A covenant is intended by God to be a lifelong fruitful relationship between a man and God. Many people follow the Lord without knowing exactly where they stand in their relationship with Him. The same as a marriage between a man and a woman is a vow made to God, to each other, to their families, friends and community to remain steadfast in unconditional love, reconciliation and sexual purity, the Christians should not take their relationship with God for granted.
You see, a contract is an agreement between two or more parties and it actually is based on protection and mistrust as it gives each party its duties and rights, therefore limiting the other party’s rights and duties (your rights stops where mine start!). And truly, the Bible doesn’t say anything about ‘contracts’ anywhere, while it talks about covenants throughout. Why? Because a covenant is intended by God to be a lifelong relationship exemplifying unconditional love, reconciliation and growth. A covenant is an eternal commitment made by God. On the other hand, contracts are intende by man, and people can negotiate out of contracts, but not out of a covenant!
Now, let’s get into the Scripture to be able to understand the kind of relationship we are trying to build with God: contract or covenant? It makes a huge change in our spiritual and physical life. Obviously many would say they are already on a covenant. My friend, a covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people where He sets specific conditions and He promises to bless these people as they obey those conditions. Therefore, when these people choose not to keep the covenant, they cannot receive the blessings, and in some instances they suffer a penalty as a consequence of their disobedience.
Now, there are seven specific covenants that are revealed in the Scripture. Some of those covenants are conditional because they are based on certain obligations and prerequisites; if the requirements are not fulfilled, the covenant is broken. The best example is the Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 11); the blessings it extends are contingent upon Israel’s adherence to the Law. Another category is the unconditional covenant that is made with no strings attached to it and God will do what He promised regardless of His people’s fidelity or infidelity. The unconditional covenants mentioned in the Bible are seen with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), Palestinian (Deuteronomy 30:1-10), and with David (2 Samuel 7:8-16). God fulfilled His promises regardless of other factors or events or the sins of His people. Now, the last form are the general covenants that are not specific to one people group and can involve a wide range of people.The general covenants mentioned are the ones God made with Adam (Genesis 1:26-30 and 2:16-17), then with Noah (Genesis 9:11) and the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34 and then Matthew 26:28 and Hebrews 9:15), in which we, the Christians of today are.
Now, as Christians, our Christian walk should be rooted in the New Covenant. This covenant promised that God would forgive sin and have a close, unbroken relationship with His people. The promise was first made to Israel and then extended to everyone who comes to Jesus Christ in faith (Matthew 26:28;Hebrews 9:15). Therefore, our Christian walk should be led by the desire for a covenant relationship with God. These few elements can help you reflect. Am I on
– a contract: I TAKE FOR ME. – Essence of possession and selfishness (I approach God only for my needs, everything else is none of my business… those church matters are not for me, as long as I get the answer to my prayers…)
– a covenant: I GIVE MYSELF TO YOU LORD.
– a contract: YOU’D BETTER DO IT! – There is not need of me, someone will do what needs to be done. I go to church only to sit and be fed…
– Covenant: HOW MAY I SERVE YOU LORD with all I am, with all I have?
– a contract: WHAT DO I GET IN RETURN? – Lord, I gave you my offering, why is it I have not yet received the multiple portion of it in return? There is not point continue going to church because nothing really changes… What do I get from following you to church? That service is too long, I have other things to do…
– a covenant: WHAT CAN I GIVE to you Lord? What I can I do to please you today?
– a contract: I’LL MEET YOU HALFWAY. – I have done my part, now you do your part… you did not ask me to give more, so what?
– a covenant: I’LL GIVE YOU 100% plus.
– a contract: I HAVE TO – I feel obligated to go to church, to give to the church, to pray… The Bible is too hard to follow (too many things to do, too many laws, so let me try my best, my own way….)
– a covenant: I WANT TO… Lord, I want to do this, help me to be able to do it…
Of course, the list can go on and on. My friend, have you truly positioned yourself to know the kind of relationship you are building with God? May this meditation give you an opportunity to reflect and put things right if you have not yet done so. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.