earth was filled with violence and corruption -- yet Noah did not allow the evil standards of his day to rob him of fellowship with God. Hestood out as the only one who "walked with God" (Genesis 6:9), as was also true of hisgreat-grandfather Enoch (Genesis 5:22). "Noah was a just man, perfect in hisgenerations" (Genesis 6:9). The Lord singled out Noah from among all hiscontemporaries and chose him as the man to accomplish a great work.When God saw the wickedness that prevailed in the world (Genesis 6:5), He told Noah of His intention to destroy the ancient world by a universal flood. God instructed Noah to build an ark (a large barge) in which he and his family would survive the universaldeluge. Noah believed God and "according to all that God commanded him, so he did"(Genesis 6:22). Noah is listed among the heroes of faith. "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things
 
not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the whichhe condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."(Hebrews 11:7).With steadfast confidence in God, Noah started building the ark. During this time, Noahcontinued to preach God's judgment and mercy, warning the ungodly of their approaching doom. Peter reminds us of how God "did not spare the ancient world, butsaved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on theworld of the ungodly" (2 Peter 2:5). Noah preached for 120 years, apparently without any converts. At the end of that time,"when ... the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah ... eight souls were savedthrough water" (1 Peter 3:20).People continued in their evil ways and ignored his pleadings and warnings until theflood overtook them. When the ark was ready, Noah entered in with all kinds of animals"and the Lord shut him in" (Genesis 7:16), cut off completely from the rest of mankind. Noah was grateful to the Lord who had delivered him from the flood. After the flood, he built an altar to God (Genesis 8:20) and made a sacrifice, which was accepted graciously,for in it "the Lord smelled a sweet savour" (Genesis 8:21).The Lord promised Noah and his descendants that He would never destroy the worldagain with a universal flood (Genesis 9:15). The Lord made an everlasting covenant with Noah and his descendants, establishing the rainbow as the sign of His promise (Genesis9:1-17).Another part of the covenant involved the sanctity of human life, i.e., that "whoso shedsman's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man"(Genesis 9:6). Every time we see a rainbow today we are reminded of that agreement --this covenant has not been done away with. As long as God still sends rainbows after astorm, capital punishment will still be a part of God's law for the human race.God's Covenant With AbrahamIn making a covenant with Abraham, God promised to bless his descendants and makethem His own special people -- in return, Abraham was to remain faithful to God and toserve as a channel through which God's blessings could flow to the rest of the world(Genesis 12:1-3).Abraham's story begins with his passage with the rest of his family from Ur of theChaldeans in ancient southern Babylonia (Genesis 11:31). He and his family moved northalong the trade routes of the ancient world and settled in the prosperous trade center of Haran, several hundred miles to the northwest.While living in Haran, at the age of 75, Abraham received a call from God to go to astrange, unknown land that God would show him. The Lord promised Abraham that Hewould make him and his descendants a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3). The promise musthave seemed unbelievable to Abraham because his wife Sarah was childless (Genesis11:30-31; 17:15). Abraham obeyed God with no hint of doubt or disbelief.
 
Abraham took his wife and his nephew, Lot, and went toward the land that God wouldshow him. Abraham moved south along the trade routes from Haran, through Shechemand Bethel, to the land of Canaan. Canaan was a populated area at the time, inhabited bythe war-like Canaanites; so, Abraham's belief that God would ultimately give this land tohim and his descendants was an act of faith.The circumstances seemed quite difficult, but Abraham's faith in God's promises allowedhim to trust in the Lord. In Genesis 15, the Lord reaffirmed His promise to Abraham. Therelationship between God and Abraham should be understood as a covenant relationship-- the most common form of arrangement between individuals in the ancient world. Inthis case, Abraham agreed to go to the land that God would show him (an act of faith onhis part), and God agreed to make Abraham a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3).In Genesis 15 Abraham became anxious about the promise of a nation being found in hisdescendants because of his advanced age -- and the Lord then reaffirmed the earlier covenant. A common practice of that time among heirless families was to adopt a slavewho would inherit the master's goods. Therefore, because Abraham was childless, he proposed to make a slave, Eliezer of Damascus, his heir (Genesis 15:2). But God rejectedthis action and challenged Abraham's faith: "And he brought him forth abroad, and said,Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he saidunto him, So shall thy seed be." (Genesis 15:5)Abraham's response is the model of believing faith: "And he believed in the Lord, and Heaccounted it to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15:6). The rest of Genesis 15 consists of a ceremony between Abraham and God that was commonly used in the ancient world toformalize a covenant (Genesis 15:7-21). God repeated this covenant to Abraham' son,Isaac (Genesis 17:19). Stephen summarized the story in the book of Acts 7:1-8.The Mosaic CovenantThe Israelites moved to Egypt during the time of Joseph. A new Pharaoh came upon thescene and turned the Israelites into common slaves. The people cried out to the God of their forefathers. "And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenantwith Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob" (Exodus 2:24). After a series of ten plaguesupon the land of Egypt, God brought the Israelites out "of Egypt with great power andwith a mighty hand" (Exodus 32:11).Three months after leaving the land of Egypt, the children of Israel camped at the base of Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:1). God promised to make a covenant with the Israelites(Exodus 19:3-6). Before they even knew the conditions of the contract, the people agreedto abide by whatever God said (Exodus 19:8).This covenant was between God and the people of Israel -- you and I are not a party inthis contract (and never have been). The Ten Commandments are the foundation of thecovenant, but they are not the entirety of it.After giving the first ten commands, the people asked the Lord to speak no more (Exodus20:18-20). Moses then drew near to the presence of God to hear the rest of the covenant(Exodus 20:21). After receiving the Law, Moses spoke the words of the covenant to all of 

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