In 1988 Becky and I decided to move to Lakeland, Florida motivated by our desire to know the Lord through covenant understanding and the prophetic movement God seemed to be emphasizing during that season. Covenant is the way God has chosen to reveal Himself to us. Covenant is also a relationship and way of life that we know little of living in a Western culture.
Even though covenant is mentioned almost as many times as love in the Bible, it remains a very foreign concept to us in the United States. In the East they know and live covenant more naturally because it is a way of life. When the scriptures were written, covenant was mentioned and covenant language was included; however, an explanation or definition was not given because everyone already understood the elements of covenant.
I believe that understanding covenant is the most important foundation in the Bible. Without understanding covenant we have a difficult time understanding our relationship with God and others. Covenant is not just a contract; it is the way God has chosen to express His love toward us.
In the next several postings I will attempt to go over some basics of covenant. A caution that I would like to express immediately is the tendency to make covenant a nice teaching which brings great knowledge and understanding, but can be set aside as more knowledge with little, if any, application. Covenant is not just a truth to keep in our notes, but a commitment of trust and love lived with God and released to others, motivated by His love.
In his covenant writings, Malcolm Smith defined covenant in this way: "Covenant is a binding obligation between two parties, sealed by blood and an oath. Each party is bound by specific undertakings on each other's behalf. The parties are under divine retribution should they later try to avoid those undertakings."
The relationship of love, trust, grace, mercy and obligation to each other forms the foundational relationship of covenant. This writing is to only discuss covenant on a very introductory level. More details of what a covenant is, who enters it, the terms, the responsibilities, the oath, blessings and curses, and the exchanges that are received and given will be discussed here; however, it may also be studied in our Covenant-U School of Ministry class - "HT 101 What Is The Hebraic Understanding of Covenant." This course can be found on our website under Covenant-U in the section titled "Hebraic Thought."
Understanding covenant is very exciting! We enter a relationship of love and commitment with Someone who not only expresses acts of lovingkindness, but lovingkindness is who He is. Understanding and living covenant will change your life. Revelation will increase and relationship will grow deeper as covenant is walked out with Christ!