Genesis 14:1 – 17:27
Well the action comes thick and fast in these early chapters of the Bible but it all centres around one man whom God has chosen to be the patriarch of a new people. God chooses Abram and his offspring to be the focus of his blessing – his everlasting covenant. A covenant is particular type of relationship between a greater and a lesser party. On each side of the relationship there are obligations required to keep the covenant. In choosing Abram however, God takes the initiative and commits himself to remaining faithful to the covenant no matter what. For Abram and his offspring, their part in keeping the covenant is take God at his word – “Abram believed the Lord and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Gen 15:6) – and to have the sign or seal of the covenant borne in their flesh.
The rest of the Old Testament is the story of God keeping his side of the covenant and Abram’s offspring failing miserably time and time again to keep their side. Eventually God fulfilled his plan to keep both sides of the covenant – mankind’s as well as his own. At the meal known as “the last supper”, Jesus declared that he was establishing a new covenant in his own blood and his own flesh became the new sign and seal of that new covenant. The result is that we can have Jesus’ righteousness credited to us and through our union with him by faith.
Praise God that he didn’t wait for us to get it right but graciously fulfilled both sides of the covenant so that we can live under his blessing.