God’s Gracious Promises of Life in the Covenants

That God is the source of life is presented in the creation of the heavens and the earth. That life given by God to man was rejected as sin was accepted. From that point forward sinfulness increased on the earth till “God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Genesis 6:12).

What are Covenants?

Despite the contamination of sin and death which filled the earth, God pointed the world back to life. The Old Testament revolves around God’s promise for the restoration of life. This promise is highlighted in a series of covenants made between God and mankind. The word “covenant” refers either to an agreement between two parties, a suzerainty-vassal arrangement in which God places conditions upon his people, or a royal grant from God which depends entirely on God’s faithfulness.

What are the Major Old Testament Covenants?

The major covenants in the Old Testament are the Noahic Covenant in Genesis 9:11. There God promised that he would never again destroy the earth with water. This is an example of a Royal Grant. Next, God’s Covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. This Covenant guaranteed that God would provide an heir for Abraham through whom the whole world would be blessed. This is an example of a suzerain-vassal agreement because Abraham is commanded to go as part of the arrangement. Perhaps the most famous covenant is the Mosaic covenant revealed in Exodus 19-24. There again God promised great blessings for the people if they would keep his covenant. The Davidic covenant in 2 Samuel 7:12-17 promised that a “house”or family line of kings would be established for David. This is the line of Kong’s from which Jesus descended. Finally, there is a promise of the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31. The failure of the people had highlighted the need for grace and a new way of being in God’s presence.

Covenant Blessings

Despite all our frailties and sin, God has made a way for us to live. That life was promised in Jeremiah 31. The New Covenant would give the people a new heart and new hope. The Covenant was enacted as Christ died and opened as Christ was preached. Hebrews 8 reminds us to be faithful to God through this covenant. Thanks be to God for giving us this new covenAnt whereby we have fellowship with him.

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