Hope comes by the promises of God. We can’t have hope unless we fully understand His promises. God’s promises are based on His covenant with us. We need to understand the covenant.

Covenant is in relationship. A covenant is more than a contract.
It is a statement of terms based in – and on – one’s very life. A covenant means each is fully persuaded that the other will do what they say they will.

A covenant was a very serious thing in Bible times. It was based in the legal structure of the time – that of “eye for eye” and do what has been done to you.

A covenant could be broken by even just a smidgeon of suspicion. Reputation was everything and a good name was prized above every thing else. Covenants were the basic form of transactions, and every relationship was scripted in these.

Abraham believed against all odds. He had every circumstance against the promises God gave him. But he stubbornly, persistantly clung to the word of God Almighty.

God gave him a visual reminder – the stars. How many nights did Abraham go outside his tent and stare up into the night sky, wondering and hoping? Abraham’s commitment to trust was his righteousness.

There were 25 years between promise and fulfillment. That’s a lot of nights to be staring at the stars and wondering, hoping that God will do what He promised.

Are we fully persuaded God will do what He says? Can we believe like Abraham, with no evidence to back up our faith, and every circumstance saying otherwise?

God signed a legally binding contract – a blood covenant. This was the most serious kind of covenant. In our contracts, we have penalty clauses: fines and fees for breaking a term of the contract. Regular covenants were similar, only the fine was something more physical. in a blood covenant the penalty for breaking it was death, for the party – his family, his associates, and his goods forfeit.

God came to Abraham’s level. God talked in language Abraham could understand. Abraham was a businessman, and God talked business.

A covenant is meant to eliminate weakness. It shares the strengths of the two parties involved. So what could Abraham offer the Creator of the Universe?

Abraham walked in fellowship with God in exchange for God’s protection, reward, a land and heir.

Only death pays for a blood covenant that is broken. A blood covenant lasts from generation to generation.

God was the only one to pass between the animal halves, in effect, to sign the contract. God put his life on this covenant.

Abraham was so convinced of God’s promise, he was able to be willing to sacrifice Isaac, because he knew if Isaac stayed dead, God would die as well.

Jesus both fulfilled the old covenant and started a new one. With His death, the old covenant was ended. Yet, in spilling His blood, He began a new one, this time, not with just the children of Abraham, but with the entire world.

We remind and enter in this covenant with communion. When we participate with the symbols of the covenant, we remind ourselves — and God! — of His promise to us.

Our weakness is sin and death. Because of sin we cannot be in relationship with our Creator.

Does God have a weakness? Yes, or rather a want — He doesn’t know us in relationship.

The relationship that’s missing is the mutual weakness — thru the blood covenant of Christ’s death, that weakness is eliminated. And eliminating weakness is the point of having a covenant in the first place.

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