The Covenants of God
Definition: "A covenant is a sovereign pronouncement of God by which He establishes a relationship of responsibility
between himself and an individual,
between Himself and mankind in general,
between Himself and a nation, or
between Himself and a specific human family.”
A covenant in one category may overlap others...The covenants are normally unconditional in the sense that God obligates Himself in grace, by the unrestricted declaration, 'I will' to accomplish certain announced purposes, despite any failure on the part of the person or people with whom He covenants. The human response to the divinely announced purpose is always important, leading as it does to blessing for obedience and discipline for disobedience. But human failure is never permitted to abrogate the covenant or block its ultimate fulfillment." (C.I. Scofield)
The Edenic Covenant – Gen. 1:28-30; 2:16-17
15 And the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
In this conditional covenant, man is charged with responsibility for propagating the race,
subduing the earth,
exercising dominion over the animals,
caring for the garden in Eden,
and refraining from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
He would suffer the consequences of death should he break the covenant.
The Adamic Covenant Genesis 3
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Consequences of man's fall necessitated a changed relationship between man and God including the following elements:
A curse on the serpent: Gen 3:14
The first promise of a redeemer (the proto-evangelium).
A changed state of woman including bondage and subservience to man's headship and suffering and pain in motherhood.
Loss of the garden in Eden as a dwelling place and light occupation changed to heavy burden of work because of a cursed earth.
Inevitable sorrow and disappointment in life.
Shortened life span and tragedy of death.
The Noahic Covenant. - Gen. 8:21-9:17
21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
This unconditional covenant with Noah (which affects all mankind) establishes principles for all government, and includes the following:
Sanctity of all human life established. Man responsible to protect human life, by the means of capital punishment.
A Promise that another universal flood will not occur, and the ground will not be cursed further.
Man's relationship to the animals and to nature is confirmed.
Man, presumably a vegetarian before the flood, is now allowed to eat meat.
Special characteristics are assigned to the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The Abrahamic Covenant - Gen. 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 22:15-18
14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
This was an unconditional covenant.
(1) God gave Abraham the promise of a great nation---
Primarily Israel, but also includes those in the line of Ishmael and others sons.
Two peoples descended from Abraham are named specially. They are an earthly group (Israel) "as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore," and a heavenly group (the true church) "as numerous as the stars in the heavens."
(2) Abraham was to be the father of many, to be blessed, to be honored, to be a channel of blessing to others.
(3) Those who bless Abraham are to be blessed and those who curse him will be cursed.
(4) Reaffirmation of the promise of a Messiah.
The Mosaic Covenant - Exodus 19:3-6
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
This was a Conditional Covenant.
It was a Kingdom Agreement
The history of Israel has been a series of failures to keep their part of the agreement.
Due to their failure they have never enjoyed the full blessings of God as their king.
It was a National Constitution
The Covenant contained 613 moral, civil and ceremonial laws. All are summarized in Deut. 6:5
It provided a Guide to Christ
The Law established by the Mosaic Covenant showed our need for a savior – Galatians 3:24
The Palestinian Covenant - Deut. 30, Amos 9:9-15
Amos 9:11-15 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
Also an unconditional covenant
Dispersion of the Jews was to be a consequence of disobedience.
Future repentance will be accomplished by God.
God will regather his scattered people and restore them to the land.
The people of Israel will be brought to the Lord as a nation.
The enemies and oppressors of Israel will be punished.
Future national prosperity and preeminence is guaranteed. (Deut. 28, 29) The right of the Jews to live in the land is conditional upon their behavior.
God Promises that He will Revive his Covenants with Israel.
Isaiah 11:11-12 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Jeremiah 23:3-8 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
Also Ezek. 37:21-25 and Hosea 2:14-16
The Davidic Covenant - 2 Sam. 7:8-16; Psalm 89:1-4, 19-37; Jer 23:5
2 Samuel 7:8-16 8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: ….11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. …16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
This unconditional covenant promises
(1) A temple in Israel built by David’s son,
(2) A kingdom given to the sons of David forever,
(3) chastisement on the sons if they disobey.
(4) The Messiah would be of the line of David.
Luke 23:5 - Fulfilled in Jesus birth
Zech 14:3-4, 9 - And one day in His return
The New Covenant - Jer. 31 - Heb. 8:8-13
Hebrews 8:8-12 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
An everlasting, unconditional covenant between God the Father and God the Son (Heb. 13:20-21) imparting a renewed mind and heart to the recipients.
Restored favor and blessing for Israel.
Complete and final forgiveness and removal of sins.
Indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
A rebuilt temple in Israel (Ezek. 37:26,27a).
Cessation of war and institution of world peace.
The New Covenant will not fully go into effect until the return of Christ.
We as Christians are not parties in the covenant. The Covenant is between the Father and the Son.
Christians receive the spiritual blessings of the covenant, Complete and final forgiveness and removal of sins and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Christians do not receive the physical blessing reserved for Israel.
A rebuilt temple in Israel (Ezek. 37:26,27a).
Cessation of war and institution of world peace.
Both Israel and Christians are blessed through this covenant in the same way. They accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, whose shed blood cleanses their sin.
The full benefits of the New Covenant, both spiritual and physical, will be experienced during the Millennium.
Though the Millennium is for Israel it is probable that we will share in it’s blessing as we have the New Covenant.
Summary and Review
Definition: "A covenant is a sovereign pronouncement of God by which He establishes a relationship of responsibility between himself and an individual, mankind in general, a nation, or a specific human family.
All the covenants are unconditional except two, the Edenic and Mosiac/Sinatic (The Law).
The Covenants of God which reveal God’s plan of salvation are: The Edenic, the Adamic, the Noahic, the Abrahamic, the Mosiac, the Palestinian, the Davidic and the New.
God’s covenants with Israel will be fully restored in the Millennial Kingdom after the nation has accepted Jesus as their Messiah.