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5/5a Hearing God – The Covenant Between God and Abraham

Welcome back to our fifth post covering the Nine Covenant Arrangements made between Jehovah and an individual.  So far we have traced the original covenant with the first man created in the Garden of Eden

Then we saw the tragic results when Adam and Eve broke this Covenant and a second covenant was explained.  After Adam and Eve, the heart condition of mankind did not change and so, the next covenant was made with Noah.

Even with the world wide flood, human nature still turned to our own self-centred, rebellious ways.  Again Jehovah sought out one man and began a new relationship and a new covenant with him.  This man was Abraham, the Father of many nations.  Join us now as we continue the story of the human race and God’s desire to form relationship.

The arrangement or Covenant with Abra(ha)m starts a new chapter in God’s dealings with mankind.  Genesis Chapters 12 to 25 continue the story, as Jehovah begins to build a people for Himself, through one man, Abram.  This covenant was given after the tower of Babel and the scattering of the descendants of Noah.

A.  ABRAHAM BECOMES FATHER OF ALL WHO BELIEVE

1.  Review of man’s History to date

God gave Mankind a new beginning with a cleansed Earth.  However, since mankind’s heart was not changed, their corrupted nature soon became evident again.  Ham dishonoured his father and brought a curse on himself and his succeeding generations, Genesis 9:24-27, 10:6-20. 

(Unfortunately, many ignorant people have taken advantage of the curse over Ham as an excuse for ‘white supremacy’, racism and bigotry.)

Nimrod also led a rebellion against God’s command to spread out and replenish the Earth by drawing all the people together at Babel.  God stepped in and stopped their plans to reach God’s throne by building the great Tower of Babel.  By confusing their language, He scattered the people across the Earth, thus dividing them into nations, Genesis 10:25-32, 11:5-9, Acts 17:26-27, Deut. 32:8.  See the YouTube video I added to show this story. 

We have added a YouTube video to show what the story was when Nimrod began the Tower of Babel.

2.  The Scene for the Covenant with Abraham

STORY from Genesis 15:2-21:

“Abram couldn’t say he was really used to hearing the voice of Yahweh even though he had heard Him several times already.  Yahweh had called out of his home city of Ur, to lead him apart from his family and bring him to a different homeland.  

“…but somehow tonight, this time was different.  The supreme Creator of Heaven and Earth had promised him protection and to bless him greatly.  The Creator had revealed a new part of His character and Abram had learned His new name: El-Elyon or ‘The Most High God who is everywhere present, ‘Omnipresent’ as we would say today.

“Abram had been brave enough to ask “…but El-Elyon what good is all this if I do not have a son to follow me?  Who in my household will inherit all this wealth?” 

“Abram had to swallow deeply and make sure he heard right.  ‘…you will have a son to inherit everything you own.  See the stars of the night time sky?  Your decedents will be like that – too many to count.’  Right there, Abram decided to believe God again.  I’m sure the Creator smiled because He had found one man in the whole Earth that would be true to Him.

“El-Elyon told Abram to make a sacrifice to seal their covenant.  It was really dark by the time he had finished laying out the halves of the animal sacrifices.  Now he waited…for the Creator, the Omnipresent One.  Abram had spent time keeping the vultures and scavengers away and he waited…… and waited….

“Finally sleep overwhelmed Abram and he saw a dark and terrible vision. 

“ ‘Your descendants will be oppressed as slaves in a foreign land for 400 years.  I will punish the nation that enslaves them and in the end, they will come away with great wealth.  After four generations, they will return here to this land.’    ….and indeed the vision came true with Abraham’s great-grandson, Jacob’s son, Joseph.

“…but listen, the best part of the night was still to come.  Although Abram did not see El-Elyon, he saw a smoking fire-pot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the sacrifices.    The Creator of Life had sealed the covenant with Abram.  Imagine the awesome sight of the darkness and the power of El-Elyon! 

“Abram’s name was changed to Abraham at the birth of his son, Isaac and Abram became ‘the Father of Many Nations’.” 

Jehovah had searched the Earth for one faithful man to teach and establish His covenant.  He called Abram to “… leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go the land I will show you”, Genesis 12:1.   So, at age 75, Abram took his wife Sari, his nephew Lot and all their possessions and went on a faith journey.  They left the land of Haran and travelled into Canaan.  It was here that Abram was given the promise of land and many descendants.

C.  UNDERSTANDING THE COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM

1.  Who Made the Covenant and Why

El-Elyon, Jehovah’s plan was to establish a people of His own, people who would obey Him and form a covenant relationship with Him.  Through this covenant the Creator would bring to pass His other plans for future generations.

2.  Jehovah set out the terms of the Abrahamic Covenant

Abraham’s covenant had two major sections:

a)  Faith – “Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness …. “, Genesis 15:6, Psalms 106:31, Galatians 3:6, Hebrew 11:8-19.

b)  Obedience – Abraham showed his faith by unquestioning obedience, Genesis 22:18, 26:5, Hebrews 11:8, James 2:20-24.

3.  The blessings of the Covenant:  These are the blessings that came with Abraham’s obedience:

a)  A promise of personal blessings to Abraham, Genesis 12:2,

b) Blessings given to those who bless Abraham, Genesis 12:3,

c)  Abraham was to be a blessing to others – blessing the whole Earth, all families and nations through his descendants, Genesis 12:2,

d)  Abraham’s offspring would reign as kings, Genesis 17:6, 17:16, 35:11,

e) Abraham’s name was to be made great, Genesis 12:2,

f)  Jehovah would greatly multiply his seed, Genesis 12:2, 13:6, 15:5, 17:4-8,

g)  Promises for Abraham to possess the land of Canaan, it was to be an                everlasting possession, Genesis 12:1, 13:14-18, 15:7-21, 17:7-8,

h)  He would be given victory over his enemies, Genesis 22:17, 24:60, 49:8,

i)  The promise that Jehovah would be a God to him and to his seed after him, Genesis 17:7-8, Exodus 6:1-8.

4.  Consequences or curses if the covenant was broken

Only one statement is given as a ‘curse’:  “I will curse those who curse you.”, Genesis 12:3, as carried out in Genesis 27:26-29, Numbers 22:6, 23:8, 24:9.

It maybe hard for us to understand the times that Abraham lived.  Tribes, clans and wandering groups of people populated the Earth.  Large cities had been established and people lived in communities.  Land was available but often this advantage brought hard labor to maintain any community.

Pagan religions were plentiful, sacrificing to the many ‘gods’ around them.  Demonic worship would more clearly describe what Abraham saw in his journeys.  The voice of Jehovah was missing….until He found Abraham and made him that promise.  It was the Creator’s wish to start over again, with a new people that would follow His good plans and stay true to Him.  …but would they?

Join us for the continuing post on The Covenant with Abraham,

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author

www.hearinggod.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

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