Covenant — n: a formal binding agreement; compact
Strong’s Concordance defines the Hebrew word Beriyth as “a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh)” which implies the thought of cutting a covenant (Gen. 15:17; Jer. 34:18). It is a treaty, contract, or a alliance of friendship/marriage.
My brief study of covenants has opened my eyes to the intimacy of God and His Word. I have found that everything God does is based upon covenant. Our very relationship with God is based upon a covenant made by a covenant-keeping God. It is also the basis of understanding the bible and the framework for understanding God’s dealings with humanity.
Our lives are determined by covenants and our response to them. We see this in the business world: professionals create business contracts, ensuring that the other party honors the agreement. If one party fails to uphold their agreement then this is a breach of contract and thus given the other party right to take action.
One’s reputation is also attached to the covenant or agreements made. However, our generation, the post-modern generation, is becoming more irresponsible and lack the understanding of covenant truth in marriage and society as whole is eroding us at the roots.
In studying these God-given promises to mankind, I have found that it is none other than the grace and mercy of Jesus who allows us to walk side by side with Him. In marriage terms, two cannot walk alongside each other if they are not in agreement. Two oxen cannot be equally yoked if they both want to go their separate ways.
Covenants has enabled me to view my identity in Christ and also to understand just how God deals with man, His creation, in a covenantal relationship.
Scripture makes it very clear that God first took the initiative to make a covenant with man, not the other way around. So we cannot negotiate with Him about the terms made.
He created us and brought us into an everlasting relationship through a series of covenantal promises. From the very first covenant made with Adam in the Garden of Eden, to the fall of man, to Noah, to Abraham, Moses, David, and then to the everlasting covenant made and sealed by the blood of Christ.
It was God’s intention to reveal His purpose to us through different stages throughout history. Though we are not worthy or deserving of this gift of life, He gave it to us out of His benevolent nature and unconfined love.
The way that I have found to understand commitment is through Scriptures symbolic expression of marriage. The design of marriage in which God unites Himself to us, as a bridegroom and bride would complete the union through consummation.
It was this celebratory union which brought once two individuals together uniting them into one flesh; each person taking a vow or oath in front of witnesses making this mutual agreement a legally binding commitment to the other.
My wife and I were both in our late teens when we married. It had been nearly twelve years now since we both said, “I do.” Our marriage, from the beginning also seemed like an up hill battle, yet, we have overcome the impossible.
It was about three years into our marriage where we really hit rock bottom. We were fighting nearly every day and about the most ridiculous things. This resulted in us separating because of my infidelity. We were then nearing filing for divorce.
During our time away from each other, we both cleaved to God with our very lives. We decided to give in one more try and this time we were going to place God in the center. In doing so, He restored our marriage, healed the wounds, and poured out His blessing.
Although, we weren’t instantly healed of our affliction, we learned to walk together as God led us. Marriage has become much more fulfilling and meaningful after dedicating our lives to God. I now truly know what it means to be dedicated to one woman and one God.
The love, integrity, and selflessness it takes to honor a sacred sanction is an arduous task, especially in a modern culture that places little emphasis on commitment. The double portion of love that has been restored in our relationship is a direct reflection of an essential truth — relationship with God.
I cannot love my wife without knowing what it is to first be loved and desired by Christ. My covenant with God is an integral part of my life. The more I seek Him, the more I hunger for His word and guidance as a godly husband and father. His covenant and promises gives me hope, confidence, and an identity.