“But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark,” –Genesis 6:18a, ESV
There is such a disconnect for us when it comes to covenant keeping. Our society thinks little of integrity, honor, and honesty. We have developed complex and crafted contracts, because we are always looking for loopholes, ways to escape responsibility. We miss the visual of “cutting a covenant” (Gen 15:9-11,18), the gore of sacrifice, the flowing blood that is trampled upon by the parties that pass through it—symbolizing the future of those that do not hold the word as binding.
“The Lord said to him, ‘Take for me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.’ So Abram took all these for him and then cut them in two and placed each half opposite the other, but he did not cut the birds in half. When birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, and great terror overwhelmed him.” –Genesis 15:9-12, NET
So we think little of God’s covenant with mankind, our inability to uphold our part to be “blameless” (Gen 17:1), no matter how much we promise (Exo 19:8; 24:3,7; 32:1-6; Jos 24:16-21). No wonder Abram was terrified. He saw the assurance of his doom.
But God does not abandon His people to their futility and shame, but upholds the covenant with a promise (Heb 6:17-18). His predestined plan, made before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4-12), will be accomplished by His immense power (Eph 1:19-21). It is impossible for man to thwart it (Job 42:2), even in our stubborn rebellion (Num 11:23). And in this “everlasting covenant,” God Himself walks through the blood for us (Gen 15:17—He is Spirit, and so His presence is represented by type and shadow), atoning for our guilt and shame (Eze 16:63).
“When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking firepot with a flaming torch passed between the animal parts. That day the Lord [cut] a covenant with Abram.” –Genesis 15:17-18a, NET
“I will establish my covenant with you, and then you will know that I am the Lord. Then you will remember, be ashamed, and remain silent because of your disgrace when I make atonement for all you have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.” –Ezekiel 16:62-63, NET
O LORD, press upon our hearts Your great sacrifice. Let us see the enormity and preciousness of the blood paid on our behalf. Let our minds perceive the judgment to come and race to enter your ark of rest—Jesus Christ!