What does this even mean? God has made a new covenant with His people. People enter into covenant when they choose to marry. God cut covenant with Abraham when He declared His promises to him and His offspring. So, what is covenant all about and what is the big deal?
Let me tell you, it IS a big deal. This is God’s promise to His children. When the LORD created a covenant with Abraham, he had him cut some animals in half and asked Abraham set the pieces on oposite ends, then He appeared to Abraham as a smoking pot and passed through the pieces. What is that all about? Sounds a bit disgusting, huh? There is purpose in EVERYTHING our God does, even if it is a mystery to us at the time. His wisdom is far beyond ours, and sometimes appears as foolishness to mortal man. He was communicating to Abraham the seriousness of His promise to Him (and his offspring, and to those who would be ingrafted into the fam – like me and most of you).
Here is the LORD’s promise to Abraham:
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty [a] ; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
3Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram [b] ; your name will be Abraham, [c] for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”
9 So the LORD said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
17When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river [d] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- 19the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”
**Please read through the whole chapters to gain context for the covenant established.
WOW! What a promise, and considering the One speaking. God is setting Abraham and his family apart. He specifically told Abraham that he would be the father of many, that those who blessed his family would be blessed, those who cursed them would be cursed. They would inherit the land. They would be persecuted for a time, but end prosperous and fruitful in the land. Now that’s a promise to hold onto.
When we enter into covenant – we are choosing death. Death to self. Our identity is changing – we are no longer composed singily of our own DNA, but we have become one with the person we agree to enter into covenant with. Two becoming one. Us choosinng to become one with God. His spirit living in us. His DNA in us. His love flowing through our veins. Yes, this is covenant.
We are telling Him that He has full access to ALL of us, and we have ALL access to Him. Who got the short end of this deal? So often, we take this arrangement for grantid – taking all we can from God, but not giving Him a thing. I am guilty of this selfishness.
Forgive me Father.
My heart says, “YES, I want you to have all of me.”
My mind is a battlefield. More and more, let me be transformed Jesus into your likeness.
More and more let me say, “Yes” to your love.
Have you entered into covenant with the Lord?
Have you entered into covenant with a spouse?
I suggest you go back to the roots of that decision and renew your committment.
There was a sacrafice in entering covenant. The animals were cut in two. Sacrafice. Jesus was pierced and killed (but had the POWER to overcome the grave). There IS sacrafice in committment. Jesus sacraficed EVERTHING to enter into covenant with us. He left paradise and walked the corupt and sinful Earth.
He laid His life out – slaughtered by the very men He created…all for us to ENTER into covenant.
Consider His great sacrafice. Consider His great love.
**Reflections from a sermon I heard at Faith Center Church in Paducah, KY (Pastor John Aitken)
Faith Center Church