Old Testament Fellowship with God Part 2 -- By: James F. Rand

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 108:431 (Jul 1951)
Article: Old Testament Fellowship with God Part 2
Author: James F. Rand


Old Testament Fellowship with God
Part 2

James F. Rand

(Continued from the April-June Number, 1951)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 15–23, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–9 respectively.}

The Abrahamic Covenant

It is natural that we should first turn to a consideration of the Old Testament testimony concerning the covenant relationship, since it is within the confines of this portion of God’s Word that we find the accounts of the five Biblical covenants which constitute the bases for all this relationship. Beginning with the Abrahamic, we shall consider the four gracious or unconditional covenants before looking at the Mosaic or legal covenant. Possibly two covenant relationships shall be found to exist—one based on the gracious covenants and apprehended by faith, the other based on the Mosaic covenant and maintained by adherence to a rigid legal code. The consideration of these covenants will be organized around four pertinent points: the terms of each covenant, indications of individual covenant-relationship, the blessings of that relationship, maintenance of covenant relationship.

The Abrahamic Covenant is the first covenant in point of time which God concluded with His chosen people, Israel. It also belongs first in this consideration because of its primacy, i.e., it is basic to the other three gracious covenants—the Palestinian, Davidic and New Covenants. In a real sense these subsequent revelations of God’s mind and purpose for His chosen people are but enlargements of this covenant’s essential provisions.

The first intimations of the covenant are found in Genesis 12:1–3, where God calls Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees. From this moment onward Abraham walks the way of faith. C. F. Keil gives us the following summary of the patriarch’s life: “The life of Abraham, from his call to his death, consists of four stages, the commencement of each of which is marked by a divine revelation of sufficient

importance to constitute a divine epoch. The first stage (Gen xii.-xiv.) commences with his call and removal to Canaan; the second (chap. xv.-xvi.) with the promise of a lineal heir and conclusion of a covenant; the third (chap. xvii.-xxi.) with the establishment of the covenant, accompanied by a change in his name, and the appointment of the covenant sign of circumcision; the fourth (chap. xxii.-xxv.11) with the temptation of ‘Abraham to attest and perfect his life of faith.”1

There ...

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