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We have been reading about the covenants these past few days, and it may prove helpful to look at a few chapters where God prepares Abram for His promise. The Greek and Hebrew verbs for covenant basically mean “to cut a covenant.” Covenants can be between fathers and sons, kings and subjects, and in our case, God and His people, or with an elected person like Abram. As a noun, covenant means “testament.” “This is the new testament in my blood,” or “this is the new covenant in my blood.” They are interchangeable.

In this portion of Genesis, God reveals Himself to Abram by various names that stand behind His covenant promises. They were given to Abram to assure him that he will have many descendants, inherit the land, and have a son — even in his old age. The first name we see in chapter 14 is El Elyon, the “God Most High.” Chapter 17 probably has one of the most familiar names of God — El Shaddai, “God Almighty.” Now in Genesis 21 God reveals that He is El Olam, the “Everlasting God,” and in chapter 22 it’s Yahweh yireh, the “Lord Will Provide.” There are more names of God, of course, which prove to be a fascinating study, but these will suffice for our purposes. Abram believes God and is reckoned righteous; his name gets changed to Abraham, meaning “father of a nation.” He then asks God how He will do this. The God of the covenant, Abraham learns, is the Most High, which means He is sovereign. As Creator, He owns everything, and thus He can give what He pleases to whomever He pleases. The Almighty God, the Mighty One can keep this promise no matter what the odds are. There will be battles for the land, but God is the Everlasting God, which tells Abraham that He will never leave him. God has the power to finish His plans. For who can thwart the Almighty?

He sees the hearts of Abraham and Sarah, their weaknesses and struggles, and God tells Abraham that He is sufficient. When He made His promise to Abraham, Abraham believed.

There is more to who God is, of course, like love, truth, mercy, omniscience, blessedness, wrath, and so on. They all reveal more about His covenant. The Bible is filled with promises to His children that He will bring to pass. He is absolutely holy, just, and right, so let us trust Him as Abraham trusted Him. He is the God of the covenants.

The Baptism of John

The Necessity of Baptism

Keep Reading Proud Mediocrity

From the September 2006 Issue
Sep 2006 Issue