Covenant is “probably the least understood, yet most important concept in the entire Bible. It is at once the heart and the foundation of mankind’s relationship with God.” —J. E. Leonard
A person can study a subject for years, yet be hindered by missing a vital basic. Once that lost piece clicks into the puzzle the whole subject suddenly becomes clear. An understanding of the blood covenant is such a missing piece for students of the Bible and for those who desire to know God better.
The ancient ritual of blood covenanting was once very common throughout the world. However, because the practice has all but vanished, understanding has been lost in the Western world.
Blood Covenant in the Bible
Compilers of the canon recognized the importance of covenant in the Bible when they divided it into Old Testament/Covenant and New Testament/Covenant. Covenants define relationships, and the Bible is an account of God’s guidelines for relationship and His efforts at establishing intimacy with mankind. Because God’s fellowship with Adam was broken by sin, He initiated a special bond with Abraham and his seed by making a blood covenant. However, God’s chosen people were unable to keep the covenant, and God made a New Covenant through Jesus Christ, making it possible for us to enjoy intimate fellowship with Him.
Knowledge of the blood covenant ritual explodes understanding of the Bible, of God, and of the relationship He desires with us, providing deeper insights into familiar biblical testimonies and revitalizing spiritual life in seekers.
The Covenant Ritual
The ancient rite of cutting a blood covenant included seven steps, or pledges, and each has particular significance in defining the nature of the relationship being established. God committed Himself to Abraham through those same pledges. Understanding the ancient rite of covenanting, provides insight into obscure passages and into the nature of the relationship God wants with us.
Knowledge of Covenant is Applicable to Life
Through the testimonies of heroes of faith we can make application of covenant principles to our lives today. Through Abraham, Moses and the children of Israel we see that learning to walk in covenant faithfulness is a process. Through David we are challenged by the power and authority inherit in those who are confident in their covenant God. Through David we also gain insight into blood covenants between peers and see an example of showing covenant faithfulness to the undeserving, even as the Lord Jesus Christ acted toward us. Saul, the Israelites, and Joshua provide examples of not being faithful to covenant and the consequences that follow.
It’s difficult to have faith in someone or something we don’t know. The knowledge of God gained through study of the blood covenant lays a foundation for building faith and intimacy with Him. Learning from the successes and failures of those who have gone before us strengthens our understanding and faith, thus building our relationship with God.
NEWS ALERT: The Great Exchange: Bound by Blood, by Robert and Kay Camenisch was released in June 2015.
It will unlock mysteries of the ancient ritual and its centrality in the Bible, as well as share new insights about the nature of our relationship with God, and what it means to walk in a covenant relationship.
Since 1975 Robert has studied how covenant is revealed in the Bible. He delights in speaking on it so others will grow in their understanding of Scripture, faith, and relationship with God.
Learn more about The Great Exchange: Bound by Blood.