Promises To Keep
The covenant has been a major theme in the books of Genesis and Exodus. A covenant is an agreement between two parties, which is not intended to be broken. On several occasions, God has established a covenant with certain people in order to bless them. In return, they would love, serve, and obey Him as their one true God.
The first major covenant God made was with Noah. During Noah’s time, the world became a haven of wickedness in a multitude of ways. God’s heart was grieved from the world’s iniquities and decided to wipe mankind from the face of the earth. However, he found favor with Noah, who was righteous and loved the Lord. It is fitting God loved Noah; “Noah means comfort.” (Alter, Genesis , Gen. 5:9) God spoke to Noah and instructed him to build an ark, for a great flood would consume the earth, and all would perish. Noah obeyed the Lord and gathered his family and enough animals for replenishment. When the great flood ceased to consume the ends of the earth, Noah exited the ark, and released all the animals into the world. Noah pleased the Lord with burnt sacrifices on an altar, and God promised never to destroy the world in this manner again. The Lord said, “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Gen. 9:11) The sign of the Noahic Covenant was a rainbow in the clouds.
Abram of Ur was the next person chosen by God to have a covenant. The Lord called him and indicated that He would make him into a great nation and bless him in many ways. Because Abram was obedient and believed in the Lord, God found favor upon him and his righteousness. God assured Abram that He would “bless him with descendents as numerous as the stars in the sky, land that will remain in their possession, and victory over enemies.” (Gen. 12:1-3) Abram then experienced a theophany with God and established a covenant with Him, which became known as the Abrahamic Covenant. God said his name is to be Abraham, which according to Alter means “father of many”. (Alter, ) The Lord said, “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendents after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendents after you.” (Gen. 17:7) The sign of the covenant was for Abraham’s male descendents to be circumcised.
Moses was next to have a covenant with God, which became known as the Mosaic Covenant. Because of a famine in Canaan, the Israelites moved to the “Land of the Pharaohs”, Egypt. Although the Israelites were not great in number yet, they grew tremendously as the generations passed. This period of time saw Egypt in their New Kingdom, where imperialism was a key focus. “It was Rameses II who reigned from 1290 – 1224 B.C.” (McKay, 25) They feared the Israelites would eventually outnumber and overpower the Egyptians. Therefore, they enslaved the Israelites...