Abraham And The Covenant
Genesis Chapters: 12,13,14,15,16,17,18
Gen. 15: 9-16; 17: 1-11; 1 8: 1-8; Psalms 25: 14
Hundreds of years before God gave commandments to Israel, He called a man from Ur of the Chaldees and commanded him to get up, get out, and get into a land He would show him. This man, Abram, left his native country of idolaters that worshiped the host of heaven and followed the commandment of God not knowing where He would direct him. Many years later the Psalmist David would write, by the unction of the Spirit, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant." It is vital we know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and causes us to obey God, turning from sin. Knowing that Blood Covenant is a revelation, let us proceed.
In the entire Word of God there are only two Blood Covenants cut for mankind, the one with Abram will be discussed today and the one with Jesus Christ is a later study. God made covenants of promise to Noah, David, Levitical priesthood, and others... He only cut the blood for Abraham, and later with Jesus Christ.
In the East, cutting a covenant in blood is a familiar procedure, the nearest ceremony to this procedure in non-eastern cultures is the marriage ceremony. When a covenant is cut, there are covenant laws, promises and benefits that are made known and agreed upon before entering into covenant relationship. There is an exchange of garments, weapons, and swearing of an oath is made. A cutting is made in the wrist of the two agreeing parties and their blood is mingled; earth or gunpowder is rubbed into the cut and the scar is the token of covenant. All children born into the family of the covenant heads are automatically in the covenant relationship. They do absolutely nothing to become a member of the covenant except to be born into the family of the covenant maker.
When Abram obeyed God, leaving the land of his and upon arriving in the land God showed him, he erected and altar, lifted up his hand and worshiped God. A famine in the land caused Abram to go into Egypt and later returned to this same altar. God blessed Abram and his nephew Lot with such riches the land could not contain them both, so Lot chose to dwell in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and Abram remained in Canaan.
After Abram separated from Lot, God spoke to him and promised him the land and a great multitude of progeny. Abram pitched his tent at Mamre and built an altar. It is important to note when one is called of God, worship is most vital... even erecting altars before pitching tents. There the Lord appeared to him in a vision and gave the commandment for a blood sacrifice. When God instructed Abram to take a heifer, she goat, and a ram of three years, a turtle dove and young pigeon; dividing the animals and leaving the fowls whole. He placed them in a figure eight, and a deep sleep fell on Abram and a great darkness. God spoke from the darkness and promised Abram long life, and a 400 year bondage for his children; their deliverance from bondage and a return to this place. As the sun went down a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed through the sacrificial pieces. A local Rabbi and I discussed this passage and I asked him if in the original reading of this passage God said "Take for me, until I come", and he was very surprised, as he knew I did not read Hebrew. The Tanakh (Hebrew Testament - same as our Old Testament) says exactly that. I have a Tanakh (in the English translation). Rabbi was so very excited that the Spirit would reveal the entire meaning to me. So we read Psalms 25 and had such a wonderful discussion. God bless my Hebrew friends and allow them to see Messiah is come already. You see any Hebrew would tell you the Godhead walked the covenant walk, when cutting covenant with Abraham. This is God's first Blood covenant with mankind.
Abram tried to produce an heir through his wife's handmaiden, an Egyptian named Hagar given to Abram to be his wife, because she was barren. Space does not allow this complete teaching..but study Ishmael and see how "flesh actions" never bring forth the promise. In His divine Love, God did not even acknowledge Abram and Sara's "flesh" effort, opmly saying "In Isaac shall thy seed be called."
When Abram was ninety years old the Lord appeared to him commanding Abram to walk before Him perfectly, and gave him the promises of the covenant:
1. You shall be the father of many nations.
2. Your name will be changed to Abraham.
3. You will be exceedingly fruitful.
4. Kings shall come out of your lineage.
God gave Abraham commandment of circumscion for covenant identification and promised him that from his seed the Messiah would come forth. Not seeds, as of many...just seed.
When God gave Abraham a portion of His Own Name, he told Abraham's name and was known by all Israel as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The covenant was ratified in each of these birthed to him and they walked in the same covenant of their father. Abraham totally agreed and committed himself to God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Children, covenant is a commitment, not a mental assent. When we commit to God, we must forsake all else and follow Him. The idea that we can accept Jesus as Savior and later accept Him as Master and Lord is a dangerous fallacy. Baptism does not save, Constantine baptized an entire army; believing doesn't save... it is believing and receiving that allows us to become sons of God. And saints, when He is in our lives He is Lord... we don't make Him Lord... that is WHO HE IS.
When Abraham responded to covenant, he became one with God. In chapter 18, God came to the tent at Mamre and ate the covenant meal (theologians agree this was an appearance of the Son of God prior to His being born of the virgin); promised Isaac, revealed His intention to destroy Sodom (He always make known His acts to His covenant people.
Abraham and Sarah were past child-bearing age, when God gave them Isaac. Oh, if we would just realize that the promise comes when we are "dead" to the ability to obtain it ourselves. Glory to God !!
God tested Abraham by telling him to take Isaac, his only son, (about 17 - 20 years of age) and offer him for a sacrifice on a mountain iMoriah that He would show him. He and the lad and their servants journeyed three days to the place indicated by God and Abraham told the servants to wait until the lad and I go and worship and WE will return to you. Man, this is some kind of faith...we have to believe that what God has promised... He will do and He had promised Abraham a multitude that would spring from Isaac. They took the wood and Abraham built the altar. Isaac said, "Here is the wood, where is the sacrifice," and Abraham replied, "God will provide the Lamb." There on that hill, (most say it was Golgotha, ) this covenant man bound His only son and raised the knife to slay him, knowing that God would restore Isaac's life. Then God's Angel spoke and said, "Lay not your hand on him, for I know you fear God for not withholding your only son from Him." Abraham looked and saw a ram with his head caught in the thorns and offered him there to God. Beloved, when the weaker of the covenant partners did not withhold his only son from God, then many years later, on this same hill, God offered His Only Son with a crown of thorns upon His head for a spotless sacrifice, not only for the children of Abraham, but to whosoever will. GLORY TO GOD.