God’s Covenants With the Jews
A covenant can be defined as an agreement between two people or two groups of people. With regards to covenants, God made covenants with the Jews in the pre-historic periods. Some of the covenants between God and the Jews date back to when Abraham was the father of the Jews. In carrying out the covenants, God’s intention was to bring beneficial impacts to the Jews. As such, he made one-sided and bilateral covenants with them. The one-sided covenants involved the imposition of God’s commandments on the Jews. The Jews were only expected to obey God’s commandments for their own benefits. On the other hand, the bilateral covenants involved two –way agreements, where God agreed to bless the Jews only if they paid heed to his commandments. In either of the covenants, there were mutual benefits to both parties (Elazar 111).
The first covenant between God and the Jews was made to Abraham through the promise to increase his descendants and to make his people a holy nation. In this covenant, the Lord promised to take care of Abraham and all his progeny. This covenant was later affirmed through God’s promise t Jacob in remembrance of the promises earlier made to Abraham. In addition to this, the covenant was also repeated at the foot of Mount Sinai where God had called Moses and the Israelites. They were reminded to keep God’s commandments and no matter how many times they broke the covenant, he still forgave them and provided for them indicating that He is serious with his covenant.
The second covenant concerned the birth of Jesus which was promised during the day that Abraham was requested to sacrifice his son Isaac. From the day henceforth, the promise was repeated by the prophets such as Isaiah as a confirmation that God never forgets his covenants and thus patience is the key to accomplishing the promises made. The Israelites went contrary to the covenant requirements at many times during their journey. However, God still remained faithful, referring to the Levites as his chosen people despite the disobedience of the whole tribe. The Levites continued to serve as priests even though all the Israelites showed disobedience to God.
The promises on the coming birth of Jesus were made over many ages. In the book of Jeremiah, God clearly explains the responsibilities that the coming Messiah would accomplish. God made covenants with the Israelites, referring to them as his people and promising to make them a nation of priesthood. The promise of a Messiah was further made through Jeremiah who promised a redeemer who would save them from their troubles. The third covenant regards the Sabbath day and keeping it holy.
The Lord made a covenant with the Israelites commanding them to obey the covenant and keep it holy I order to be continuously blessed. Strict penalties were even outlined for those who profaned the Sabbath while the Lord. The intention of the day was to rest as God rested on the Sabbath. Additionally, Go made a covenant to redeem the Israelites from Egypt. This was done through a pass over feast where the angel of death killed the sons of the Egyptians did not touch those of the Israelites (Kun 40). The fifth covenant was also made during the days of Abraham where God promised the Israelites that he would give them Canaan as their land (Hullquist 239).
Elazar, Daniel J. The Covenant Tradition in Politics. New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction Publishers, 1995. Print.
Hullquist, Gary. Sabbath diagnosis: a diagnostic history and physical examination of the biblical day of rest. Brushton, New York: Teach Services, 2004. Print.
Kun, Jeanne. Exodus: God to the rescue. Illinois: Loyola press, 2010. Print.
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