A Covenant Framework
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
- Genesis 12:2-3
Theologians refer to this as God’s covenant with Abram. The Lord makes a series of promises to this man, promises that will cascade down through history until they wrap around the world. God’s commitment to Abram and his family impact us even to this day.
God’s covenant orbits around two foci: his desires toward Abram and his desires toward the world. Over and over again we hear the Lord’s heartbeat to bless, to bless, to bless. Abram will be blessed and he will be a blessing to others.
Follow Abram’s story and you will see that God proved faithful to his covenant. Abram was blessed and blessed others.
Abram’s descendants were blessed and blessed others. Egypt was saved from famine by Joseph. Rulers from around the world came to Solomon for advice. Ultimately, all of the peoples of the earth were blessed with the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ, a descendant of Abram.
God remains faithful to his covenant, even when his people proved unfaithful.
We all have wandered away and chased after other gods, other sources of power and security. But God’s covenant with Abram – the covenant we are included in in Jesus Christ – this covenant depends on God. God holds up his side of the covenant. Though his covenant purposes advance over rocky terrain, they advance nonetheless.
A covenant framework – God’s intention to bless Abram, his family, and all the peoples on earth through them – points to God’s purposes in the world. Ignore the covenant and you’ll ignore the Old Testament, disrespect our Jewish relatives, and miss out of the resources of our history. What’s more, you may miss out on essential elements of God’s character: his desire to bless, his abundant mercy, his global concern.
What does it mean to you that God has included you as a part of something bigger and older than your experience? How does this shape your relationship with him?