Summary: Discusses the covenant of Marriage
The Blood Covenant (Your Marriage)
This message will start the foundation for my series on Marriage. My brother sent me a book titled “The Blood Covenant” by E.W. Kenyon. As I read the book, I kept thinking about the covenant of marriage and how if we entered into that covenant with the same restrictions applied to a blood covenant, there would never be any divorces. I am not condemning anyone who has been through a divorce, but as you will hear later in this message, the requirements of a blood covenant were so strong and so sacred that to break it meant certain death. It is not the threat of death that I feel would make divorce impossible, although it is a great deterrent, but the mental attitude of those entering into the covenant. I will discuss this more, but for now just understand that when you enter into a marriage with a spouse, you are entering into a blood covenant.
The first Sunday of the month we take “Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper”. This is the time that we set aside to remember what Christ did for us, dying for our sins. During this time we often quote what Christ said in the gospels, “…this is My blood of the New Covenant which is poured out for many for the remission of sin.” Christ stated that this was a New Covenant in His blood – which brings to question, what was the Old Covenant? The Old Covenant of course was the covenant that God made with Abraham. If we had lived in Abraham’s time, we would not have part in this covenant; it was Abraham’s and therefore his descendants. The New Covenant, which actually is better than the Old Covenant, is what we have through Christ. I am sharing this with you so that you understand the importance that goes with establishing any type of covenant, especially a marriage covenant. So lets examine what took place when someone entered into a blood covenant.
Definition of Blood Covenant: The rite of blood-covenanting is a form of mutual covenanting, by which two persons enter into the closest, the most enduring, and the most sacred of compacts through the inter-commingling of their blood, by means of its mutual tasting, or of its inter-transfusion. As it is the inter-commingling of their very lives, nothing can transcend it. It forms a tie, or a union, which cannot be dissolved. When Jesus told his disciples in Mark 14 that the cup was his blood of the New testament (Covenant), he was telling them they were about to enter into a special kind of relationship – the kind that would never, ever dissolve. The Old Covenant was sealed with circumcision (Genesis 17) but the New Covenant would be sealed with the new birth.
I. The Origin of the Blood Covenant
I have watched TV shows where two individuals came into agreement by making a “blood covenant”. This was often shown in westerns when the white man and the native American man (the term Indian although commonly used is the wrong name for this group of people) would come together, cut their hands to draw blood and then shake hands to mix the blood together. After that, they would be blood brothers and live in peace with one another. Besides what is shown in Scripture, we learned a lot about blood covenant practices in the land of Africa from the explorers Stanley and Livingstone. Blood covenants were often used to ensure the safety of the weaker one. They would meet with the stronger tribe (or individual) and through the covenant would secure their protection that the stronger tribe would never attack them and, more important, should they ever be attacked by another tribe, the tribe that they entered into the covenant with would come to their rescue. Today we still enter into covenants with one another, except we do not mix blood but sign a contract. The contract is a legal binding document, but cannot compare to a true blood covenant. In ancient times, a blood covenant would not be broken because it was sacred. Notice I use the word “would” instead of “could”. A covenant “could” be broken, but the penalty was so severe that it “would” not be broken. In Africa, where Stanley and Livingstone did a lot of exploration, if someone made a blood covenant and tried to break it, their own family members would seek their death because it would also put them at risk. To break a blood covenant meant that you cursed the ground you walked on. In Africa, the covenant was so sacred that the children down through the generations would honor it. It was a perpetual covenant that lasted forever and could not be annulled. I want to read you a story out of the book as it relates to Mr. Stanley when he was seeking Dr. Livingstone.