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GOD'S PROMISE OF COVENANT GEN 15:1-21 I. GOD SOVEREIGNLY DICTATES HIS COVENANT A. DICTATES TERMS 1. Not a contract 2. No negotiations or debate B. ABRAHAM IS A PARTICULAR EXAMPLE LOOK @ GEN 15 1. Abraham asks "How can I know for sure?" vs 8 2. Abraham knew the covenant cutting procedure a. Participants passed between the pieces b. Symbolic of covenant death for violators 3. Who walked between the pieces? a. God b. Not Abraham II. THE COVENANT WAS ADMINISTERED THROUGHOUT ISRAEL'S HISTORY LOOK @ JER 34 A. JERUSALEM UNDER SIEGE vs 1, 6-7 1. Zedekiah renews the covenant vs 8-9 2. Sabbatical liberty vs 10 B. JERUSALEM JUDGED (Covenant administration) LOOK @ Jer 34:17-20 1. Hearers understood 2. Not allusion to Gen 15 LOOK AGAIN @ vs 18-19 3. Ceremony in Jeremiah's day corresponded to Abraham's day 4. Also corresponds to ceremony made by Moses a. Zedekiah assembled the people, as did Moses b. Zedekiah read the law, as did Moses c. LOOK @ Ex 24:1-8 d. Reading the law includes sabbatical release e. Found in Exodus (21:1-3) Leviticus (25:39-43) Deuteronomy (15:1, 12-18) 5. Jeremiah records people passed between pieces--unlike Moses a. Something involved same commitment for Moses b. Blood sprinkling Ex 24:8 substituted for passing between pieces c. Blood symbolized cleansing d. Blood consecrated people to keep the covenant on pain of death 6. LOOK AGAIN @ Jer 34:20 a. cf. GEN 15:11 b. Abraham drove away birds c. Covenant breaker is driven away d. Covenant breaker's body is slain and torn e. Covenant breaker's body is devoured by wild birds C. EXAMPLES THROUGHOUT ISRAEL'S HISTORY 1. Dt 28:26 Your carcasses shall be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away. 2. I Kings 14:11 Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs will eat. And he who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat; for the Lord has spoken it. 3. I Kings 16:4 Anyone of Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat. 4. I Kings 21:24 The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs shall eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven shall eat. 5. II Kings 9:10(Jezebel) And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her. 6. Jer 7:33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky, and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 7. Jer 16:4 ...and their carcasses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth. 8. Jer 19:7 ...and I shall give over their carcasses as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. D. ALL THIS REFLECTS "The covenantal form employed by God in binding Himself to Abraham." 1. Pledge to death not forgotten 2. Pledge to death not lost III. NEW COVENANT RELIEVES BELIEVERS FROM OLD COVENANT CURSES LOOK @ HEB 9:15-20 A. diatheke - "last will and testament" -or- "covenant" 1. Death of testator activates will (easily understood) 2. Covenant death not as obvious; not seen today; not seen today B. SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION OF COVENANT-MAKER IN BOTH ABRAHAMIC AND MOSAIC COVENANTS 1. Death of Covenant-maker represented symbolically 2. Death of Covenant-violator actual/real C. BOTH TESTAMENT AND COVENANT INVOLVE DEATH 1. Death activates a testament 2. Death inaugurates/vindicates a covenant D. LOOK BACK @ HEB 9:15 DIATHEKE = MOSAIC COVENANT 1. God established a covenant, not a last will and testament 2. Death of Testator does not remove transgressions 3. Christ's death removes transgressions (blood of the covenant) 4. Christ didn't activate a will E. LOOK @ VS 17 1. Only one body needed for a last will and testament 2. Many bodies to inaugurate a covenant 3. Many beasts symbolize covenant curse F. LOOK @ VS 18 1. Blood shedding/covenant inauguration 2. Christ's death understood by God's dealings throughout history 3. Christ bore consequences of Gen 15 - pledge to death by God 4. Christ delivers from the curse G. LOOK @ MATT 26:28 1. Covenantal language 2. Christ is the substitute H. LOOK @ LK 22:19-20 1. Body broken/torn 2. Blood removes the curse 3. Introduces New Covenant IV. CONCLUSION A. COVENANT ONLY FOR BELIEVERS/GOD'S PEOPLE 1. Abraham called by God 2. Abraham believed God vs 6 B. PAUL SAYS ABRAHAM WAS JUSTIFIED BY GOD (ROM 4) 1. God justifies the one who does not work 2. Abraham could not work to produce his own seed 3. God justifies the ungodly 4. Abraham was the ungodly idolator 5. God promised Abraham a seed 6. Abraham believed God ("Amen") C. COVENANT NOT FOR UNBELIEVERS 1. Heb 9:28 - "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many...." 2. Abraham was a believer, justified by faith, counted as righteous when God made the covenant with him D. COVENANT OF PROMISE - PROMISED REDEMPTION 1. God promised by passing between pieces 2. God promised every promise would be realized a. It's secure; it cannot fail b. God cannot destroy Himself - He's eternal c. God provided Christ as ultimate pledge-to-death substitute d. Christ had His flesh torn e. Christ had His blood shed f. Christ removed His people's covenant transgressions


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