One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Friday, January 4, 2013: Genesis 8:1-10:32
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:12-13 (NIV)
Covenant is a very important word in the Bible. It is a strong word. It is the way relationships are formed and maintained. It is the way God relates with us and how He expects us to relate with each other.
Covenant is more than an agreement or a contract. It is a solemn oath. We find here in the story of Noah the first use in the Bible of the word "covenant", but the idea, the concept pre-dates our created world. It comes out of the very nature of Almighty God. He is a covenant-making and a covenant-keeping God.
It is incredible to consider that the God who created the universe would stoop to make a covenant with me. He binds Himself in an oath, a promise that cannot be broken. The stipulations of a biblical covenant are that the one who breaks the covenant must die. That's how strong it is.
Your word is your bond. You must keep your commitments to God and to your brothers. That's the way covenant work. I must add that it is also nearly extinct from our world today. There are few areas in which the difference between biblical values and worldly values is so striking.
A biblical covenant always has a seal. In the Noahic covenant, it is the rainbow. In the Abrahamic covenant, it is circumcision. In the covenant at Sinai, it is the Passover Lamb. In the New Testament, it is JESUS.
God will NEVER break His covenant. But, what about us? It is here that the marvelouos truth of the Cross shines so brightly. Even though we have broken our covenant with God and deserve death, He has stepped in to take our place. The covenant of grace says that Jesus has taken our penalty for the breaking of covenant. He has absorbed the curse, and maintained the covenant blessings for us. That is good news! That is Gospel! That is grace!