Posted by / Wednesday 18 January 2017 / No comments

God's covenant with Abraham

When Abraham was 99 years old God appeared to him and made a covenant with him. Basically, God required of Abraham to walk blamelessly with him in exchange for increase and multiplication him.

God covenanted with Abraham, to make him a father of a multitude of nations. He promised to make him a highly fruitful person and that nations and kings would come out of him. According to God the covenant was to extend to the descendants of Abraham after him in many generations to come. God also added the land of Canaan as an inheritance to the descendants of Abraham.

As part of the covenant, God changed the name Abram to Abraham meaning a father of a multitude of nations. Another aspect of the covenant was that God promised to be his God and to be God to all his descendants throughout the generations to follow.

On the part of Abraham, God required him to undergo circumcision and to circumcise all male members of his household, including free born and slaves. Also any male born in his house must be circumcised on the eighth day. God warned that those who refused to be circumcised would be cut off from the covenant.

God also added blessings for Sarai, the wife of Abraham. He changed her name from Sarai to Sarah to reflect the fact she was going to become the mother of nations. He promised to give Abraham a son by the womb of Sarah.   

Abraham thought this was a joke because Sarah was advanced in age and therefore humanly speaking, she could not bear children. He rather requested that God should make Ishmael great in his sight. But God insisted that Sarah shall have a child of her own. He also promised to bless Ishmael and make him great.

Sucking blood
Some people make an incision on the figure and such each others blood as a sign of covenant.

Swearing of oath
Some people go to a deity or any place which is associated with spirits and swear to uphold a covenant.

Offering a human sacrifice
Some people offer human sacrifices in order to achieve their aim.

Closer relationship
The covenant between Abraham and God brought them closer together than they were prior to the covenant.

New Identity
The covenant was also significant because of the fact that it gave a new image to Abraham. His name was effectively changed from Abram to Abraham.

Covenant transcended generations
Another significance of the covenant was that it went beyond Abraham’s generation to generations that were unborn at the time. It was connected to all his descendants.

The covenant was also significant in the fact that it birthed an external mark that the Jews were to carry with them all the days of their lives. The circumcision of all males in the house of Abraham and in the line down the ages was important.

Withdrawal of protection
One of the things that may occur when a covenant is broken is that the entity with the covenant is made, may withdraw its protective cover and one may be exposed to calamities.

Strained relationship
Another consequence of breach of a covenant is that the original relationship that existed between the two parties to the covenant is broken and may take a lot of effort to bring back to normal.

Bitterness develops
Another product of breaking a covenant is that the two parties start to develop bitterness toward each other and this stems from the hurt they may be feeling inside.

Breaching a covenant may incur the extreme anger of the partners toward each other. Usually, it is the more superior in the covenant whose wrath is incurred by the weaker person in the covenant.

May lead to sickness or even death
One party to the covenant may fall sick as a result of breaking the covenant. It may even lead to the death of the party. Many times, it is the weakling in the covenant who is likely to experience sickness or death.

Attracts blessings
Christians have testified that when they kept their part of the covenant with their God, they received abundant blessings. People of other faiths too have confessed of abundant blessings from their object of worship. People who dabble in rituals have also been temporarily blessed by their deities.

Ensures continuous relationship
Today, covenants are significant because it ensures that the parties to the covenant enjoy a peaceful relationship with each other. For Christians, it enables them to part of the salvation that was announced by Jesus.

Keeping faith
It is also significant in the sense that it serves as a reminder to the parties, especially, the weaker side, to keep faith with the superior party.

Holds nations together
Covenants are important because they are able to hold a nation together. In a democracy, they electorates vote for their leaders for four years to lead them in a certain direction. Even the leaders are not able to fulfill their side of the bargain; the electorates just wait to remove them at the next polls. The people keep their promise to keep them there for four years. This ensures relative peace in many countries.

1. a. Give an account of the covenant God had with Abraham in Canaan.
    b. Highlight three things that may occur if the covenant is broken.

2. a. Describe the covenant between god and Abraham.
    b. In which three ways are covenants relevant today?

3. a. “But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” Discuss all the other aspects of this statement and the covenant with God.
    b. Describe three ways this covenant is significant.

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