Tag Archives: partnership

Covenant

In Nehemiah 10, the people are agreeing to a covenant. A covenant is something we see many times in the Bible. A covenant is also known as a partnership, an alliance. I always like to consider it as a promise which outlines a relationship’s boundaries. When we look at a covenant between God and His people, we can see that it is a spiritual agreement.

The process of entering into a covenant is interesting. It was something pagans participated in, as well as the Jewish people. First, it is important to note the pre-ceremony actions. This is a time when the different sides discussed terms. We see this happening in Genesis 15 between God and Abraham. There is also a time of representative selections. With regard to the Abrahamic Covenant, God and Abraham were the representatives. During the covenant process, there is typically an exchange of belts, weapons, or robes. Then there is the walk unto death part of the process. This is where the people walk around the sacrifice and basically say, “Do so to me as has been done to this animal if I break this covenant.” We see God doing this with Abraham in Genesis 15:17, as the smoking fire pot and flaming torch pass through. There is a pronouncement of blessings and curses, an exchange of names, and a covenant meal to share as part of the covenant sealing process. We cannot forget the seal of the covenant, where we have a sign of the covenant that will be remembered. For Noah, it was the Rainbow. For Moses, it was the Sabbath.

It is awesome to study about covenants, but it is most important for us to understand these covenants with the vantage point of the New Covenant. Remember friends, we entered into a New Covenant. Jesus is our representative (Son of Man), God’s representative (Son of God), and He was the sacrifice (Lamb of God). He took off His robe of glory to come to us, and we now have His righteousness (Philippians 2:5-7). Jesus’ walk unto death was His walk from Gethsemane to the Cross. The sign of the New Covenant is a circumcised heart (Romans 2:28-29). As you share in the Lord’s Supper, and one day as you share in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, you are sharing the covenant meal. Today, thank God for the New Covenant, and most important, for our Representative and Sacrifice, Jesus Christ.

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Bad Alliances

Jehoshaphat followed God and his obedience brought him wealth and honor. Even so, there are times when we can make some poor decisions that can end up pulling us away from God. Jehoshaphat’s poor decision was making bad alliances.

In 2 Chronicles 18, we read about the first bad alliance. This was a marriage alliance involving Jehoshaphat’s son Joram to King Ahab’s daughter Athaliah. King Ahab was very far from God. As Ahab and Jehoshaphat aligned together, Jehoshaphat was nearly killed if not for the protection of God. The second alliance was a trading alliance Jehoshaphat formed with King Ahaziah. God responds with smashed ships unable to trade.

We are never to isolate ourselves from others. How would the Gospel spread if we hide ourselves away? Nonetheless, we need to be cautious of our alliances. Not only can a bad alliance crush our moral authority, but it can lead us away from God. It is so important to surround yourself with strong Christians for encouragement, support, guidance, and comfort.

“Late in life Jehoshaphat formed a trading syndicate with Ahaziah king of Israel—which was very wrong of him to do. He went in as partner with him to build ocean-going ships at Ezion Geber to trade with Tarshish. Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah preached against Jehoshaphat’s venture: ‘Because you joined forces with Ahaziah, God has shipwrecked your work.’ The ships were smashed and nothing ever came of the trade partnership.”

-2 Chronicles 20:35-37 [MSG]

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