As noted in the last two posts, I am unpacking the biblical story that I previously summarized in one sentence here. Parts 1 and 2 can be found here (part 1) and here (part 2). Today we continue with parts 3 and 4…
3. The Covenant with Noah: The King Renews His Purposes
After the shameful rebellion of Adam and Eve, sin and evil filled the world. God decided that a new beginning was in order. He destroyed the earth and everything in it with a flood. Yet, in his grace, he spared one family – the family of Noah.
After the flood, God made a covenant – an agreement between a king and his people involving promises of blessings, as well as conditions – with Noah, his family, and the entire world. In this covenant, God blessed Noah and his family with the same blessings given to Adam and Eve at creation. People were again to be God’s special people. They were to fill the earth with more people made in God’s image. Though people rebelled, God remained faithful to his purposes for his created world.
4. The Covenant with Abraham: The King Makes a Promise
Though the covenant with Noah was a like a new beginning, it was not completely new. People continued in sinful rebellion against God. If the world was going to be restored, God would have to do something big.
God promised to do so when he called Abraham to leave his home, his family, and everything that was familiar to him to go to a new place that God show him. God also made big promises to Abraham.
These promises have clear connections to the blessings of creation. God promised to give Abraham a great family (nation), to give him face (great name), to bless him, and through him to bless all the people of the world. This is even more incredible when we consider the fact that when God called him, Abraham had no family of his own and was already an old man.
These promises were made sure through God’s covenant with Abraham. God promised to
restore his original purposes of creation through the family of Abraham. God promised that Abraham’s family would outnumber the stars of the sky. God would also give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s family. The promised seed coming to restore God’s people and God’s world would also come through the family of Abraham. Best of all, God promised to be the God of Abraham and his family.
The covenant promises were passed from Abraham to his son Isaac and to his grandson Jacob. Near the end of his life, Jacob moved his entire family to Egypt. In Egypt, Jacob’s family was given good land and began to increase in number.