Teaching our primary students about God’s covenants

In Term 2, Pastor Josh and I, together with the Primary Bible Study Groups, set out to discover what a covenant was. We learned it is a form of commitment or agreement between two parties and God made lots of them.  

Through the creation story, God’s desire to live in a relationship with Adam and Eve is demonstrated, but this is only possible if they don’t eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God warns them, “if you eat from the tree you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). Unfortunately, Adam and Eve broke their part of the agreement when they disobeyed God, allowing sin to enter the world. This has affected mankind’s relationship with God ever since.  

Wickedness increased until “all man’s thoughts were evil all the time (Gen 6:5).”  Grieved, God decided to flood the entire earth, but because of His commitment to mankind, he spared one man and his family. Noah was a righteous man who walked with God and was blameless among men (Gen 6:9). After the floodwaters receded, God made a covenant with Noah saying He would never again flood the entire earth. He then placed a rainbow in the sky to remind all mankind of the covenant He had made (Gen 9:9-13).

As part of God’s covenant with Abram God asks him to leave his country and go to the land God would show him (Gen 12:1).  Along with the promise of land, God would give him descendants more numerous than the stars and he would make Abram a blessing to all people. Now referred to as Abraham, Abram went on to become the father of many nations. 

The Israelites who were descendants of Abraham found themselves as slaves in Egypt, but God uses Moses to rescue them out of slavery. God then makes a covenant with the entire nation of Israel when he gives Moses the Law which included the ten commandments. The Law provided a way for a holy God to live among an unholy people. God’s desire for relationship is again seen when He tells the Israelites if they obey Him fully, they will be His treasured possessions (Ex 19:5).  When they disobey God’s instructions to enter the promised land God made them wander in the desert for 40 years. God then establishes this same covenant with the next generation right before they enter the promised land (Deut 5).

Sin seemed to always be in the way of God living in a relationship with His people. Through the covenant God makes with King David, He informed us that David’s offspring would be used to establish God’s throne forever (2 Samuel 7:12-13).  God then uses the prophet Jeremiah to reveal that God is going to make a new covenant. This new covenant would allow for man’s wickedness and sin to be forgiven once and for all (Jer 31:31).   

Jesus was that new covenant, and God has invited us all to take part in that covenant. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are all able to live in a relationship with God. Jesus has fulfilled the hard part of the commitment, leaving us with the easy part (Jn 3:16).  If you haven’t yet done so, I encourage you to place your trust in Jesus and allow Him to be the Lord and Saviour of your life.

Pastor Donna