Five Great Bible Covenants
In form, a covenant is an agreement between two people and involves promises on the part of each to the other. The concept of a covenant between God and His people is one of the central themes of the Bible. In the Biblical sense, a covenant implies much more than a contract or a simple agreement between two parties.
The word for “covenant” in the Old Testament also provides additional insight into the meaning of this important idea. It comes from a Hebrew root word that means “to cut.” This explains the strange custom of two people passing through the cut bodies of slain animals after making an agreement (cf. Jer. 34:18). A ceremony such as this always accompanied the making of a covenant in the Old Testament. Sometimes those entering into a covenant shared a meal, such as when Laban and Jacob made their covenant (Gen. 31:54).
Abraham and his children were commanded to be circumcised as a “sign of covenant” between them and God (Gen. 17:10-11).
At Sinai, Moses sprinkled the blood of animals on the altar and upon the people who entered into covenant with God (Exo. 24:3-8).
The Old Testament contains many examples of covenants between people who related to each other as equals. For example, David and Jonathan entered into a covenant because of their love for each other — this agreement bound each of them to certain responsibilities (1 Sam. 18:3).
The remarkable thing is that God is holy, omniscient, and omnipotent; but He consents to enter into covenant with man, who is feeble, sinful, and flawed.
In this article, I want to examine five great covenants of the Bible.
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