This is a 5-part series. That will be cursorily exploring what a covenant is and which covenants apply to us as followers of Christ.
There are 5 greater covenants that apply to God’s people. One is exclusively for the Israelites and does not apply to non-Jews.
Knowing about God’s covenants help us to better understand our role as followers of Christ. These covenants apply to our behavior and thinking about the world.
I recently saw an article that described how the U.N. has been deceptively inoculating women in Africa with tetanus vaccines that were laced with HCG with the effect of sterilizing over 1 million women.
The U.N plans to continue and expand this vaccination program. I am deeply concerned with any vaccine propagated by a government agency.
But the point of this article is that it is directly opposed to the first covenant God made with us, the Noaic covenant. It is described below.
Some covenants apply to the church. Some to people in general. When these covenants are ignored, God is displeased and can bring judgment.
This is only one of the reasons it is important to have a basic understanding of the covenants and how they apply to us.
First we must clarify between a contract and a covenant and differentiate the types of covenants.
What is a contract? According to Webster’s Dictionary it is a bargain; to make a mutual agreement, as between two or more persons.
We have contracted to buy a car on payments or we have contracted with a builder to construct a barn on our property. Contracts can be broken like some covenants.
The main difference between contracts and covenant is that contracts are between two or more parties that are dependent upon each other.
God does not make contracts because He is not dependent upon us.
God only makes covenants and some sacred things in our lives are reflective of this. One is marriage.
Marriage is a covenant by nature. Man has turned it into a contract distorting its image, meaning, and purpose all while ripping God out of the fabric of one of our most precious personal relationships.
As a result, many have fallen into difficult times because they have misunderstood the covenant of marriage and its reflection of God’s image on our lives.
Marriage is symbolic of God’s covenant will probably be discussed in a later post.
God is always the greater party making the agreement independent of us. He does not need us to fulfill His end of the covenant.
He directs the stipulations determining whether a covenant is conditional or unconditional. There is no point in bargaining with God.
I have done this in the past. Thankfully knowing more about covenants have helped understand the futility of attempting to bargain with God.
Every time you read something that looks like a contract in scripture, you can be sure it is a covenant if it comes from God because God is always the greater party and not dependent upon us.
There are many covenants in the Bible but only five major (or greater) covenants. The people of the world or God’s chosen people. God also made covenants with individuals. One example is Cain.
Of the five major covenants, some are unconditional and others are conditional. Four of the five covenants apply to us in general. Regardless of the age or type of covenant, if it applies to us, as God’s children are commanded in scripture to honor them.
When studying this, 5 main concepts arose about God’s covenants.
1. Who is the recipient?
2. What is the duration?
3. Is the covenant conditional or unconditional?
4. What is its purpose?
5. Is there a promise or a judgment associated with the covenant?
Covenant #1: The Noaic Covenant
The first Covenant was with Noah, his family, and all the peoples of the world thereafter.
It binding until the end of the age. We are still under this covenant. One of the things God’s covenants are showing me is how we as a people often get caught up in the world’s concerns and forget about God’s covenants.
This covenant is unconditional. God will not remove any provisions of this covenant regardless of what we do. There are some expectations of behavior and these exceptions should guide our thinking today.
We should consider and honor everything the God provides us in this covenant and we need to teach these principles to our children.
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
God repeats this twice implicating its importance). God is promising us life on Earth until the Earth falls under judgment again.
This is implicit in the covenant and revealed later in His word. That means He will make sure that as long as the Earth is not undergoing
God’s judgment, it will have enough provisions for all the worlds’ population: food, shelter, and clothing. There is no shortage of any of this on the planet, only the sin in man that deprives.
And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
The subjection of animals to human in nature. I see every day with the animals I husband on my property. Never in history has an animal asserted control over humans.
Sure, larger animals attack and can kill us but that is out of fear or dread. It is also because of an earlier curse made upon man in the Garden of Eden,
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (Genesis 3:11).
God cursed all the animals of the Earth as well as us in the curse of sin. God further explains the course of the curse in this covenant regarding animal behavior and their purpose.
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
We are free to eat whatever we like animal or plant on the Earth.
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
We are not suppose to eat live animals or raw flesh like wild animals do. How we do this is by draining the blood of animals during slaughter before we eat them to make sure they are dead.
Now, it is impossible to get every drop out, but we try to follow the principles involved in the responsibility of caring for and killing animals.
And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Human life is sanctified, thus the penalty for murder is death. It does not matter if the killer is human or animal. They must die.
This is the moral component of the covenant. Without this, violence, wickedness, and evil will once again become rampant on the Earth.
Now we see people who no longer sanctify life, killing babies through government sanctioned abortions, the abolishment of the death penalty, sterilization, and burgeoning police state here in America.
And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
Here is the pronouncement that the covenant is for every living creature on the Earth.
And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
There will never be another flood on the Earth again!
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth (Genesis 9:1-17).
The rainbow is a symbol of God’s unconditional covenant to everyone and a reminder to Him that He will go on feeding the human race. There is enough food to feed the whole world’s population according to the U.N., unfortunately, in our sinful nature, we as a people do not share the world’s food and many are sick and die daily.
This covenant stipulates 6 things:
- We are to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. This means we are to remain in our covenants of marriage, have children, and teach them to do the same.
- Animals are subjected to us and we are responsible for them.
- We are to free to eat any animal or plant on Earth as long as we do not eat animals like wild beast, raw. Some foods are harmful. We are to use common sense.
- The death penalty applies to any animal or man that commits murder. Proof this covenant was not instituted until the flood is demonstrated by how God dealt with Cain after he murdered his brother.
- The inhabitant of the Earth will never again be destroyed by a flood.
- God will provide a symbol to remind Him and us of His covenant with us with a rainbow.
God promised that:
. . . I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done (Genesis 8:21b).
This also is a picture of redemption. God will preserve the Earth for man and all living things even though our heart is evil.
He will provide a remedy, a way of redemption that will deal with our sin permanently. The final covenant will address the fulfillment of God’s wonderful plan for mankind.
This covenant will remain in effect until there is no longer a need to preserve the Earth for us. I think we all know when that time is.