God gave to Abraham five promises:
1- He promised that He would make of him a great nation (though at that time he had no heir).
2- He promised that He would bless Abram (He became a wealthy man).
3- He promised Abram that He would make his name great. Today, Abraham has a great name among:
#. Muslims who view him as one of their prophets;
- Jews who call Abraham “the father” of their nation;
- Christians who trace their spiritual heritage to him.
4- He promised Abram that he would be a blessing. Having been blessed by God, that blessing has flowed to others through the Lord Jesus Christ whose humanity is traced to Abraham.
Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." AND
Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.
5- He promised Abram that He would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him
Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." That principle can be traced through history to men and nations in relation to their treatment of the Jewish people. SUMMARY:
In Genesis 12, God sovereignly gave promises to Abraham. Later He formalized His promises to Abraham with a covenant (Genesis 15). And then, as a direct result of Abraham's faith, God guaranteed His promise with His oath. He said to Abraham. “By myself have I sworn (Genesis 22:16).
The hope set before us is the return of Christ to consummate the blessing promised in the Abrahamic Covenant. Every spiritual blessing which men have know for the last four thousand years, every joy and confidence which the true Church possesses, is totally dependent upon the covenant which God made with the father of the Jewish people.
Everything of spiritual benefit is dependent upon the provision of the unconditional character of the Abrahamic Covenant.
There are five major components in a covenant between a ruler (in the Mosaic Covenant, God) and his subjects (the Jews) are prominent in the Scriptures.
FIRST – this covenant had a PREAMBLE. In this part of the covenant, the author of the covenant was identified and his title give. Exodus 20:1-2 And God spoke all these words, saying: " I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
SECOND – this covenant had a HISTORICAL PROLOGUE. This dealt with the acts of the ruler on behalf of his people and why they should want to enter into covenant with him. Exodus 19:4-5 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
THIRD – this covenant had STIPULATIONS. These were the principles that governed the relationship between the Lord and His people. It included the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and general laws (Exodus 21:1-23:19). The ancient rabbis said there was a total of 613 laws given to Israel by God.
FOURTH – this covenant had the promise of BLESSINGS AND CURSING. Blessings were promised IF the people would hear and heed the instructions of God. On the other hand there would be cursing IF they did not head and heed the Lord's instruction (Exodus 23:20-33; Deuteronomy 28). Blessing conveys the idea of the giving of life and goodness; and cursing, of death and badness.
FIFTH – this covenant had a OATH. This involved the pledge on the part of the people to observe all that was included in the covenant. Exodus 24:3 So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which the LORD has said we will do." Here was the willingness of the people to accept and obey the covenant.
A number of important principles should be noted concerning the Mosaic Covenant.
FIRST – the Mosaic Covenant, unlike the Abrahamic Covenant, is bilateral or conditional in nature. The children of Israel agreed to the Covenant. The ruler, in this case, God, did not unconditionally promise and swear to keep this Covenant in place. The Mosaic Law was a performance code which could b nullified by God if its conditions were not met. They said in, Exodus 19:8 "All that the LORD has spoken we will do." If they did not, then God could nullify the covenant.
SECOND – the Mosaic Covenant neither replaced nor modified the Abrahamic Covenant. The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian believers: Galatians 3:17-18 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
THIRD – the Law, which never superseded the Abrahamic Covenant, was not a way TO life, it was a way OF life. No one every gained entrance to heaven by keeping the Law. Abraham believed God (concerning His promise of a coming seed), and it (his faith) was counted unto him as righteousness. Under the Mosaic Covenant, men who sought to keep the Law with proper motive were not saved because they kept the Law, but because of their faith in God's revealed Word. Attempting to “DO” the work of the Law testified to their “FAITH” in the Lawgiver. And His promise of a coming Savior.
FOURTH – the Law was good. Its weakness was not in the ruler or the rules themselves. Its weakness was in the servants of the ruler. They swore to uphold the Law and said:
Exodus 24:3 So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which the LORD has said we will do." But they could not – it was beyond the ability of their fallen nature.
One of the Law's primary purposes was to be a way to lead men to Christ and grace by demonstrating that they could not keep the Law. Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
FIFTH – the Old Testament itself called attention to the inadequacies and temporary character of the Mosaic Covenant by speaking of a New Covenant yet to come. The prophet Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 31:31-33 " Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
This covenant centers on several key promises that are made to David.
- God reaffirms the promise of the land that He made in the first two covenants with Israel (The Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants). This promise is seen in 2 Samuel 7:10, “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously.”
- God promises that David’s descendent or “seed” will succeed Him as king of Israel and that David’s throne will be established forever. This promise is seen in 2 Samuel 7:12-13, "I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
The provisions of the covenant are summarized in 2 Samuel 7:16, “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever." The promise that David’s “house”, “kingdom” and “throne” will be established forever are significant because they show that the Messiah will come from the lineage of David and that He will establish a kingdom from which He will reign. The covenant is summarized by the words “house,” promising a dynasty in the lineage of David; “kingdom,” referring to a people who are governed by a king; “throne,” emphasizing the authority of the king’s rule; and “forever,” emphasizing the eternal and unconditional nature of this promise to David and Israel.
On the night before His crucifixion, the Son of God sat down in an upper room on Mount Zion. It was Passover, and like all observant Jews, Jesus had assembled with His followers to observe the Passover.
Some of the important truths which come out of an understanding of God's covenants are:
THE LAW COVENANT was a shadow of things to come.
The NEW COVENANT is the substance.
Under the LAW COVENANT, the payment for sin was anticipated.
Under the NEW COVENANT, it is realized.
Under the LAW COVENANT, the sacrifices were provisional and recurring.
Under the NEW COVENANT, the sacrifice through Jesus' death is eternal and totally sufficient.
Under the LAW COVENANT, men's lambs could only cover sin, but under the NEW COVENANT, God's Lamb is able to take away sin.
The NEW COVENANT totally and forever superseded the OLD COVENANT (MOSAIC LAW/COVENANT). The ABRAHAMIC and DAVIDIC COVENANTS are unconditional and still in effect.
The NEW COVENANT did not cancel or replace the ABRAHAMIC of DAVIDIC COVENANTS. These covenants still continue in full force.
Believers today are not under a LAW SYSTEM. We are not restricted to a Sabbath day's journey. We don't bring an animal to the Temple to sacrifice at Passover. We don't have a high priest sacrifice a goat for us on the DAY OF ATONEMENT. We don't stone adulterous women as required under the Mosaic Law.
The NEW COVENANT has a better priesthood (MELCHISEDECAN), a better high priest (JESUS), a better sacrifice (THE LAMB OF GOD), and rests upon better promises.
Hebrews 7:19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
The NEW COVENANT provides a perfect righteousness. It perfectly and eternally unites men with God. The LAW never could. The apostle John summed it up best when he said:
John 8:36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.