Covenants are based on promises. In fact, it is possible to use the two terms interchangeably. Of course, when a covenant is made, it is expected that the person who makes the promise (covenant) has the ability to deliver what is promised (covenanted).
In the Old Testament, some covenants were local and limited affairs (see, for instance, Gen. 31:43-54).
The incident with Jacob and Laban demonstrates that covenants can be transactions made within and between societies. The monument at Mizpah was to serve as the sign of a treaty that would only apply to the two clans. When those to whom the treaty applied had died, the terms of the treaty would be irrelevant. Unlike this covenant made between humans, the covenants that Yahweh instituted with Noah and Abraham have everlasting implications.
How does Galatians 3:15-28 help to explain the broader implications of the Abrahamic covenant?
Throughout the Bible, God has made several universal covenants in which He makes promises that are relevant to all humanity. Recognizing that the entire earth had been affected by the Flood, Yahweh promised not to allow His creation to be devastated by water again. In the case with Abraham, God saw humanity’s need for righteousness and so He promised to provide a blessing for all nations through Abraham’s seed (Gen. 22:18).
Though God made the Sinai covenant with a specific nation it also has universal significance. God was very clear that any foreigner could be a part of the chosen people (for example, Exod. 12:48-49), and Israel’s mission was to be an evangelistic light to the world (Exod. 19:5-6).
What is your own personal understanding of your covenantal relationship with God? That is, what has God promised you, and what has He asked of you in return for those promises?