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  • Jon: If you've been around Christians you've probably heard the idea

  • of having a personal relationship with God,

  • which could mean different things in the Bible like having God as a friend,

  • or your Father, or maybe your teacher.

  • Tim: But there's one particular way that the Bible talks about this relationship

  • that you find all over

  • but strangely we don't talk about it that much

  • and that's the idea of a partnership with God.

  • Jon: A partnership like working alongside someone to accomplish a goal together.

  • Tim: Right. And this is actually what you see at the beginning of the Bible.

  • God creates this good world full of all of this potential,

  • and then God appoints these unique creatures, humans,

  • as his partners in bringing more and more goodness out of all that potential.

  • Jon: But the humans don't want to partner with God

  • they rebel and try to create a world on their own terms.

  • Tim: And so this broken partnership is the Bible's explanation for why we're stuck

  • in a world of corruption and injustice and the tragedy of death.

  • Jon: It's not like they're just one or two humans have bailed on this relationship.

  • In a story in the Bible everyone has abandoned the partnership with God

  • Tim: So what God does is select a smaller group of people out of the many,

  • and makes a new partnership with them called a "covenant".

  • And in a covenant God makes promises

  • and then an exchange asks his partner to fulfill certain commitments.

  • And the purpose of all of this

  • is to somehow use this covenant relationship to renew his partnership with everybody else.

  • Jon: Now, they're actually four times in the Old Testament

  • that we were told God initiates a covenant relationship:

  • With Noah, Abraham, the Nation of Israel, and King David.

  • Tim: And its through these that God is forming a covenant family

  • into which all people will eventually be invited.

  • Jon: So let's see how these work. The first one is with Noah.

  • Tim: So in this story God has just brought the flood to cleanse the world

  • of humanities corruption. And Noah and his family are the only ones left.

  • And so God makes a covenant with Noah saying, "Listen...

  • ... I know that humans will continue to be evil

  • But despite that I'm not going to destroy it like this again.

  • Instead, the earth will be this reliable place for us to work together."

  • Jon: Great so was does Noah have to do?

  • Tim: Nothing. And that's what's so interesting about this first covenant,

  • is that God is promising to be faithful even though he knows humans won't be.

  • Jon: The next time we see God make a covenant is with a man named Abraham.

  • God chooses him, promises to bless him, give him a large family, lots of land where they can flourish.

  • Tim: And in return got asks Abraham to trust him

  • and train up his family to do what is right and just.

  • And the whole reason for this covenant is that God says that somehow

  • he is going to bring his blessing to all families of the world through this one family.

  • Jon: So that's Abraham.

  • The next time we see God make a covenant is when Abraham's family grows

  • into the tribe of Israel.

  • Jon: And this covenant is with the whole tribe. Got asks them to obey a set of laws,

  • which are these guidelines for living well as a community of God's partners.

  • And if they do this then God promises to bless them and that they will become

  • a people who then represent him to the rest of humanity.

  • Jon: That's the covenant with Israel. The last covenant is with King David.

  • Tim: Yes. The tribe of Israel has become this large nation ruled by David.

  • And God asked David and his descendants to partner with him

  • by leading Israel in obeying the laws in doing what is right and just.

  • And God promises that one day one of David's sons will come

  • and extend God's kingdom of peace and blessing over all the nations.

  • Jon: So those are the four covenants that God makes

  • in order to restore his partnership with the whole world.

  • Tim: But here's what happens...

  • Israel breaks the Covenant.

  • They worship other gods, they allow horrible injustice,

  • so they lose their land and are forced off in exile.

  • Jon: So it seems hopeless.

  • But during this time Israel's prophets talked about a day

  • when God would restore these covenants in spite of Israel's failure...

  • ...somehow.

  • Tim: Yeah, they called it the 'New Covenant'.

  • And this is actually what's so interesting about Jesus, is that he is introduced into this story

  • as the one who fulfills all of these covenant relationships.

  • We're told that he's from the family have Abraham.

  • And so he will bring the blessings of that family to the whole world.

  • We're told that he is the faithful Israelite who was able to truly obey the law.

  • And we're told that he is the King from the line of David.

  • and so he goes about extending God's kingdom of justice and peace to all.

  • Jon: And that's really remarkable for one guy.

  • Tim: Yeah, and what it highlights

  • is perhaps the most surprising claim of all made about this man:

  • that Jesus is no mere human.

  • But rather God become human.

  • And God did this in order to be that faithful covenant partner

  • that we are all made to be, but have failed to be.

  • And so through Jesus

  • God has opened up a way for anyone to be in a renewed partnership with him.

  • Jon: So Jesus calls people to follow him and become part of this new covenant family.

  • Tim: And despite their failures, Jesus is committed to making them into partners

  • who are becoming more and more faithful.

  • Jon: The story the Bible ends with a vision of a fully renewed world

  • full of goodness and peace.

  • Tim: And there's this renewed humanity there

  • partnering tog ether with God to expand the goodness of his creation.

  • And so the end of the Bible's story is really a new beginning.

Jon: If you've been around Christians you've probably heard the idea

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B1 US covenant jon god israel partnership abraham

Animated Explanation of 'The Covenants'

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    sophia posted on 2017/03/17
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