Our Covenant with God-Part II: The Abrahamic Covenant

Covenant: An agreement or mutual undertaking between two or more parties, each binding himself to fulfill obligations.

From the time of the fall of mankind, God was determined to reestablish His relationship with His people; however in order to do so, God needed a man that would agree with Him and obey Him. Early on, God found such a man in Noah. Because of Noah's righteousness toward God in the midst of gross darkness and sin, God made a covenant with Noah that He would never again allow the earth to be destroyed by a flood; Noah's obedience to God in this stead saved his family's life. As the generations progressed, God was still in need of a man that He could cut or enter into covenant with, in order that He might prepare the way for the ultimate covenant to be established through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God needed a partner-- a covenant partner.

God found the partner He needed in a man named Abram, who would later become known as Abraham, representing who he really was as the father of many nations. In Genesis 12, we find God's first extensive contact with Abraham. There, God "calls" him forth as His servant to fulfill the plan of God. Now the Lord had said unto Abram:

"Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3

I believe that Abraham's willingness to take such drastic measures of faith and obedience to God's demand in the preceding verses caused God to choose him, above every other man that walked the face of the earth, to establish his covenant with him.

A Sure Thing:

As Abraham's relationship with God progressed, Genesis 15 brings us to the place where God ultimately made covenant with Abraham. God began to make awesome promises to him; promises so great, he could hardly believe them.

One of these awesome promises was the promise of Isaac. This was a big deal to promise an old man and woman, who had never borne children before, that they were to become parents now for the first time. And to top it off, God said that his seed would outnumber the stars in the heavens. What a promise! Now remember that Abraham was human just like you and I, so he wanted to know exactly how this was going to come about. In response to Abraham's question,

"and he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?" (Genesis 15:8)

God answered him by entering into a covenant with him. This covenant ceremony was marked by the shedding of blood and the exchange of vows. (Genesis 15: 9-17) And the end result was a partnership between God and his man.

"In the same day the Lord made covenant with Abram… " Genesis 15:18

Why was this so significant to him? Because Abraham understood covenant, so therefore he knew that if God was entering into covenant with him, God was bound and obligated to fulfill His part of the agreement. For Abraham, this covenant represented a sure thing.

Here Comes the Blessing!

"…the Lord appeared unto Abram and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations out of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee." Genesis 17: 1,2,6,7

Here in these passages of Scripture, God reveals the awesome blessings of his covenant with Abraham. God has declared that he will multiply him exceedingly. That meant that everything that Abraham had or was would be multiplied! Hallelujah! Additionally, God declared that Abraham would be fruitful, and not just fruitful, but nations and kings would come forth from his loins! Finally, God extended that awesome blessing to Abraham and all his seed that would be born after him-promising not only to take care of him, but anybody that was in the family at that time or in times to come. What a blessing!

Me, too!

All of the blessings of the covenant that God made to Abraham and his seed were made to you and me, as well. How can this' be, you ask? Well, when God made the covenant with Abraham and his seed, he wasn't just referring to Isaac, Jacob, and those of that day. He intentionally made that covenant to reach all the way down through the centuries to you and I, for a covenant in our generation. And here's how we qualify:

"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29

Did you see that?! Because you are in Christ, you qualify as the seed of Abraham, thus making you an heir to all the same promises that he inherited. Hallelujah! This means that everywhere you see God making promises to Abraham, you can rightfully say, "me, too." As God promised to multiply Abraham, you should respond "me, too". As God promised to make Abraham exceedingly fruitful, your response should be "me, too". Everything God promised Abraham was intended for you today.

The Distinguishing Mark

After God established His covenant with Abraham, God wanted to distinguish His chosen people from the rest of the world; He wanted a sign to identify and set apart His people. This sign was the circumcision of the flesh-the distinguishing mark of a covenant man.

"This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant." Genesis 17:10, 11, 14

God made it quite clear that His people were to be marked and easily identifiable as covenant people; the circumcision of the flesh was the mark or token of those who were partakers of the Abrahamic covenant. Now you might wonder why that was so significant, but I'll give you an account in Scripture that proved just how powerful this distinguishing mark was and just how seriously the covenant saints of old considered it to be.

The King's Revelation

Long before King David ever became the King of Israel, he was just a young Hebrew, covenant boy, a descendant in the long line of heirs in Abraham's lineage. He is described in Scripture as a sheepherder. In man's estimation, there was nothing particularly special about David, but in God's estimation, David was special. (Acts 13:22) I believe that one of the things that caused David to stand out in God's sight was his revelation of his covenant with God. When a man or woman of God develops a true revelation of their covenant with God, nothing is impossible to them! David proved this truth in a mighty way. As the account goes, Israel is facing imminent destruction by an evil nation, the Philistines, particularly Goliath, a giant. Before David, no one has dared to fight Goliath and stand up to the Philistines-it appears that everyone has forgotten their covenant--everyone but David. David sizes up the situation like this:

"And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying…who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” I Samuel 17:26

Here David confronts the men of Israel and points out that the enemy that they fear so greatly is not a covenant man! David cannot believe that one without a covenant, one who was uncircumcised, would even dare to attempt to come against God's marked or covenant people. For David this was no contest; he knew his covenant with God-a covenant that ensured victory and not defeat.

"And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” I Samuel 17: 32, 34-36

David remembered his victories as a covenant man-the victory of defeating lions and bears with his bare hands! And now he had the assurance that the same God who had given him victory in those situations would also give him victory in this one, too. What a testimony! David had his covenant on his mind, and the revelation of that covenant caused him to rush headfirst into the enemy's camp and slay the giant that had tormented God's people for over forty days.

What giants are you facing in your life? What Goliath has been taunting you and mocking your God? Well, whatever it may be, I challenge you to pattern yourself after David and remember your covenant. Look at the victories that God has already given you in times past. Stir yourself up by keeping your covenant with God on your mind at all times. Remember that the devil and his ploys will go down just as fast and hard as the uncircumcised Philistine did. The difference is in the covenant. You have a covenant. You have hope. Even as David slew the giant, as you take your stand as a covenant person, you will be one that shouts, "me, too!"

Additional Scriptures for further study and meditation:
Exodus 2: 24, 25
Deuteronomy 7: 9
Deuteronomy 8:18
Psalm 89: 3, 4


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Lighthouse Ministries International World Outreach, Incorporated, aka Dawn Richards Ministries
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