It is a common misconception among some modern day Christians that the Old Testament is irrelevant and unimportant to us today. It is argued that the Old Testament was written by the Jewish people and for the Jewish people. The misconception within train of thinking is that the New Testament itself was also written entirely by Jewish men (with the exception of Luke and Acts). The Old Testament serves as contextual knowledge and instruction for us today that must be applied through lens of the New Testament. This is also the same with Old Testament covenants. While they do not apply to us today in the same context as they did in Old Testament times; these covenants are still important for us to understand and learn from.
Old Testament Covenants through New Testament Eyes
Before one begins to look in-depth at the covenants of the Old Testament; one must first determine what a covenant actually is. Harper Collins Bible Dictionary defines a covenant as: “A formal agreement or treaty between two parties in which each assumes some obligation” (Unterman, 2011). From a Biblical perspective, covenant represents God’s promises to man, and man’s promise to abide by his “obligations” in order to receive this promise. God’s primary desire for fulfilling a covenant is total obedience from man. Man’s reward for his obedience to God is the promise of his covenant.
The Old Testament is filled with a plethora of covenants, containing both, covenants from God-to-man and from man-to-man. This paper will take a look at only a few of the important covenants mentioned in the Old Testament. These covenants are: Adamic Covenant, Noahic Covenant, Abrahamic Covenant, and the Davidic Covenant. The conclusion will center around why these covenants are relevant today.
In each of the covenants mentioned above God connotes an enteral timeframe. As we understand God is enteral and it not limited to space and time. The same can also be said for God’s covenants to man. When God makes a covenant with man He intends for it to be enteral. The only way a covenant between God and man is ever broken is due to man’s inability to abide and obey his obligation to the covenant. Humanity continuously fell short of abiding by their side of the covenant so God instituted a new and perfect covenant for man to enter into; while this new covenant supersedes the old covenants it is still based off of the same principles of eternality.