The Abrahamic Covenant
When Abram was 75 years old, well established in his community, God called him to leave his extended family, the comfort of his home, his country, and journey toward the land of Canaan living in tents as a sojourner.
It was to Abram that God made this covenant.
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.
This act of Abram to leave all the comforts of home and journey to a land unknown took incredible faith. Faith is not just believing in something.
It is acting in a way that makes that belief a reality. Every day we choose to live out faith or ignore it. Faith is what we must be obedient to because the object of our faith is God, who provides for us every step of the way.
The covenant began when Abram chose to listen to God and follow God’s leading. This covenant has no end. Because in it God promises to bless all the families of the world. This blessing is eternal.
The initial condition was that Abram had to leave his land. If he did, God had many promises waiting.
- If he did, a great nation would come from his seed: in Deuteronomy 1:10, the fulfillment began: “The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.”
- God would bless him and make his name great. The three major religions of the world Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all hail the name of Abraham. He will be remembered forever.
- in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed: Jesus Christ came from the seed of Abraham. Now all the families of the Earth can be blessed.
- “Unto thy seed will I give this land” Genesis 12:7: Abraham was shown to be living in the promised land in Genesis 13:12. God’s people would later be removed from the land due to disobedience. But because of God’s promise to Abraham, they would return to the land according to the promise. One fine day in the future, all the families in the world will share this more perfect land together.
He also had to have the sign of circumcision to remain in the covenant. This sign of the covenant was to last forever.
And God said unto Abraham,
Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou,
and thy seed after thee in their generations.
This is my covenant, which ye 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.
To this day, the Jews are circumcised and are demonstrating the sign of this covenant. They have suffered greatly and have been blessed beyond measure – the ultimate blessing is still to come.
Many non-Jews also choose to get circumcised not to follow the law but out of respect for the covenant God made with Abraham.
I am not sure how this sign will continue forever. Under the Mosaic covenant, Jews practice this. But the Mosaic covenant has ended and so, its practices.
This is in need of further study since circumcision is no longer a requirement to partake in God’s promise of blessing. I have never read anything specifying the eternal aspect of this sign.
There are differing opinions regarding the application of this sign of circumcision. Some messianic Jews believe Gentiles should continue this practice.
But Paul had something to say about this. But first, this consideration, which helps to describe the gospel of the Law of Christ.
Paul had Timothy circumcised in order to witness to the Jews.
Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him,
and he took him and circumcised him
because of the Jews who were in those places,
for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Yet Paul said,
It was for freedom that Christ set us free;
therefore keep standing firm
and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision,
Christ will be of no benefit to you.
And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision,
that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.
Paul wanted to be all things to all men. Here is understanding,
For though I am free from all men,
I have made myself a slave to all,
so that I may win more.
To the Jews I became as a Jew,
so that I might win Jews;
to those who are under the Law, as under the Law
though not being myself under
the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;
to those who are without law, as without law,
though not being without the law of God
but under the law of Christ,
so that I might win those who are without law.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak;
I have become all things to all men,
so that I may by all means save some.
I do all things for the sake of the gospel,
so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Paul did all things for the sake of the gospel. The gospel is about reaching out while not compromising the holy things of God, which are now becoming us.
This is what Paul demonstrated for us all. We should strive to emulate him as he emulated Christ.
We should realize that serving God surpasses our cultural biases, our personal interests, and our sinful nature.
This is what being a disciple (Christian) means. Denying all these things, picking up our cross, and following Him.
Israel, who, “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” still holds to the old (dead) law.
They cannot even attempt to keep it because there is no temple.
I believe the building of a new Jewish temple will quickly bring the Antichrist into view, part of the final judgment of this world because of disbelief and rejection of Christ.
When the fullness of the Gentiles comes, their blindness will end and usher in the coming of our Lord. This will not be without tumultuous tribulations.
One part of the promise, . . . and curse him that curseth thee: is a warning for the whole world.
I fear that perhaps more than any other people, Abraham’s first son’s seed, Ishmael, composed mostly of Arabic Muslims will suffer greatly under God’s curse. They are not a part of the promise of Abraham.
I believe this curse is eternal just like the covenant is. Oh, what awaits in hell for those who curse God’s people.
We are to live in a way that shows everyone, Jews an Gentiles alike, the truth of Christ’s Law. Obeying the Law of Christ is the gospel.
Jesus commanded us to go to all the world and make disciples, which includes the Jews.
Paul was compelled to provoke them to Christ for the sake of the gospel.
For I speak to you Gentiles,
inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,
I magnify mine office: if by any means I may provoke
to emulation them which are my flesh,
and might save some of them.
For if the casting away of them
be the reconciling of the world,
what shall the receiving of them be,
but life from the dead?
Obeying the promise of Abraham has eternal consequences for those within and without:
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory,
and all the angels with Him,
then He will sit on His glorious throne.
All the nations will be gathered before Him;
and He will separate them from one another,
as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
and He will put the sheep on His right,
and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right,
‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
naked, and you clothed Me;
I was sick, and you visited Me;
I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
Then the righteous will answer Him,
‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You,
or thirsty, and give You something to drink?
And when did we see You a stranger,
and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
When did we see You sick,
or in prison, and come to You?’
The King will answer and say to them,
‘Truly I say to you,
to the extent that you did it to one of these
brothers of Mine, even the least of them,
you did it to Me.’
Are you doing this according to God’s word? If you are not, it doesn’t matter if you have said a prayer of forgiveness or accepted Jesus into your heart.
It is what you did for Him that counts. Faith without works is dead. The following will happen to non-believers and professing Christians who do not obey the gospel and forfeit the promise given to Abraham.
Living for Christ means just that, living for Christ.
“Then He will also say to those on His left,
‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire
which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat;
I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in;
naked, and you did not clothe Me;
sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’
Then they themselves also will answer,
‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty,
or a stranger, or naked, or sick,
or in prison, and did not take care of You?’
Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you,
to the extent that you did not do it
to one of the least of these,
you did not do it to Me.’
These will go away into eternal punishment,
but the righteous into eternal life.”
God has promised us much through the blessings of Abraham. In order to receive the promise, we must repent, sin no more, and journey into an unknown land in the service of our Lord. He has blessings awaiting you.
Remember Jesus’ commandments to us?
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
These we must keep.
There is no other way.