I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. -Genesis 17:7
Dear members and friends,
The word “covenant” is central in the biblical narratives. This word appears about 314 times in the Old Testament. The first time – when the word covenant is used by God – is found in Genesis 6:18, “I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” According to Genesis, God said this to Noah after announcing the coming of the flood. From this time on, covenant is often used to describe a close relationship between God and a certain person (or people).
The Hebrew word for covenant is berith, meaning alliance, agreement, or alliance of friendship either between people or between a person (or people) and God. In the Old Testament, berith is often used to describe a certain relationship that is defined by an agreement between two parties. According to an English dictionary, the word “agree” is defined as “having the same opinion about something,” or “consenting to do something that has been suggested by another person.” Thus, there must be something suggested by one person (or party), and consequential consent by another person (or party) to have a covenant. In other words, the covenant with God only becomes real when we consent to what God suggests to us. What does God suggest? According to the Old Testament, God has been suggesting two things to humans since the beginning: to love God, and to love each other.
My brothers and sisters in God. Let us take a deep look at our relationship with God. I hope that you found your God near and present in your lives.
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee