Week 2: Covenant
THE MAIN POINT
God continued his plan of redemption in a fallen world through a covenant with one man, Abraham, and the promise that this man’s offspring would bless the world.
Genesis 12:1; 15:17–18; 17:1–5; 22:16–18
We first meet Abraham in the book of Genesis (Genesis12:1). Abraham is the beginning of the Hebrew people, the nation of Israel, and ultimately, the church. He is also the human ancestor of Jesus the Messiah. Abraham is called “the father of us all” by Paul in Romans 4:16. God called Abraham to move from the city of Ur to a land further west (Genesis 11:31). Ur was the economic and cultural place to be at the time. Abraham had faith in this call of God and left everything he knew to go to this new place. He had no Scripture verses to memorize for the journey; all he had was a relationship with God. Imagine moving from a booming metropolis (New York City or London) to the middle of nowhere because God said to. How many people would do that? But God had something special for Abraham.
THE BIBLE PROJECT SUMMARY: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/torah-genesis-2/
As you prepare the core of the message using personal story and questions keep in mind these points:
- In the story of Abraham, we see that God promises him that he will have a son. But both Abraham and his wife Sarah are old, and she is barren. However, God promises that Abraham will not only have a son but will also be a “father” to many nations (Genesis 17:4). God upholds this promise by making a covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:18). When God makes a promise, it is always fulfilled.
- Covenant is very important in the Bible. Covenant goes beyond just a contract; it binds two people together through blood. In the Bible, a covenant is “an agreement between God and humans in which God pledges to bless those who accept and commit themselves to him.” God’s promise to Abraham becomes the promise to redeem the whole world through his human descendant (Jesus). God tells Abraham, “In your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:18)
- Abraham becomes the next part of the gospel story of redemption. From Abraham, we have a promise of a nation and a blessing from that nation to the world. However, this process of redemption is a long process, and Abraham’s story is not easy sailing, described by one scholar like this: “Call a man to wander without telling him where he’s going …call him to be the father of many nations when he and his wife are old and childless … promise them a land already inhabited … wait twenty-five years to fulfill the promise of a son … marry that son to a woman who can’t bear children … marry the grandson to another woman who can’t bear children … then send the chosen people away from the Promised Land and into a land where they will become slaves.” Abraham probably thought time and time again, “God what are you doing?! I just don’t get it.” Ever had that moment?4. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people do everything in their power to run away from God, reject God, and curse God. But this moment in Genesis 12, is the moment that God returns to every single time his people do evil. We as humans have broken our side of the covenant with God more than we can count, yet he never does. He is always faithful, always available and always persuing us with perfect love. It started with Abraham, it was fulfilled in his descendant Jesus, and He is available for you today.
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- God’s covenant with Abraham is as much available for you today as it was for him. Through Jesus, God is perfectly available for you every day.
- Knowing that God has faithfully kept his covenant (his promises) forever, means that he will not stop. His promises are YES and AMEN every single time! This can be reassuring for us.