The God of Covenant, Gen. 9:15-17
A covenant is an agreement between two parties but it is not just a verbal
agreement. It is a legal one as each side has obligations which must be faithfully
When the covenant is between God and man or between God and a nation the
senior partner is the Devine Himself and there is no excuse for any breach on
the human side.
Why? Because God is faithful. He will stand by His promises come rain or
shine, Num. 23:19. In any case He is the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6.
So why does He have to lie? And to whom anyway? It is simply not in His
nature, Ps. 89:34-35, which is why when He makes a promise He stands by it.
His very nature is at stake. That is why when the other party – an individual
community or nation fails to stand by its obligations under the covenant God is
not simply upset He usually brings down the lash on the victim. God loved
Israel and He asked Moses to tell King Pharaoh:
“…Israel is my son, even my first-born”, Ex. 4:22,
That God loves Israel was therefore not in doubt then and now, Hosea 11:1, and
that was due, in part, to the faith and obedience of Father Abraham, Heb. 11:8-
10, for which God rewarded him with generational blessing, Gen. 22:15-18.
So divine covenant is not an agreement between equals- God dictates the terms
although underlying the agreement is love, agape love, for which the human
party ought to be eternally grateful. Because Abraham humbly obeyed, God
paid him back here on earth and in eternity, Lk. 16:19-31.
The Davidic covenant is a confirmation of God’s abiding love for His anointed.
Because He is all-knowing He had picked up young David at a time when
nobody, not even Samuel initially reckoned with him I Sam. 16:12-13.
Certainly God “…seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward
appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” I Sam. 16:7.
More than a decade before he mounted the throne David had shown that he
loved the God of Israel dearly confronting the Philistian “general,” Goliath,
with his youthful enthusiasm and a stone and sling with which he brought him
down, I Sam. 17:38-50.
It did not matter to David that three times King Saul, attempted to kill him
because he was jealous of him. Yet God protected him. Inspite of this awful
experience he did not retaliate. Rather, when he could have killed Saul with
little effort he refused to because King Saul was the anointed of God I Sam.
24:4-6, I Sam. 26:7-9. Even after Saul’s death the man who assisted him to
descend to the grave drew David’s anger, 2 Sam. 1:12-16. He ordered his
execution. Such was the depth of his respect for the anointing.
God, as he told Jeremiah, knew him “before I formed thee in the belly” Jer. 1:5.
This of course applied to David too. And the rest of His human creation. David
would build a house for His name while He, God, would establish the throne of
His kingdom forever. His mercy would not depart from him but if he committed
sin he would “chasten him with the rod of men”, 2 Sam. 7:13-14, Ps. 89:20-33.
God stood by His promises. He made David to pay deeply for His sins of
murder and adultery but He never destroyed him. Rather He looked back at his
loyalty and sincere repentance. He saved his soul, Rev. 22:16.
The last is the covenant of Grace. Those covenants in the Old Testament
covenant did not lead to the salvation of man. Rather sin persisted far beyond
the Edenic period, Rom. 3:23, despite God’s tireless efforts. The Ten
Commandments were never fully obeyed, Ex. 20:1-17, Deut. 4:13-14, due to
Baal and other gods multiplied, Judges 2:13 although He had warned them to
steer clear of these lifeless gods, Jud. 6:25. Sending them into captivity had not
produced the desired results, Ez. 2:1.
So God brought into being a plan which He and the Son had agreed upon before
the foundation of the world, namely that He would proceed to the world as a
lamb slain at God’s own alter to save his human creation from total destruction.
Why? Because the blood of animals was not acceptable for redemption. Only
the sinless blood of his Son would save man, Rev. 13:8.
This is the covenant of Grace. John 3:16-17. It is not the product of man’s
initiative. It is God’s gracious mercy and love, John 3:16-17