Sunday, 30 June 2013
CONTRACT Vs COVENANT
A contract is a legally binding agreement entered into by two or more parties. It is mutually beneficial to all parties involved and once signed it is binding unless one of the parties breaks the contract.
Life is full of contracts agreed by negotiation because we all need somthing that another party can provide, for instance, mobile phone contracts, utilities, subscriptions, loans etc.
Biblically, a covenant is entered into by two unequal parties; a solemnly binding agreement between a stronger person and a weaker one. The weaker cannot complain or negotiate but can only accept or decline the terms of the covenant. A covenant can be conditional or unconditional.
When God made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15, it was a sovereign move on His part. Abraham and his unborn descendants were selected to be beneficiaries of this covenant. God promised to give them the piece of land that is in contention in the middle east today. The land of Canaan.
The only condition of this covenant is found in Genesis 17:9-14; circumcision. This was to be the token or sign of this agreement between God and the people of Israel. Abraham and his descendants were beyond question, the sole beneficiaries of this covenant. God did not have anything to gain or lose.
I think it's laughable when people attempt to bargain with God. Psalm 50:10-12, "for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it." He is in charge.
Human beings can never and should never attempt to initiate a covenant with God. As the definition says, it is an agreement between a greater and a lesser party, where the lesser is always the beneficiary. Throughout the Bible, every covenant between God and men was initiated by God; the Noah covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic covenant, the Davidic covenant and the new covenant in Christ Jesus.
We can only make vows or pledges to God when we need Him to intervene on our behalf, just as Hannah did when she was praying for a child. That is however a topic for another day, but remember, "It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it!" (Ecclesiastes 5:5)