The Weight of a Covenant
After months of planning, the big day finally arrived. The bridesmaids clutched their bouquets and the groomsmen pinned a single rosebud to their jacket pockets. The music started and the procession began. We exchanged vows—we made a covenant—and then we knelt at an altar to receive communion from our pastor.
The ceremony went as planned, and as the video confirmed later, there was hardly a dry eye in the sanctuary. At some point during the reception, we made our way to a church office. The maid of honor and the best man accompanied us as we followed the pastor to a desk where some papers lay waiting. We signed on the dotted lines and just like that, it was official. We were legally husband and wife.
This weekend at church Pastor Jeff described the way two people entered into a covenant agreement back in biblical times. Genesis 15 says that Abraham took a cow, a goat, and a ram, and he split them down the middle. Then he set the pieces opposite of each other. To walk through the pieces signified that you agreed to the same fate as those animals if you failed to meet your end of the agreement.
Can you imagine the same contractual ceremony happening today? Can you picture the bride and groom taking turns, walking through the pieces of dead animals as a way of promising to keep their vows? It’s a gruesome picture. But it’s an image that stays with you. And maybe that was the idea.
A covenant agreement isn’t something we take lightly. There’s a weight to the seriousness of making a covenant. And there are serious consequences when we break our end of the agreement. And that’s why God is so amazing. He walked through the pieces for both Himself and Abraham. God knew that Abraham—and all of us—would not be able to keep our promise. We would stray from Him. So God bore the consequences of our sin on the cross.
God is forever faithful to the promises He makes, and I can’t think of a better reason for us to give thanks.
Throughout the Week . . .
This weekend Pastor Jeff challenged us to meditate on the cross, to really weigh the seriousness of the sacrifice He made. When we do this, we can’t remain focused on what others have done to us, but rather, we remember what Jesus has done for us.
- Read Genesis 15. Then consider verse 17. God is seen as smoke and fire, just as He appeared as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night when He led the Israelites through the wilderness.
- Spend some time this week meditating on the cross.