The Covenants—the Backbone of the Old Testament

—Genesis 9 +other passages
(Part 6 of Seeing Jesus in the O.T.)

  • Andrew Fountain – Nov 29, 2020

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For us to get a clear grasp of this incredibly important topic.

Covenants—the Backbone of the O.T.

  1. Noah and the meaning of “covenant”
  2. Covenants in the Old Testament
  3. Jesus and the “New Covenant”

Genesis 9 – Covenant

  1. God said to Noah and his sons,
  2. “Look! I now establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you
  3. and with every living creature that is with you, including the birds, the domestic animals, and every living creature of the earth with you, all those that came out of the ark with you — every living creature of the earth.

Genesis 9 – Rainbow

  1. I confirm my covenant with you: Never again will all living things be wiped out by the waters of a flood; never again will a flood destroy the earth.”
  2. And God said, “This is the guarantee of the covenant I am making with you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all subsequent generations:
  3. I will place my rainbow in the clouds, and it will become a guarantee of the covenant between me and the earth.
  4. When the rainbow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the perpetual covenant between God and all living creatures of all kinds that are on the earth.”
  5. God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

What is a Covenant?

  • Not merely a contract
  • Fundamentally relational—binds people together in an agreement
  • Closest modern equivalent would be marriage or adoption
  1. Promises made by both sides as to what they would do for the other
  2. Some kind of symbolic action (e.g. meal, sacrifices)
  3. An ongoing symbol

Genesis 21 Abraham and Abi-melech

  1. When Abraham reproved Abi-melech about a well of water that Abi-melech’s servants had seized,
  2. Abi-melech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, and I have not heard of it until today.”
  3. So Abraham took sheep and oxen… and the two men made a covenant.
  4. Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock apart.
  5. And Abi-melech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?”
  6. He said, “These seven ewe lambs you will take from my hand, that this may be a witness for me that I dug this well.”
  7. Therefore that place was called Beersheba, because there both of them swore an oath.
  8. So they made a covenant at Beersheba.

‘“A forever relationship with serious commitments”’

Covenants—the Backbone of the O.T.

  1. Noah and the meaning of “covenant”
  2. Covenants in the Old Testament
  3. Jesus and the “New Covenant”

2. Covenants in the Old Testament

  1. With Noah and his descendents (Noahic)
  2. With Abraham (Abrahamic)
  3. With the Nation of Israel at Mt Sinai when the law was given (Mosaic)
  4. With King David (Davidic) and his direct line
  5. Promise of a New Covenant

Genesis 15: With Abraham (Abrahamic)

  1. When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.
  2. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-

Exodus 19: Nation of Israel at Mt Sinai (Mosaic)

  1. while Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel:
  2. You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
  3. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;
  4. and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation...

2 Samuel 7: King David (Davidic)

  1. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.
  2. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
  3. but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you...
  4. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”

Jeremiah 31: The New Covenant

  1. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
  2. not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.
  3. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
  4. …For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Covenants—the Backbone of the O.T.

  1. Noah and the meaning of “covenant”
  2. Covenants in the Old Testament
  3. Jesus and the “New Covenant”

Hebrews 8: Explains the New Covenant

  1. But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises.
  2. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
  3. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
  4. not like the covenant that I made with their fathers…
  5. In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

The New Covenant (Hebrews 8)

  1. God’s law written on our hearts
  2. We belong to him and he belongs to us
  3. No need for priests between us and God
  4. Our sins are all forgiven “I will remember them no more”


  • If you are a member of the New Covenant:
  1. You have a new heart, that like a butterfly wants to soar
  2. You are God’s beloved and he is your beloved. You are secure in the relationship
  3. You relate to God directly, not through priests
  4. You are totally forgiven and God is never judging you or condemning you