Meaning of the term Covenant
There are two types;
(i) Conditional covenant
- It is an agreement/ a covenant between two or more parties which in fact are equal.
- It is a covenant between two unequal parties for example between God and his people.
- Covenant with Noah / Noaic in which God entered into a relationship with the whole world and promised to preserve the life of people (Gen 9) The sign of this covenant is the rainbow.
- The covenant with Abraham in which God promised to fulfill the promises he made with him. The sign is circumcision.
- The covenant with the people of Israel at Mt. Sinai/ Mosaic in which God promised to be their God the Israelites promised obedience (Exodus 24). The sign is the law / the Ten Commandments.
- The covenant with King David in which God promised him that his dynasty will continue forever. (2 Sam 7:14 – 16)
- The covenant with Jeremiah in which God promised to make a new covenant with the Israelites where each individual will know God personally. (Jeremiah 31:3 – 34)
Elements of covenant
- Two or more parties are involved.
- Those involved commit themselves to a binding agreement.
- Involves promises or oaths.
- It usually has some physical sign or symbol.
- It involves a witness or witnesses.
- It is usually sealed.
- A ceremony or a ritual is performed to enforce it.
- It has serious/ negative consequences experienced by those who break it and benefits for those who keep it.