Covenant blessings are those we and other people receive when and following the time that God makes a covenant with us, or with someone else, such as Abram (Abraham), as we shall see in our discussion for this week.
However, if we fail to live in the covenant or in the other ways God desires us to live, these covenant blessings can turn into one or more curses.
Think about the covenant blessings of Eden, which were not even mentioned as being a covenant.
The first was that humans were to protect the whole of Godís creation from evil, and if we did, we would always have the blessings of an Edenic life.
The second was to eat only the plant foods that God created for us, which carried with it a double blessing of just being able to pick what we wanted to eat and not have to work for it, and the other was perfect health, both of which we lost when Eve and Adam ate of the forbidden fruit.
And these blessings have never been regained; they have been lost forever upon this earth, and we wonít have them again until we get to heaven, which most people donít seem to want, for they continue to live in the corrupt and ungodly ways of this earth.
In fact, the violent ways of this earth are responsible for suffering and death of millions of humans and billions of animals every year, and in addition we have all the diseases that come from eating animals, and the destructiveness of global warming.
These problems or curses can all end if we really decide to live in Godís heavenly will.
Letís begin our discussion about covenant blessings by looking at Genesis 17:1-7Ö
1. Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him,
"I am God Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless.
What God told Abraham is very similar to what Jesus told us in Matthew 5:48Ö
48. "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
This is the ideal or goal for us to achieve, and we should truly want to do this, even if we cannot fully achieve it here on this corrupt earth.
And God further said to AbramÖ
2. "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you,
And I will multiply you exceedingly."
The problem is that some 15 years prior to this, God had tried to make a similar covenant with Abram, but he didnít fully trust in the Lord for when his wife Sarai offered him her maid Hagar to bear children, instead of rejecting her offer, he accepted her offer and Hagar bore a son, Ishmael, and because of that union there has been strife between the descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of Abraham to this very day.
The first covenant offer turned into a curse for all the parties involved.
Will Abram listen this time?
3. And Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying,
4. "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you,
And you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.
This second offer of a covenant is never as good as the first offer, for this time Abramís covenant fulfillment included the nations of Ishmael, which would not have existed if Abram had trusted in the Lord the first time the covenant was offered.
God may forgive us, but the problems of our prior transgressions may also be included in the second covenant offering.
And even though Abram had not fully believed the Lord previously, God still blessed him and saidÖ
5. "No longer shall your name be called Abram,
But your name shall be Abraham;
For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.
The name Abram means high or exalted father, and the name Abraham means father of many, as in this case, a father of many nations, even if there was strife between some of them, just like there is in some families between siblings.
And we believe that God said this because He knew that this time Abraham was going to fully believe.
6. "And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you.
This doesnít necessarily mean that Abraham will have many children, but that the generations of Abraham would continue to have many children.
7. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.
God did do this, but most of Abrahamís descendants didnít follow Godís heavenly will and did their own thing.
The covenant blessings are usually only for those who truly believe and follow Godís heavenly will.
Letís think about these covenant blessings as we look at Romans 4:18-25Ö
18. In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, "So shall your descendants be."
Abraham may have thought this way the first time the covenant blessings were offered, but he thought he had to make it happen instead of waiting upon the Lord, and because of that, it actually became a problem that exists to this very day.
The covenant was eventually fulfilled but not all of it turned out to be a blessing, which is what happens when we donít fully trust in the Lord and His heavenly will.
19. And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb;
We believe that this only refers to the second time the covenant was offered.
20. yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
Abraham did waiver this first time, which was not what God wanted, so like above, this can only fully apply to the second time that God offered to make the covenant with him.
21. and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.
This is one of those things that we can always be assured of; God is always able to perform anything he says, and sometimes the fulfillment isnít immediate, and we need to be patient.
22. Therefore also it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
We believe that all our belief and faith in God can be reckoned unto righteousness, but most people donít seem to want it, for they continue to live in the corrupt and violent ways of this earth.
23. Now not for his sake only was it written, that it was reckoned to him,
24. but for our sake also, to whom it will be reckoned, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
We really hope and pray that this applies to all of us.
25. He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
This is one of our covenant blessings if we truly want it and believe and live in His heavenly will.
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