The Unfailing Covenant
In the covenantal agreement God made with Abraham, He certainly gave much more than he received!
A covenant is an agreement, a legal contract, and a binding one.
But it is one God made out of his love and mercy and great generosity towards all of humanity!
The first thing to note is that God initiates the covenant of his own will, appearing to Abram when he is late in his years. To establish His covenant with Abram, He asks of him just two things: “walk before me, and be blameless” (v.1).
In response to God’s request, Abram falls on his face, a posture of utter surrender, servitude, and the recognition of God as the LORD.
In this way, Abram “walks before God” and is “blameless” because he recognizes God’s authority and perfection and his own inadequacy.
And so, God declares, “Behold, my covenant is with you,” and proceeds to describe this everlasting covenant, which reads as a list of blessings God promises:
I will make you exceedingly fruitful (v.6)
I will make you into nations (v.6)
Kings shall come from you (v.6)
I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant (v.7)
I will give to you and your offspring all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession (v.8)
I will be their God (v.8)
I will give [Sarah] a son (v.16)
She shall become nations (v.16)
Kings of peoples shall come from her (v.16)
The promises of the LORD are rich and generous indeed!
Abraham is undeserving. The Israelites who came from his seed, Isaac, were underserving. We are undeserving. And yet, the LORD is faithful to fulfill His promises for His name’s sake and for our benefit.
As an outward sign of this covenant between God and Abraham, God requires for every male in the household of Abraham and every male after him to be circumcised.
He specifically commands that this applies to every male “whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring” (v.12).
Already, God’s ultimate saving plan is at work! In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul writes to the Gentiles at Corinth, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”
The blood of Christ is the ultimate price that allows all to enter into the new covenant the LORD God continues to make with us.
Though this covenant still requires us to walk before Him, blameless, we are now empowered by the Holy Spirit who is the resurrecting power of our Risen Lord.
And in so doing, we are promised the blessings of life eternal, of joy, of peace, of comfort in times of suffering, of His presence in and among us, of His wisdom and knowledge to guide our paths, of his mercies and loving kindness that never fails. —- Jessica Sun