Friday, April 20, 2012

A Covenant with God!

Genesis 15:7-9  And he said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess."  (8)  But he said, "O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?"  (9)  He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon."
As in the case in Jeremiah 34:18, where a covenant ritual is represented by passage between the severed body of a sacrificial animal, here Abram is given the “sign” of the covenant promise for which he asked. Each “three-year old” animal (calf, goat, ram, dove, pigeon, the same animals featured in the sacrificial system described in Leviticus) is cut in half, although the body sections of the birds are not separated. 

Second-millennium Hittite texts use a similar procedure for purification, while some first-millennium Aramaic treaties use such a ritual for placing a curse on any violation of the treaty. Texts from Mari and Alalakh feature the killing of animals as part of the ceremony of making a treaty. Walking through this sacrificial pathway could be seen as a symbolic action enacting both the covenant's promise of land and a curse on the one who violates the promise, though interpreters have wondered what significance a self-curse could possibly have for God. Abram's driving away the birds of prey further symbolizes the future protection from their enemies when they take possession of the land.
Are you discouraged because a breakthrough that you have been praying for has yet to come to pass? Maybe it has been days or even weeks and you are asking, "How will I know that the victory is coming?" Abraham faced the same situation and asked God the same question. And God answered, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtle- dove, and a young pigeon." What a strange answer!
But if you read on (Genesis 15:10-21), you will realize that God took Abraham's question very seriously, and went on to show him just how serious He was about being his provider, protector and prosperity-giver. God was so serious that He was willing to bind Himself to a covenant.
What is a covenant? It is like a contract. Yet, it is more than a contract. A contract is binding only for a period of time, like five years or seven years, or until certain terms are fulfilled. But a covenant is perpetual. It is permanent. The only way out is through death. That is why marriage is a covenant, not a contract. It is permanent - "Till death do us part".
That's why God said in Deuteronomy 9:13-14  "Furthermore, the LORD said to me, 'I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stubborn people.  (14)  Let me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.'

God was going to make the Covenant void and nullified by killing the Israelites, and start all over with Moses descendants.  God binds Himself to the Coveant He has with His people.

In Bible times, when you cut a covenant with someone, you bring an animal, usually a ram or goat, and kill it by cutting it in two. Next, you will face your covenant partner and walk toward each other between the two pieces of the animal, passing each other in the center.
What all this means is that both parties are obligated to protect and provide for each other. Whatever belongs to you is your partner's and whatever belongs to your partner is yours. Of course, the one who benefits is the lesser or poorer party.
Today, God is in covenant with us. We are the lesser, poorer party. We have nothing to offer God. But God, the richest and most powerful being in the universe, has everything to offer us!
God has bound Himself to a covenant,an iron-clad guarantee of His blessings and provision in your life, and it is all for your benefit. The breakthrough you are waiting for is guaranteed by covenant!

A few of His Covenant names are:  Jehovah-Jireh (provider); Jehovah-Shalom (Peace); Jehovah-Nissi (banner); Jehovah-Ropheka (Healer)!
"Lord, I am so thankful for the Coveant You made with all of mankind by allowing Jesus to die on the cross.  I thank You for binding Yourself to that Covenant. I must always remember WHO You are, and WHAT You have promised to those You are in Coveant with.  In Jesus name, amen!"