Summary: God's response to His creation's "no" (Charts can be viewed at www.ingodsimage.site)
[IN GOD’S IMAGE 16 – COVENANT RELATIONSHIPS]
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
Up to this point in our story, things have gone downhill for humanity after our rejection of a relationship with God.
• We see the dark side of man’s nature exposed for all its ugliness.
• We had the tragic events in the Garden.
• Cain murdering his brother Abel.
• The decent into anarchy of the pre-flood society and their destruction.
• The rebellion at the Tower of Babel on the Plains of Shinar and the confusion of the languages.
• God’s contact with mankind through this period has been with a few select individuals.
However, now at this point, we see God taking an important step to restore the broken relationship in response to His creation’s “no.”
• He chooses a nomad called Abram and promised him that he would be the father of a great people if he did as God told him.
• Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
• First thing we should notice about the story of Abram is, it is God who takes the initiative.
• This is a God who doesn’t wait around moping, waiting for humanity to show some sort of contrition before he responds.
• Throughout his dealing with humanity’s redemption, it is God who always takes the initiative.
• Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
• What we see is a God who loves his children so much he takes the initiative even though He is the one wronged and is best characterised by the New Testament phrase, “the good shepherd goes searching for the lost sheep” (Luke 15:1-7).
God makes two important promises to Abram.
• Genesis 12:2-3 “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. 3 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 first is, he would become the father of a great nation.
• The great nation refers to what would later become the Hebrew nation, otherwise known as the Israelite or the Jewish nation.
• Abram is referred to as being a Hebrew in Genesis 14:13.
• More importantly though is the second promise made to Abram, that through him, “all peoples on earth will be blessed.”
• This promise, made some 1500 years before this promise became a reality, is much more inclusive and is a spiritual promise the benefits of which would be to all the families of the earth.
• God’s promise was referring to that distant descendant of Abram, Jesus Christ whose sacrifice for the sins of the world would be a blessing to all mankind (John 3:16).
• To be able to engineer events hundreds of years before they actually come to fruition is testimony to God’s design behind the passage of history and His commitment to fulfil His intended purpose.
Discussion on Covenants.
• Covenants play a central role in the biblical story of salvation.
• It is through the use of covenants that God re-establishes contact with humanity with the intent of reconciling the two alienated parties and establishing His kingdom within estranged humanity.
• In much the same way a marriage agreement or covenant is used to bind together a bride and groom, it is the instrument used to bind two parties together in a union, in this case, God and Abraham.
• The issue at the centre of both the marriage covenant and the various covenants God initiates with humanity is faithfulness (Malachi 2:14).