A covenant is an agreement, a contract, a pact, a promise. In the Bible, God made many promises. This week, let’s look at a few of those promises, generally known as covenants. Let’s start in the beginning with what is sometimes referred to as the Edenic Covenant.
“God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.’ God also said, ‘Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This will be food for you, for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth—everything having the breath of life in it—I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:27–30, CSB). “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:15–18, CSB).
In short, God promised mankind a great life. At the same time, God made man responsible to fill the earth and cultivate the garden. He gave our earliest ancestors freedom to eat from every tree except the tree in the middle of Eden. The penalty for disobedience was death! And you know the rest of the story!
After their disobedience, God made another covenant, the Adamic Covenant.
To the man, God said, “The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust”(Genesis 3:17–19, CSB). Labor. Thorns and thistles. Sweat. Death. Thanks Adam! This is your fault!
To the woman, God said, “I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children with painful effort. Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16, CSB). Sorry ladies. Life is hard and filled with strife.
And to that slithering snake, God declared, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel”(Genesis 3:14–19, CSB).
God cursed the serpent and predicted enmity, hostility. He also foretold of the epic battle between the serpent, Satan, and the offspring of a woman, the virgin-born Savior. The Savior was injured on the cross, but Satan was defeated and destroyed! Satan was defeated! Jesus wins!
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, CSB). That’s God’s promise. His covenant.