We read through Genesis chapter 15-22 last night. Jackson Linton was here visiting and joined us in our reading time. All the kids did great again sitting and listening. Benny, being three, does move around a bit from person to person. He also is at the stage of noise making. So, often, we have soft motor engine noises in the background as we read.
Our reading covered the story of Abram becoming Abraham and Sarai becoming Sarah. It included the story of Hagar and Ishmael. We read about circumcision, the sign of the Covenant of YHVH with Abraham. We read of the miraculous birth of Isaac. We read the sad story of Sodom and Lot and his daughters. Our reading included the covenant, or agreement, made between Abraham and Abimelech. We completed our thirty minutes of reading with the famous story of Abraham taking Isaac up to Mount Moriah to sacrifice him, and God testing Abraham’s love and obedience.
Isn’t it amazing and exciting all that we can read in a short thirty minutes each night. It was definitely an action packed story time.
After reading, we discussed many things. But one discussion really stands out to me. What is a covenant? In the passages we read there are two different covenants discussed. Often we misunderstand this word in Christianity. We think covenant means salvation or law or something of that nature. But a covenant is an agreement, a contract.
We discussed the covenant Abraham made with Abimelech. This was an agreement between two men of power. Abraham a leader of his people, and Abimelech a king of his people. The agreement and understanding of their covenant was that Abraham had dug a well, and it belonged to his people. The sign of this covenant was seven ewe lambs. Abraham gave them to Abimelech as a sign, testimony of their covenant. The lambs were not the agreement, they were just a sign of the agreement, a witness of it taking place.
In our reading we also read about a very big covenant between Abraham and YHVH God. IN Genesis chapter 17, we read about an agreement God made with Abraham. Often this covenant is called, “The covenant of circumcision.” This is a very poor name, because it is misleading. That name implies that circumcision is the covenant. Which is a false assumption. The covenant that YHVH God makes with Abraham is that He will bless Him and make Him great. He will multiply his offspring and they will become many nations. His people will belong to YHVH God and He will be their God. YHVH calls this, “My Covenant.” This is His agreement to Abraham. As a sign or testimony, witness to this agreement, YHVH asks Abraham to circumcise all the males of his people. Circumcise is the sign that Abraham and all the men agree to be God’s people. Often, it is misunderstood that circumcision is what brings salvation to Abraham and his people. But that is NOT the covenant that is given. This covenant is not about the Messiah or salvation, it is a covenant of blessing. Abraham is not “saved” by circumcision. Salvation is not apart of this covenant, because salvation comes through the righteousness of the Messiah. Abraham’s faith in Messiah was already established with YHVH, Abraham’s faith declared him righteous before YHVH God (we will discuss this more in the New Testament book of Hebrews). This covenant, agreement is eternal (verse 13).
As we keep reading through our Bible we will come across more covenants, agreements. Join us and see what they are and who is responsible to keep them.