God created us in His own image so that a loving fellowship could exist between Him and us. Although the entrance of sin shattered the original union, God seeks to restore this relationship through the plan of redemption.
The entrance of sin ruptured the relationship the Creator had originally established with the human family through our first parents. Now God seeks to reestablish that same loving relationship by means of a covenant. What exactly does this covenant signify? This week is a quick summary of the whole quarter, as we take one day each to look at the early covenants through Scripture.
Noah responded to God’s covenant by committing his life to God and opening his heart to God’s love. The ark was a symbol of Noah’s commitment to support the covenant he had agreed to, and God rewarded him by saving Noah’s family from the final judgment of the antediluvian world—the Flood.
God called Abraham into a special covenant relationship that held many of the same parameters as God’s covenant with Noah. However, through the covenant with Abraham, God would set the foundation for the covenant of salvation with all humanity, at least all of humanity that will be saved.
God’s covenants are timeless. Though Noah, Abraham, and Moses, and others have passed away, the fulfillment of God’s promises still goes on. His promise of salvation is still extended to us if we choose to open our hearts to Him.
Even though Israel was God’s chosen nation and had inherited the covenant of its forefathers, it did not exhibit the same strength of conviction as its predecessors often did. Consequently, many in Israel made the same mistakes as their forefathers, dismissing the importance of God’s covenant in their own lives. God was faced again with sifting out the remnant from His sinful children
After having lived among the Egyptians, whose religion taught that salvation was purchased by the works of human hands, Israel lost sight of who God truly was. They believed that their obedience to God was their salvation and that redemption arose from their own merit, not in their personal relationship with God.
God’s law was an integral part of the covenant. Yet, it was a true covenant of grace. Grace, however, never nullifies the need for law. On the contrary, law is a means by which grace is manifested and expressed in the lives of those who receive grace.
The Sabbath is a covenant sign that reaches forward to the time when the plan of salvation will be consummated. It points back to Creation, and as a sign of the covenant of grace, it points us to the final re-creation, when God makes all things new.
The old covenant sacrificial system was replaced by the new; instead of animals being sacrificed by sinful priests in an earthly sanctuary, we now have Jesus, our perfect Sacrifice. He represents us before the Father in the sanctuary in heaven, which forms the basis of the new covenant and its promises
No matter what we do, our human nature is sinful and unworthy in comparison to the purity of God’s righteousness. By accepting Christ’s substitutionary death for us through the covenant, we can stand worthy in the sight of God.
The covenant between God and humanity goes beyond religious dogma and doctrine alone; instead it defines our relationship with heaven. By accepting the covenant, we open our lives to God’s love and His promise of salvation.