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Sabbath: The Covenant with Abraham — 5 Comments

  1. Just recently we spent a whole quarter on The Promise - this week we will discuss the practical applications of Abraham's response to the LORD's offer, of His individually adapted for Abraham edition, of His Everlasting Covenant.
    Just as a reminder we discovered in the Word of the LORD that Covenant has its origins in the relationship of love that has existed among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit from all eternity. This love constitutes the "Everlasting Covenant" of which every divinely initiated covenant in human history is an unique adaptation to a specific time and place.
    The true nature of covenant is a loving relationship of wholehearted devotion to one another in which the LORD pledged Himself to the death for the sake of humankind and asked for a reciprocal, wholehearted pledge of love, devotion and compliance.

  2. How does God try to assist us to progressively grow in our understanding of wider realities than those we are familiar with? How does a teacher help a student to grow? By starting with things - words and concepts - the student is familiar and gradually building forward from there.

    Covenants, in their various forms and formats, are something humans are familiar with. However, does that mean that God's Kingdom also runs on these same kind of covenants? Or is our experience with covenants something that God is using to try and convey certain aspects of His 'orientation' and relationship towards us?

    This week's lesson is titled The Covenant with Abraham. By use of the definitive article, our minds are at risk of going down the line of thinking about a more formalised agreement. The lesson's suggestion that the Abrahamic covenant is the second covenant to the first Noahic covenant also reinforces this conceptualisation. But what if covenant, rather than 'the covenant' is closer to what God is about? And what if God as the only Creator and Sustainer is expressing His eternal 'covenantness' towards us even back in Genesis 1 and 2? And might Amos 3:3 describe an important essence of covenant?

    Just some thoughts to expand your reflections this week from 'the covenant' to the broader dynamic of covenant and 'covenantness' - God's higher way/s of being and doing that He invites us to progressively grow in our awareness and understanding of.

  3. Your comment got me thinking about covenant.

    I understand God to be a covenant maker. A concordance search will confirm this. Covenants are relational and based on trust. If you cannot trust someone to keep the terms and conditions of a covenant, there is no point in making a covenant with them, only to see it broken.

    When the Serpent convinced Adam and Eve that they could not trust God, it was inevitable that their covenant with God would be broken. Once trust was broken, the Serpent’s disbelief and deception was established in the minds and hearts of mankind bringing death and destruction.

    After the great reset of the Flood, God covenanted with Noah and his family, but covenant was broken again in the Tower of Babel incident. This pattern is repeated over and over again in bible history because God is dealing with human beings who are now fundamentally flawed and are incapable of keeping covenant with him.

    For this reason, it was necessary for God to covenant with someone representative of mankind who would perfectly keep covenant. This person is referenced in Genesis 3:15 where God addresses the Serpent:

    I [the Lord God] will put hostility between you [the Serpent] and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. (NET.)

    This offspring (Seed) is also referred to in God’s promise to Abram in Genesis 22:18 (see Galatians 3:15-16) and in Ephesians 1:3-14, Hebrews 1:3-12, 2:5-18, and is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). He is the one whom God in love sent to us and the world as the propitiation concerning all sins (1 John 4:10). Lifted up on the cross, our Saviour unambiguously displayed God’s love, so that all who look at this love would live. (John 12:32; Numbers 21:8-9.) When he uttered the words, “it is finished” and died, he completely fulfilled the everlasting covenant with God the Father for the redemption of mankind and then rested on the Sabbath day from his finished work..

    So when the venomous bite of the Serpent is killing us, we lock our gaze on the One who demonstrated the extent of God’s love on the cross. He is the antidote for the Serpent’s venom and the cross is the place where the Snake’s head was crushed and all his deceitful lying mind games about the character of God were exposed as complete lies.

    As we follow the Lamb wherever he leads, we get as close to him as we possibly can. (Revelation 14:4.) In fact, we strive to be “in him”—to be like him and know him in every way possible. (John 15:5; John 17.)

    For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God by us. (2 Corinthians 1:20 MKJV.)

    God’s promises to man are founded on the bedrock of the covenant-keeping faithfulness of Jesus because he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6.) He is where our hope lies.

    Just some thoughts.

  4. Adam and Eve walked with a God of commands...God had commanded, created, and that which He created was also filled with seed. This Father was all that Adam and Eve wanted and needed. Their relationship started with creation, a ‘command-centered’ origin and a very sound foundation in which their very faith and existence thrived. And they were the supreme subject of creation, wherein God created seed from land and that seed, Adam, was made in the image and likeness of God. Then sin; then probation. Thereafter, they walked in their Sabbaths not just with a creator-commanding God but with a covenanting God of promises.

    Abraham and Sarah continued to walk with this God of commands and promises. Again, there is face to face time with God, and time to soliquize (meditate on the promise of seed and land filled with seed) and also time when God withdrew to test their faith. And like Adam and Eve, this promise and prophecy of land and seed was treasured, wanted and longed for by this couple.

    The Second Adam and His wife: the church now walks in a somewhat new, somewhat old arrangement of this merger of commands and prophecy which we call The Covenant. Only now we find it ratified by Cross, and again we still see evidence of that original, recapitulating theme of creation—the land being created, Man being made from that land, and the God forming that ‘seed’ into His image. Later, in future of this covenant project, the church will become that ‘seed’ cut out without hands that will become an overspreading kingdom that fills the whole world. During this ‘walk’ every command of God will be satisfied, and every promise that God has made to mankind will be fulfilled. With this ‘end time walking’ all the earth is to be blessed.

    Abraham looked for a city; in our day, we also look for a ‘destination’ whose essence is the very temple of God—a living person. Abraham= father of many nations. Nation= to be born (idea of seed making). The end goal of the command-prophecy covenant is to make citizens (seed): a God full of seed that will remain forever in His image and be true to His likeness.

    Thus, the end of this system of probationary time will see a return back to an eternal kind of foundation, in which God again will know them who are His. There will be no more a need to teach by prophecies or promises, but only an eternity of living off of every creative-command that procedeth out of the mouth of God...


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