Abrahamic Covenant Part One
Part of the Biblical Covenant Stories Series
Listen to the Podcast here
I hope this story telling account of History and the Biblical Covenants is of help to you. I know we all have questions when it comes to life. When I was young, I was the oldest of 5 children. My youngest little sister was filled with so many questions as she grew, but the first question was why? Not just why, but why, why why why, why, why, but why and so on. It taught me patience for sure. But it also helped me understand that inquisitive nature. So, here we go again, As I attempt to answer some of the background info to the why questions to give us a better understanding of WHY God did what He did. Of course we won’t know it all this side of Heaven, but I hope it’s a good start to get you digging into the Biblical Covenants on your own.
Last time we got together and looked at the Covenants, Noah and his family were fresh off the boat, ok a really big boat, ok, an Ark!
After exiting the vehicle, God had instructed the family once again with one direction being repeated which was for them to be fruitful and multiply, for the entire earth needed repopulating.
The smell of a good BBQwas still wafting in the air including the fat from the animals that were given to God in sacrifice by Noah on an altar, revealing an obedient heart, with the rainbow overhead as a symbol of the unconditional covenant between God and mankind and all the animals.
God promised He would not flood the entire earth again. After establishing the family in the last covenant between Himself and Adam, God has now established government for mankind through the covenant with Noah. This covenant will remain in effect as long as there are rainbows. It does my heart good when I see a gorgeous double rainbow in the sky after a storm here in North Idaho. If you have any pictures of one in your area, I would love it if you would share them on the Moments with Moni facebook page. Let’s all remind each other of this promise from God.
Ok, back to the story.
Well, the beauty of the fresh new earth didn’t last that long. Fresh off the boat, Noah decided to be a farmer, and planted a vineyard. Yes, I realize there is passage of time, but in the very next verse, Noah drank that wine, and you guessed it...Noah got drunk.
Evidently there was a scandal that went on inside the tent, for the Bible reads, “Noah, drank of the wine, and was drunken, and had it happened today Ham would have been considered a journalist wanting to make headlines
Some say there may have been more going on, but many scholars believe that the scene was just what it was written as, which you can read in Genesis.
Do you remember after Adam and Eve sinned and made clothing for themselves out of fig leaves? The timeline from this Antedilluvian age to the Last Days before the coming of Christ, may make this moment look like no big deal.
But remember the standard of this world by the One who created it and all that is in it, rises above such lewdness.
After Noah woke from his drunkeness, it says that he knew what had happened.
I used to think that Noah just yelled at his son because he was mad at him. However, the Bible paints a different picture. Noah was now in his right mind, and since he was the head of the family, and now the head governing member of society, he has proclaimed blessing and cursing in this instance.
The guilty party is now proclaimed a servant to the other two sons, one of whom receives a spiritual blessing and the other a temporal one. We also read in this account of History, that Noah lived another 350 years after the flood and he died.
As the Bible continues, descendants of these three sons are mentioned. It looks like a dry read of names if at first you open your Bible to read them, but if you dig in to the meaning of these names, and catch a bit of history that is thrown in with them, it actually reveals a lot. But that is for another story. Our main take away for the Covenant series is that the earth was being repopulated rather well. All of these were the families of Noah’s generations, and the nations came out of these three sons families.
So what happens when you get together a lot of people who want to do things their own way? Well, since they all spoke the same language, they got together in their pretensious pride, and decided to not scatter across the earth and fill it, but to build a tower that reached all the way to Heaven. Pride and arrogance is strong and well in the hearts of mankind once again.
As a mom, I get the picture of a toddler who want out of the play pen so they can get back into the forbidden cookie jar, maybe even skip the jar and go straight for the hot cookie sheet coming out of the oven. Why stop at one, when you can have the whole batch. Mom would gently pick the toddler up and put them back in the play pen and distract the little one with a toy or a book.
It makes me laugh when I think of God, talking amongst Himself, saying “watch this”. “Let us confuse them with different languages.”
There are some that would think, Oh that God!
He never let’s me do what I want to do. Yet, if we look at it from God’s point of view, He is putting them safely back into the play pen so that the whole human race won’t all get themselves into danger once more. It’s all in our perspective isn’t it?
It was during this time that the life span of humans was steadily shortening, and Abram steps on to the page of world History. This was during the Patriarchal society, and Abram, was married to Sarai, who was barren. She had no child.
Childlessness in a society like this was considered a curse. However these two loved each other very much.
The lifestyle of people at that time was filled with little pocket gods. Graven images of false gods that people worshipped instead of the one true God.
It was at this time, that God called to Abram and told him to get out of the country he was in, and directed Abram out of Ur of the Chaldeans.
God said, “Leave your land, your relatives and your father;s house and go to the land that I’m going to show you.”
But guess what?
Abram did as the LORD directed, and left Ur of the Chaldeans, after his father died, and took his nephew Lot and his wife Sarai, and all the possessions and the servants and they set out for Canaan.
Can you imagine packing up and leaving everything you know and love behind without even knowing where you were headed?
I remember when my husband couldn’t get work when we lived in Northern CA, and he was offered three jobs in North Idaho. He went on ahead to secure lodgings and connect with the employer and came back for the family. He and the boys were in the U-haul truck ahead of me, and I followed them up in the car. It took us a few days, but as we came down out of the big city in the neighboring state of Washington, it was nearing dusk. As we continued to drive, it got darker and darker, until we met new friends that helped us unpack the truck that night in the dark. It wasn’t until the next morning when I ventured out for some breakfast to bring back to the guys, that I saw the beauty of the forests all around me, praising God for the place He had brought me to, sight unseen. Trust is such a little word, that requires a big heart.
For Abram and Sarai, trust encompassed more that just a move. God promised the land He brought them into, to his descendants. So Abram built an altar to worship God and continued on into
Egypt because there was a famine in the land. While in Egypt God tells us a story of how Abram lied to the Pharaoh about his wife Sarai, for he knew she was a beautiful woman, and was afraid he would be killed by pharoah and she would be taken away. But God revealed this lie by afflicting Pharoah and his household with severe plages. Pharoah called Abram out and sent him and Sarai out of the country along with many sheep, oxen, donkey’s servants and camels.
It’s pretty bad when someone who does not even believe in the same God you do, calls you out in a lie.
By this story, we can see that Abram was a sinner. He lied to save his own skin, even though he put his wife’s life in danger. And yet, God chose Abram to make the next Covenant with. Abrams response to God was in faith.
As time passed, Abram began to wonder how the promise that God had made to him would come to be, Abram waited a loooooong time for this promise to come true, but God knows that we need reminding now and then, which is a perfectly painted picture for us today when we read
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
God didn’t just tell Abram of the promise again, but gave him an illustration. God had Abram look up at the night sky and pointing out that Abram’s physical descendants would be as innumerable as the stars in the sky, through Abrams actual flesh and blood child, and that the land that God shows Abram will be the land that his descendants will inherit.
One of these descendants is called the Bright and Morning Star. (Rev. 22:16)
Then Abram believed the LORD and the LORD counted it to Abram as righteousness. Or we could say that God credited faith to Abram’s account as righteousness. Abram was still a sinner like you and I but just as someone today looks back at the finished work of Jesus on the cross, and Abram looked forward to God’s promise, we are counted as righteous before God.
That’s a pretty big promise, and I think I would have questions, and yes, Abram asked God How ill I know, or how will I be able to show the nations what You have told me?
This is where the making of a covenant comes in. We discussed this in a previous episode, but in review, God asked to Abram to prepare animals for a covenant ceremony, which Abram did.
A deep sleep fell over Abram
A burning torch passed between the sacrificial animal. Usuallay both parties of a covenant would pass through together in a figure eight, which also signified eternity, but in this case it was God who took full responsibility of this covenant and passed through alone after Abram fell asleep. It would be another fourteen years after this ceremony that the Lord would appear to Abram again.
Have you ever lost sight of a promise that you KNOW God made to you? Have you gone on your merry way trying to do life on your own, thinking you are honoring God but really, you are walking in the flesh, walking all alone down a dark alley with a light at the end that might be a train!
Well, Abram and Sarai, were doing just that. Instead of walking with God, they stepped ahead of Him and took matters into their own hands to try to fulfill the covenant promise they KNEW was theirs. Sarai came up with a plan, which was common in those days, when it came to infertility. You see, it was considered a curse to be childless in those days, and Sarai and Abram, were both getting up there in age, near 100 hundred years old!
In those days, to ensure a child, an heir to childless couples, the wife’s handmaiden would, as we would say today, be a surrogate mother for the couple.
Just as Adam and Eve focused on the fruit rather than on God and took matters into their own hands, so did Abram and Sarai. Along with this came consequences that we live through and will continue to live through until the end of time.
The child that came from the union of Abram and Sarai’s Handmaiden, Hagaar the Egyptian, was named Ishmael. Even though Sarai wanted this child, Hagar now despised Sarai. Then Sarai quickly blamed it on Abram and then Abram threw it back at Sarai saying, paraphrased like this of course…Hey, she’s not my handmaid, you do what you want with her.
My husband and I were just watching a program about spotting liars a few weeks ago, and it strikes me as a similar scene here. Firs the blame game and tossing the blame back, but also no admission of guilt, just do what you want with her. Hey, it’s not problem, you deal with her.
So Sarai dealt harshly with Hagar, so harshly that Hagar ran away. But an angel of the LORD told Hagar that she must go back to Sarai and submit to her authority.
Again, we don’t know how much time has passed, but in the very next verse of the Historical account in the Bible, God announces to Abram that “I AM God Almighty! Live in constant awareness that I’m always with you, and be blameless so that I may make Amy Covenant between me and you and may multiply you greatly.
God speaks, and on his face Abram goes as God continues.
Behold my covenant is with you and you shall be the father of a multitude of Nations.
God revealed Himself to Abram as El SHaddai, The God who pours out blessings richly, abundantly, continually.
God made it clear to Abram what He expects of him. The word blameless means “whole”. God expects Abram to give himself wholly to God. A complete commitment.
Even though it had been many years since the promise was first made to Abram, God didn’t forget anything.
As we walk through this world, waiting for God to “make good” on his promises, does it build our faith or does it cause us to mock God’s seemingly forgetfulness? Mockers have reminded us many times during these last days before Jesus return for His bride that,
“Oh, it’s been more than two thousand years already and your god hasn’t returned for you yet! Just give it up!”
Should there be a momentary lack of faith, of doubt on my part, it’s time for me to fall on my face and spend time with the One who loves me, with God Almighty, who reminds me of His faithfulness as I look back over the altars that have been erected in my own heart when God has taken me by the hand and walked me over the river and through the woods, not to grandmothers house, but to a place of deeper trust and faith in Him. And just like God changed Abrams name, He promised to give me a new name as an overcomer in Him!
Right now as we walk with our Lord, He calls us saints, righteous, ambassadors, the chosen, a royal priest hood, children of God, and Beloved, and each one of those will be fulfilled by God, through God, in us.
Abram and Sarai through a wrench into the plans of God, but once again God knows the beginning from the ending of time, and He knows what our choices will be, which is another reason for the making of this covenant.
Rather than just the “official” offspring of God’s Covenant with Abram, there is now another son that will create another Nation. The lives of these two sons, and their descendants are still at war today. If it weren’t for the Son of God Himself, that promised Bright and Morning Star, there would be no end to the war of the Nations that come out of mankind, once again choosing to do life on their own terms, rather than the perfect plans of God.
There is just so much more to unpack in this covenant and the lives of Abraham and his two sons, but we will have to take another look at the rest of the story next time.
Don’t forget to stop by the Moments with Moni Facebook Page and post a reminder of God’s Covenant with Noah and all of us, the beautiful rainbow. If you’ve enjoyed Moments with Moni, please share it with a friend, neighbor or family member. Thanks for listening.
End of part one of The Abrahamic Covenant.
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The Covenant Series:
The Covenant Stories #47
The Covenant Stories #49 (The Making of a Covenant)
Overview of the Biblical Covenants #51
The Biblical Covenants, Edenic #53
The Biblical Covenants-Adamic #55
Theme Song "Brand New" written and performed by Brad & Monika Hardy
Writer, Creative Story Teller and Podcast Host