PROMISES AND COVENANTS

Bible In One Year – Day 12 (Sunday, January 12, 2014)

To understand the history of Abraham very well, it is good to read and understand Romans 4. And to understand grace as a Christian, we need to understand the life history of father Abraham. We just concluded chapters 15-18 of Genesis. Gen12-14 are full of promises to Abraham, but Gen15-18 are loaded with something greater than promises, COVENANT. There is a great difference between a promise and a covenant. Promise is telling of intention, or something to be done in the future other than the present, i.e. what to accomplish in the future. It is just a statement and not an achieved thing. Covenant, on the other hand, is a seal to a promise which states “there is no going back”; it is binding. It is a mark of a promise considered done (a certificate of accomplishment). Covenant is leaving your part and joining yourself with the other party to become one; each party playing his part faithfully.  Those who love Jesus and wants to have the knowledge of salvation should read and understand Gen15, 17 &18 very well. This is where the practical demonstration of God’s plan for the salvation of mankind started. The promises, as far as Abram was concerned, were easier for him to believe (Gen15:1-6). But when God talked of the land, verse7, a little bit of doubt took over Abraham.

Genesis 15:7-8 “And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?”

That land was occupied by powerful set of people and he couldn’t imagine his descendants occupying it. He asked God to show him a sign for the possibility. God entered a covenant with him;

Genesis 15:9-10 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.”

Blood was shed to proof God’s faithfulness. Unfortunately, the pronouncement that followed was horrible; Abram slept over the sacrifice and his descendant would be enslaved for years. Those who are not serious with their Christian race are like this, sleeping over the vision/ mission, thereby allowing evil to prevail, allowing all forms of unrighteousness in their lives (Eph5:1-21, 1Jn5:17). God’s promise is as valid as His covenant because God never lies. He commits Himself to both and He desires the believers to just believe Him for His faithfulness. Grace is a package of God’s promises and covenant. That covenant of Gen15:9-10 was external to Abram’s flesh. In chapter17 (v13), God made another covenant that was in the flesh of Abraham, circumcision.

Genesis 17:13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”

As part of God’s favor towards Abram, the unfruitful covenant of barrenness that was attached to his name was broken and a new one put in place, Gen17:5 & 15. I will like you to note that the relationship between God and Abraham was still at the promise level and no covenant was made until the conditions of Gen12:1-3 were totally fulfilled (the departure of Brother Lot). The covenant we have in Jesus is the infilling of the Holy Spirit (the Seal) and not until we leave all for Christ, it remains at the promise level, Ezek36:24-28, Joel2:28-29. Seth, Enoch, Noah found grace with God but the grace had no capacity for extension; i.e. it could not reach us today, though in some instances we could see the sign. For instance, of what use is the rainbow? The grace upon Abraham had the ability to extend beyond him and bless nations and families. Therefore, we could call “THE GOD OF ABRAHAM” and He will answer us. Prayer: O God of Abraham, arise in your power and bombard my life with your blessings, in the name of Jesus. Our reading for today is Genesis 22-24. Keep the fire burning and alive on the altar of love.

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