One facet of our relationship with God that doesn’t get quite as much attention is God as our partner. In the very beginning God creates man as a partner to help him spread more goodness throughout the world. Unfortunately, the partnership is broken by man and that is the reason we are stuck with the fallen and corrupted world in which we live. Thankfully, the rest of the Bible describes God’s efforts to repair this broken partnership.
God takes steps in repairing this partnership called covenants. In these covenants, God makes promises to people and asks them to fulfill certain commitments. There are four Old Testament covenants:
(Though it’s not identified as a covenant, God’s partnership “covenant” with Adam was a perfect world for not eating the fruit of the one tree.)
- Noah: God required little of Noah after the flood other than promising not to wipe out man with a flood again.
- Abraham: If Abraham will trust God, God promises to bless Abraham and through his offspring bless the world.
- Israelites: If Israel will obey God, He promises to bless Israel and they will be His representatives to all nations.
- King David: If David and his people will obey God, from David’s lineage will come the One who will bring a New Covenant, one that would completely restore all the broken covenants that came before.
Throughout the Old Testament, prophets talk about a day when God will bring a New Covenant. This New Covenant is fulfilled by God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Christ was born to a descendant of Abraham, a faithful Israelite, from the line of King David. Thus, Christ fulfills and restores all of God’s covenants in the Bible. And, thanks to Jesus, despite our failures, we are able to enter into this New Covenant. It is a renewed partnership with God where all the saved work with Him to once again spread goodness and perfection throughout the world. God’s initial plan for partnership with mankind is made complete, it’s a new beginning – in a way, we are all like Adam.
Look In: Discussion
- How do these covenants show an unchanging God throughout history?
- How are each of these covenants an If/Then partnership (if people do this, then God will do that)?
- How is the New Covenant different?
- How can we enter into a New Covenant Relationship with God?
Point: God keeps His covenants and through Jesus Christ we are able to enter into and be a part of the New Covenant. We can be renewed and part of a new beginning.
- Have you entered into a New Covenant relationship with God? (If not, would you like to?)
- What is your role in this partnership today?
- What is one new thing you can do this week as God’s renewed partner?
- How, when, where, and with whom will you do it?
Pray for one another to do it and be ready to share what God does with your obedience.
The Bible Project – Covenants in the Bible