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Covenants

Les Sherlock


NOTES

Throughout the history of the world God has initiated different covenants with mankind. The first we are told about is the one He promised Noah at the time He instructed him to build the ark:

Gen 6:18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.

Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This was brought into being when Noah left the ark after the flood waters had receded.

Gen 9:9, 12–15  "And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you… And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.


The thing to notice about this covenant is that its requirements have nothing to do with mankind at all: they have no part in it because it is a one-sided binding agreement that is entirely dependent on God Himself. He chose to commit Himself to ensure the entire earth would never again become immersed in water, for ‘perpetual generations’. This is not to say there will never be local floods at different times, obviously, but that the entire population of the earth would never again be drowned. Therefore this covenant continues to this day and will continue for as long as the earth remains.


The next covenant * was made with Abraham, or ‘Abram’ as he was called at that time.

Gen 15:18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—

* In fact there was a covenant before this between Abram and some Amorites (Gen 14:13), but we are here only considering covenants made by God.

The first thing to note is that this was accompanied by animal sacrifice. The words ‘made a sacrifice’ come from the Hebrew carath berith *, which refer to the custom of confirming a covenant or agreement by cutting an animal into two and both parties passing between the parts. Notice how this was done in this case:

Gen 15:9–17 So He said to him, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.

Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.


* kârath: A primitive root; to cut (off, down or asunder); by implication to destroy or consume; specifically to covenant (that is, make an alliance or bargain, originally by cutting flesh and passing between the pieces)

berı̂yth: in the sense of cutting; a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh):

(Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries)

The other thing to notice is that the covenant primarily involved the land: this was territory given by God to Abram and his descendents and today is known as the land of Israel where they still live today, albeit with tremendous dispute from their neighbours and in a smaller area.


After this covenant was made, because Sarah was barren she gave her servant Hagar to Abram to bear a child on her behalf. Abram was 86 years old when his son, Ishmael was born via Hagar. 13 years later God came to Abram with another covenant. He reaffirmed that the land belonged to Abram and his descendents forever; but went further by including his wife Sarah, who was going to bear the son through whom God’s covenant would be fulfilled. For the first time man had a part to play in the deal: just as animals had to be killed and divided for God to pass between the parts and thus ratify the agreement in the first covenant, now Abraham and all his descendents had to cut the covenant too, by means of circumcision.


Gen 17:2; 10–11; 15–16 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly." …This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you… Then God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her."


God then promised Abraham that He would establish this covenant with Isaac (Gen 17:21) who as yet was unborn. Many years later, when Abraham’s descendents had grown into a nation so large, Egypt had enslaved them to prevent any threat to their nation and to make use of their manpower. At that time we are told God remembered this covenant, that had been repeated to Jacob:

Exodus 2:24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
















































































































































































Evolutionists tells us the reason we can’t see the process of evolution taking place is because it happens too slowly - typically over millions of years - for it to be seen, which is effectively saying that not being able to see the evidence of evolution taking place is evidence for evolution taking place! However, it is not necessary to observe millions of years in order to disprove the theory, since if we know the kind of change required to produce a new kind of creature and the time period available for this to happen, then we can easily see if it is possible or not.




































































































































































































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