Covenants

Covenants


Jon: If you’ve been around Christians you’ve probably heard the idea of having a personal relationship with God, which could mean different things in the
Bible like having God as a friend, or your Father, or maybe your teacher. Tim: But there’s one particular way that the
Bible talks about this relationship that you find all over but strangely we don’t talk about it
that much and that’s the idea of a partnership with God. Jon: A partnership like working alongside someone to accomplish a goal together. Tim: Right. And this is actually
what you see at the beginning of the Bible. God creates this good world full of all of
this potential, and then God appoints these unique creatures, humans, as his partners in bringing more and
more goodness out of all that potential. Jon: But the humans don’t want to partner with God they rebel and try to create a
world on their own terms. Tim: And so this broken partnership is the
Bible’s explanation for why we’re stuck in a world of corruption and injustice
and the tragedy of death. Jon: It’s not like they’re
just one or two humans have bailed on this relationship. In a story in the Bible everyone has
abandoned the partnership with God Tim: So what God does is select a smaller
group of people out of the many, and makes a new partnership with them called a “covenant”. And in a covenant God makes promises and then an exchange asks his partner to
fulfill certain commitments. And the purpose of all of this is to somehow use this covenant relationship to renew his partnership with everybody else. Jon: Now, they’re actually four times in the Old Testament that we were told God initiates a covenant
relationship: With Noah, Abraham, the Nation of Israel, and King David. Tim: And its through these that God is forming a covenant family into which all people will eventually be invited. Jon: So let’s see how these work. The first one is with Noah. Tim: So in this story God has just brought the flood to cleanse the world of humanities corruption. And Noah and his family are the only ones left. And so God makes a covenant with Noah
saying, “Listen… … I know that humans will continue to be evil But despite that I’m not going to destroy it like this again. Instead, the earth will be this reliable place
for us to work together.” Jon: Great so was does Noah have to do? Tim: Nothing. And that’s what’s so interesting about this first covenant, is that God is promising to be faithful even though he knows humans won’t be. Jon: The next time we see God make a
covenant is with a man named Abraham. God chooses him, promises to bless him, give him a large family, lots of land where they can flourish. Tim: And in return got asks Abraham to
trust him and train up his family to do what is right and just. And the whole reason for this covenant
is that God says that somehow he is going to bring his blessing to all families of the world through this one family. Jon: So that’s Abraham. The next time we see God make a covenant is when Abraham’s family grows into the tribe of Israel. Jon: And this covenant is with the whole tribe. Got asks them to obey a set of laws, which are these guidelines for living well
as a community of God’s partners. And if they do this then God promises
to bless them and that they will become a people who then represent him to the
rest of humanity. Jon: That’s the covenant with Israel. The
last covenant is with King David. Tim: Yes. The tribe of Israel has become this large nation ruled by David. And God asked David and
his descendants to partner with him by leading Israel in obeying the laws in
doing what is right and just. And God promises that one day one of David’s sons will come and extend God’s kingdom of peace and blessing over all the nations. Jon: So those are the
four covenants that God makes in order to restore his partnership with
the whole world. Tim: But here’s what happens… Israel breaks the Covenant. They worship other gods, they allow horrible injustice, so they lose their land and are forced off
in exile. Jon: So it seems hopeless. But during this time Israel’s prophets
talked about a day when God would restore these covenants in spite of Israel’s failure… …somehow. Tim: Yeah, they called it the ‘New Covenant’. And this is actually what’s so interesting about Jesus, is that he is introduced into this story as the one who fulfills all of these
covenant relationships. We’re told that he’s from the family have
Abraham. And so he will bring the blessings of that family to the whole world. We’re told that he is the faithful
Israelite who was able to truly obey the law. And we’re told that he is the King from
the line of David. and so he goes about extending God’s kingdom of justice and peace to all. Jon: And that’s really remarkable for one guy. Tim: Yeah, and what it highlights is perhaps the most surprising claim of all made about this man: that Jesus is no mere human. But rather God become human. And God did this in order to
be that faithful covenant partner that we are all made to be, but have failed to be. And so through Jesus God has opened up a way for anyone to be
in a renewed partnership with him. Jon: So Jesus calls people to follow
him and become part of this new covenant family. Tim: And despite their failures, Jesus is
committed to making them into partners who are becoming more and more faithful. Jon: The story the Bible ends with a vision of a fully renewed world full of goodness and peace. Tim: And there’s this renewed humanity there partnering tog ether with God to expand the goodness of his creation. And so the end of the Bible’s story is really a new beginning.

6 thoughts on “Covenants”

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  2. When God made the covenant qith Abraham, Abraham was actually asleep. GOD made this Covenant with Jesus while Abraham was asleep. When he woke up he has seen that there has been made a covenant without him but he through faith got the promises. It was the picture Abraham saw and rejoiced when he saw the vision of jesus and the new covenant that u will be part of it without putting in any promise just through Jesus Christ alone!

  3. support me….blah…blah…blah…never teaching those who are apt to teach…..as the Bible states….2 Tim 2.2 which would build up the body…..it is time for us, to learn to do….not to be docile and wait, for someone to feed us….

  4. it does not seem to be any co work here….one sets the terms and responsibilities, and the other has nothing to add or to challenge this and merely has to accept it, or its consequences….

  5. Why God is depicted as an old man with beard. How God is even man? Or even has an image? When God is not woman or man, but simply a Supreme Consciousness. This created a historical impact that everything related to God is masculine .

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