Abrahamic Covenant: The Promise of God to Abram
The Abrahamic Covenant was made by God with Abram in Genesis 12:1-3. “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 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.’”
The Lord instructed Abram (later God changed his name to Abraham) to take his family from their home in Ur and go to a new land called Canaan. This was an unconditional covenant that contained four primary provisions:
- 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;
- All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Abrahamic Covenant: The Promised Land
The Promised Land of the Abrahamic Covenant given Abraham is first described in Genesis 13:15-17: “All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
The boundaries were not clearly defined at this first mention but they certainly are in the next reference to the land: “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites’” (Genesis 15:18-21).
Later under the rule of King David, we can see that the Nation of Israel indeed encompassed all the land between the Nile River (Egypt) and the Euphrates River (through present day Iraq). Verification of the land under David’s reign can be found in 2 Samuel 8:3, Deuteronomy 1:7, and Deuteronomy 11:24.
In Joshua 1:4, God confirms the boundaries as the Israelites were about to cross the Jordan River into their land. “Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west” (the Mediterranean Sea). King Solomon retained control over these borders as seen in 1 Kings 4:21, 24. As God said, the land is His and is to be inhabited by His people for all generations of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, it has consistently been a struggle for Abraham’s descendants to keep that land.
From the biblical patriarchs up to the 20th Century, the land fell under a number of ruling empires due in part to the Hebrews disobedience to the covenants of God. Some of those conquering empires include:
- the Babylonian under Nebuchadnezzar
- the Greek under Alexander the Great
- the Turkish Ottoman Empire under Sultan Suleiman
- the Roman Empire under Constantine
Abrahamic Covenant: Everlasting Promises
The Abrahamic Covenant was confirmed with a covenant ceremony of circumcision in Genesis 17:10-14. This was required as a token or sign of their commitment to God. The provisions of this agreement are permanent. “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:7-8).
This is God’s pledge to be the Abba Father of His people and the One who provides for them with guarantees for their future blessings. Through numerous scientific, medical, and technical inventions and wonders, the great influence of the Jewish people on the world is undeniable. They have won Nobel prizes in physics, economics, and the arts. God has surely blessed the nations through His people as Genesis 12 states.
Though the Jewish people have violated doing their part in the covenants with God, He promises that they will someday repent and return to Him as their God (Zechariah 12:10-14). Romans 11:26-27 says, “…as it is written: The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob [Israel], And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
The Abrahamic Covenant will be ultimately fulfilled with the return of the Messiah. The final blessings bestowed on His People will be reconciliation with God as their God in His Kingdom reign on earth.
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