In order to understand who we are and our place in this world and in God’s Kingdom, we need to understand covenants. We have a covenant relationship with God, and we must understand His covenants with us. This only makes sense if we understand the nature of covenants and covenant relationships.
A covenant is an agreement between two parties, but it involves a much stronger commitment than a signed legal document. If we lease an apartment or a store, or if we promise to pay a certain amount of money in return for some specified benefit, we sign a legal document setting out our promises with pen and ink.
If we enter into a covenant with another party, there is no written agreement, no ink on a paper. A covenant involves the shedding of blood. Commonly, when two men make a covenant, each cuts his wrist and holds it with the other’s wrist so that his blood will comingle with that of the other. This comingling of blood signifies an unbreakable bond between the parties. The idea is that if I should break this covenant, may my life be taken from me.
One covenant we’ve probably all heard of was that between David and Jonathan. They committed themselves to protect each other against any and every harm that should try to befall either of them. At the time of the covenant, the threat of death to David from Jonathan’s father, King Saul, was very real. The covenant covered that threat plus any other threat that might ever arise.
A covenant relationship such as that established between these two men bound them not only to each other, but to each other’s descendents. Jonathan was killed before David became king, but David remembered the covenant.
One of David’s first acts as king was to find out if Jonathan had any offspring still alive. He discovered Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, who was taken into hiding by his nursemaid, who feared that a new king would want to wipe out the entire family of the old king.
It took some time for David’s men to find Mephibosheth, who was hiding in a remote place called Lo-debar. When they found him and told him they were taking him to the king, he feared for his life. Everyone around him had told him David would have him killed if he ever found him, but that’s not what happened.
David hugged Mephibosheth and told him of the covenant he had with Jonathan, and he made the boy a part of his own household. From that day forth, Mephibosheth lived in the palace and ate at the king’s table.
That’s what covenant is all about. It is a very serious matter, one which both parties swear to uphold to the death.
God made several covenants with His people over the centuries. Next week, we will take a look at the Adamic Covenant. Then we will look at other covenants, one week at a time.
How do you feel about an agreement so powerfully binding a surviving partner would spend years seeking the descendents of the deceased partner and then make him a part of his own household? How do you feel about a God who would do that same thing, applying it to YOU as one of the descendents?
If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
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