God’s Covenant with Abraham

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants."

Genesis 17:2

The word covenant appears more often in Genesis 17 than in any other chapter of the whole Bible (Hebrew, berit, 13 instances in Genesis 17). In the Ancient Near East, a covenant was a treaty, alliance, or agreement between people. Sometimes covenants were made between equals. Sometimes covenants were established by political rulers with their people. God's covenants with human beings are similar to this latter variety, in which the superior makes certain commitments and asks for various responses from his or her subjects. A covenant isn't simply a contract. It's more like a sacred mutual commitment that both parties are expected to honor.

As Christians, we participate in the new covenant with God. Through Jeremiah, God promised to make a new covenant with his people, by which Israel would know him and experience his forgiveness (Jer. 31:31-34). In Christ, this new covenant is offered to us so that we might have relationship with the Triune God (1 Cor. 11:25).

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you think of your relationship with God as a covenant? What difference does it make that God has entered into a new covenant with us?

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, even as you once established a covenant with Abraham, promising to bless him and requiring his faithful response, so you have made a covenant with us. We are in a committed relationship with you because of your choice to claim us as your people. Thank you.

And thank you, dear Lord, that your covenant is based upon your sovereign grace. We don't initiate relationship with you, but you with us. In this relationship, we experience forgiveness so that we might know you and serve you. What a gift!

Help us to live this day as your covenant people, confident in you, committed to you, serving you in every facet of our lives. Amen.