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In the last article we'd learned, that Jacob is fast approaching his last hour. And it would be during this time, that Joseph takes his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, to go and see their grandfather. Upon their arrival, Jacob would bless the two boys -- and it would be through these special blessings, that Joseph would learn, that through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, that he too, will have a place from within the Promise Covenant -- which is the very covenant, that God had promised to his forefathers.
Now before we go further, I want you to know, that I'd like to think -- that it's important for us, here in the twenty-first century, to be able to look beyond the "Abrahamic Covenant" when it comes to our biblical studies of the Old Testament.
I'd like to think that it's important, that we're able to do this -- so that we can better see, how the Word of God relates to us this very day.
We have to understand, that God's Promise Covenant goes far beyond Abraham's time period.
For we must not make the mistake, of just limiting our understanding of God's promises, to a certain time period, or to a specific group of people.
And it's for this reason, that I challenge you to be daring, when it comes to your biblical studies -- by not being afraid to go beyond the norm.
Let me start by stating, that a "covenant" is simply an agreement between two parties. And when it comes to God, that simply means, that it's an agreement between Him and humanity. For it's important, that you understand that. For the covenant that God makes -- isn't just limited to Him and Israel, but it goes beyond that relationship. I'd like to think, that it's a covenant, that connects God to all of humanity. For I personally believe, that if one approaches this in such a way, it gives them a tremendous advantage, when it comes to gaining a deeper insight, when it comes to the Word of God.
For instance, remember the covenant that God had made with Adam:
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'
"Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it, I give every green plant for food.' And it was so." -- Genesis 1:27-29
Now my question at this point, would be: "Who did Adam represent?" And the answer to that very same question, would be humanity -- not Israel, but humanity. And although Adam and his wife Eve would eventually mess up, when they'd listened to the serpent in the garden -- know that God's Promise Covenant was still in play.
But it would also be at this time, that the covenant that God had made with Adam, would be altered in order to fit the punishment of their disobedience. A punishment that Adam and Eve had brought upon themselves, and along with their punishment, they would end up affecting all of humanity as well:
"To the woman he said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.' To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, "You must not eat of it," 'Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
"It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." -- Genesis 3:16-19
Now I don't know about you, but the last time I looked, women were still going through a painful childbearing process? Also, we still have to work hard, and struggle, in order for us to survive on a day to day basis. And we all have to, unfortunately, face a natural death one day. Now my point when it comes to all of this -- deals with the fact, that God first made his Promise Covenant with humanity (Adam), and it's crucial that you know, that covenant never expired.
And this is why, when the human race had become so wicked, God wanted to destroy it (us) -- but when it was all said and done, He didn't. So what did God do instead? Just like He'd showed us, when it came to the example of Adam and Eve -- God spared us, through His unconditional gifts of mercy and grace.
And because of this, Noah would eventually be chosen, when it came to ushering the human race into a new world. But understand, Noah wasn't just anybody -- for he was a direct descendant of Adam and Eve. A descendant that came through their son they eventually had after Cain and Abel -- Seth.
Know that God used Noah, so that humanity could continue to survive after it had messed up, after God had sent the Great Flood of Judgment. And it's for this reason, the seed of Adam (humanity) continued on through the likes of Noah and his household. For unto to [Adam and Eve]: Seth was born, and unto him Enosh, and unto him Kenan, and unto him Mahalalel, and unto him Jared, and unto him Enoch, and unto him Methuselah, and unto him Lamech, and unto him Noah.
Also know, that before the flood, God had announced the second coming of Christ, through the prophet Enoch: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." -- Jude 1:14-15
Nonetheless, it would be during Noah's recorded account, that the Sacred Record reveals to us, what is known as (what most would refer to) the "The Noahic Covenant":
"I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you, the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you, every living creature on earth. 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."
"And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.
'Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.' So God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.'" -- Genesis 9:8-17
Now after reading that passage, my question at this point, would be again: "Who did Noah represent?" And just like before, the answer to that very same question, would be humanity -- not Israel -- but humanity. Now I want to make something clear, I'm not trying to slam Israel in any kind of way, not even in the very least. But what I'm trying to get you to understand -- that it is very important, that we don't separate Israel from the rest of humanity.
I mean after all, they too, are Noah's direct descendants -- descendants that had came through Noah's oldest son Shem. Now I won't use this article, to go into all of the reasons, on why I believe this matters. But will tell you, that I'm pointing this little bit of information out, simply because it reveals, that Israel didn't just appear from out of nowhere.
Also know, that this information shows, that the Promise Covenant that was placed on them by God -- was in fact, a continuation of the previous covenant, that had already been put in play, with the Noahic Covenant and the special blessing that God had bestowed on Shem:
"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave." -- Genesis 9:26-27
Notice how everybody was placed under Shem at this point, in regards to their blessing. Also notice, how God makes it clear, that He is the God of Shem. For He wasn't referred to, in this manner, when it came to Noah's other sons.
Nonetheless, let's keep going... for I want you to know, that I'm pointing all of this out, because I don't want us to forget, where Abraham had come from:
"This is the account of Shem. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters. When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah. And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
"When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters. When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters. When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
"When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters. When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters. When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah.
"And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters. After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram [Abraham], Nahor and Haran. This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram [Abraham], Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot." -- Genesis 11:10-27
Now remember, like I'd stated earlier, I'm not slamming Israel. For I know that would be foolish on my part. And with that being stated, I'd also like to think, that we must not limit our perception to just one nation. Remember that God is much bigger than one nation, and if we make the mistake of placing limits on ourselves, through our natural perception of things -- I truly believe, that we'll never be able to see beyond the surface of God's Sacred Record.
We should remember this, being that from within our biblical studies, we'll be entering into the "Exodus stage" of the Sacred Record soon. And because of this, we have to stay focused on tracking God in the natural, and how He'd interacted and reacted to those, who were found to be in His Promise Covenant -- and how He'd dealt with those, who were to be found outside of it.
Know that as we move forward, I will continue to address the continuation of the Promise Covenant throughout humanity (Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Palestine, Mosaic, Davidic) and how Jesus eventually became the final sacrifice for all of our sins. And because of Christ's tremendous sacrifice, the New (Blood) Covenant was brought forth, for the entire human race to greatly benefit from. Know that Christ is the only true way to heaven, and He's the only reason, why we're able to be included within God's New Blood Promise Covenant.
I also want to point out, that through the exploration of the Sacred Record -- we'll be able to see (while learning how the Word of God is one glorified testament) that God's Word is not limited by the labels of being simply "new" or "old" -- But we'll learn, that the Word of God is a testament, on how God from the very beginning, gave us everything. And it's from within His testament, that He also shows us, how we (humanity), not knowing any better, ran out and far, from the Eternal Door.
And because of this rebellious behavior on our parts, we hid ourselves from Him. But also know, that in spite of this -- through mercy and grace, God left the Eternal Door open for us. And again, this was made possible, through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Oh! How God longs for the day that we, not as worldly slaves, but as His children -- will come back home to Him, and walk back through that very same Eternal Door that we had initially ran out of, and because of this, became a fallen race.
**YOUR CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE SERIES - WOULD BE HERE**
108) Jacob Becomes Ill
112) <-CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE - PAGE->
115) The Tribe of Kings