Summary: God’s plan to redeem humanity unfolds in the covenant he makes with Abram
God’s plan to redeem humanity unfolds in the covenant he makes with Abram. The promise for a redeemer born of a woman is given in Genesis 3:15. Now the Lord clarifies that the Redeemer-Child will be born of a particular family, the descendants of Abraham, through whom “all peoples of the earth will be blessed.”
Satan succeeded in corrupting the minds of Adam and Eve and stealing their worship from God. The result is that the perfect world God created was now corrupted by sin. Man and Woman chose to follow SATAN and fulfill their own desires, instead of being willing subjects of GOD. They lost the privilege of ruling over God’s new world.
But God’s plan would not be thwarted. He would still have a world in which his eternal kingdom would demonstrate his glory. The difference is that now that kingdom would not be administrated by man, but by Jesus Christ, who would reconcile the fallen creation back into fellowship with God.
“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:19–20, ESV)
The answer as to why God would redeem his creation instead of completely judging it and starting over is given in Romans 9. God would demonstrate his eternal attributes in the manner in the grace and mercy that he shows toward the rebelliousness of mankind. “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ ”” (Romans 9:22–25, ESV)
The story of this redemption is provided in Scripture as an unfolding account whereby one truth builds upon another. The earliest of this Redemption record is provided in Genesis, with the Abrahamic Covenant as a key part of God’s redemptive purpose.
The Abrahamic Covenant is the central covenant of the Old Testament. Most people think of the Law in Exodus 20 as the defining attribute of the OT, but I believe that the Abrahamic Covenant is the defining attribute of the OT, because the rest of the OT unfolds the story of Abraham’s descendants.
This significance is further noticed in the opening verse of the NEW TESTAMENT: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1, ESV). Christ’s connection to Abraham is of utmost importance.
The Abrahamic Covenant is further expanded through three sub-covenants. Notice the connection
God promises Abraham a PLACE “go to the land that I will show you” (12:1). This is further expanded in the Land covenant found in Deut 28:8-11.
God promises Abraham a PEOPLE “I will make of you a great nation” (12:2). This is further expanded in the Davidic Covenant found in 2 Samuel 7:8-17.
God promises Abraham a BLESSING “I will bless those who bless you....” (12:3). This promise would ultimately be fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. This part of the Abrahamic Covenant is reiterated in the New Covenant found in Jeremiah 31:31-33.
All three of these covenants, like the Abrahamic covenant are ETERNAL and UNCONDITIONAL. The fulfilling of these covenants does not depend on the faithfulness of Abraham or his descendants.
“for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.” (Genesis 13:15, ESV)
“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” (Genesis 17:7, ESV - also v 13, 19)
God says “I will...”
God repeats the Covenant
God ratifies the covenant in a unique way, by passing through the divided animals alone and not with Abraham. The normal way a covenant was ratified in Abraham’s day was for both parties to divide an animal or animals and then walk through the divided parts. The meaning of this was that a similar fate to the divided animals would take place to either of the parties if they broke the covenant. But in a dream, God shows himself as walking through the sacrifices alone, symbolizing that God alone was responsible to fulfill this covenant. See Gen 15:17-19.
All three of these covenants will be fulfilled ultimately in God’s Millenial and Eternal Kingdom.
The LAW (or the Mosaic Covenant in Exodus 20) would be a different kind of covenant. It’s blessings were conditional upon obedience. The Law was not given to make Israel holy, but rather to preserve Israel as a pure people so that the Messiah’s line (the seed of the woman) would be preserved. See Galatians 3:15-20