Genesis 17:1-2 – And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
For more than sixty years now, I have been a student of God’s Word, with more than fifty of those years in ministry. I have learned the deep importance of studying the meaning of words so the truth the Lord is setting forth will not be lost in me due to shallow understanding. Regardless of your place in life, five-fold ministry or layman, we should all study the Word of God deeply in order to show ourselves approved unto our Father. Jesus said He would give to us the “keys of the kingdom.” Jesus is the Door to the kingdom, and He’s not locked. He has said, “Whosever will, let him come.” But IN the kingdom are many things to which we can attain only through diligent study, learning, and growth. In that we find the “keys of the kingdom.” The study to discover Biblical definitions is one of those keys. “Covenant” is one of those key words.
In my personal study of that word, in my reading about that word from the writings of Godly men who were master linguists, I have discovered that “covenant” is not a mere agreement. We can agree on many things that will never come to life-or-death decisions. But when one enters into Biblical covenant, one has stepped into a realm that is truly life-or-death. It is much more than a simple agreement; it’s about blood. The word “covenant” implies a cutting of the flesh to produce the flowing of blood. There are many examples of this throughout history, not just in the Bible. And in ancient cultures, “covenant” was a matter of life-and-death. If two parties entered into covenant with one another, there would be a cutting of the flesh, a mingling of the blood, an exchange of deeply symbolic gifts, and the taking of an oath of loyalty to each other. Once the blood had flowed, and had been received by both parties, a pronouncement of blessing and cursing would happen. The two parties would become equal owners of each other’s possessions. What belonged to one belonged to both, to share equally as needed. The strengths of one became the strengths of the other so that weaknesses could not be exploited by an enemy. And if, peradventure, one of the covenant parties should break that covenant, the covenant having been initiated in bloodletting, the covenant breaker would now be punished by bloodletting; his own blood, his life, his death. And in many blood covenants, if one party broke the covenant, his own off-spring, and far away as four generations, would be required to hunt the covenant breaker and slay him. Consider the seriousness of blood covenant. Selah!
Manna for Today – Genesis 17; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; Luke 21:33; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 1:3