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God's Covenants: A Biblical Perspective

            God's Covenants: A Biblical Perspective.
             The Bible is the story of mankind and his relationship with God. Beginning with Adam's failure to comply with the Lord's command to not eat of the tree of knowledge, up to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, man sought to regain the open fellowship with God that he had originally enjoyed, but lost in the garden. Man alone could never have reconciled himself to the Father for his shortcomings, he would need a mediator-and a plan. God's covenants with man perfectly illustrate man's innate need for a sovereign Lord , and God's desire to provide the means to that end. God provided man with many covenants throughout the Old Testament, but the major covenants can serve as a time line through biblical history depicting the significance of man's obedience and disobedience to God. How God develops His plan and how He overcomes man's shortcomings can be thoroughly studied through the Adamic, the Noahic, the Abrahamic , the Mosaic and finally, the New Covenants.
             A covenant is an agreement or legal contract between two individuals which forms a bond between the parties that bring them together under mutual obligations, not unlike the agreement struck between a landlord and the renter wishing to lease an upstairs flat. The religious use of the word "covenant" typically referred to a contractual relationship between a greater and a lesser partner. This practice can be illustrated through the Hittite suzerainty treaties drawn between a king and his vassal. The treaty consisted of a historical introduction, a list of stipulations, the curses and blessings invoked on the participating parties, a solemn oath, and a religious ceremony to "seal" the agreement. The content of the Mosaic Covenant follows the pattern of the ancient suzerainty treaty (Taylor, 1999). .
             The theological significance of the practice was based solely on the initiative and under the authority of God.

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