Hebrew Roots/The Law and the Covenants/Covenants:The Renewed Universal Covenant
THE RENEWED UNIVERSAL COVENANT[edit | edit source]
This covenant is commonly called the Adamic covenant because it was given to Adam. However, it is not really a different covenant from the one given in Eden in its purpose, but rather is an adjustment to the Edenic/Universal covenant to compensate for, and make provision for the fall of man from his Edenic status. This covenant made with Adam as the head of the race, spans all dispensations and is based on God's infinite love, grace and mercy toward His creatures to reach out to them and make a way for their reconciliation to Him. It required simple faith and obedience. It extends down through Noah (Genesis 6:9) to Abraham, where it came to the full amplification of its purpose and although its scope is extended through Noah and Abraham, eternal life still remained available to man on the basic terms of faith made available here in a Redeemer and living according to the divine principles of life which were given in Eden (and carried over into this covenant), - i.e. by living according to one's conscience. Romans 1:19-20; 2:14-16
This renewed form of the covenant which was made in Eden, needed to make provision for the redemption of man, his wife and their posterity. Also adjustments needed to be made because of the changed conditions that resulted from the fall which they had felt the initial effect of, but of which they were yet to realise the full implications, in their lives. Adam was still called to be a prophet, priest and king (in his fallen state) as well as to father the human race and "replenish the earth", however, the sin factor hindered the accomplishment of these roles. Also their bodies had changed, the very physical creation had changed and they had given access to a powerful enemy with whom they now had to contend in every area of their lives.
THE CHANGED STATUS AND THE CHANGED CONDITIONS[edit | edit source]
When Adam and his wife walked in covenant relationship with Yahweh God they were sustained by the Spirit of God which infused their bodies and souls with the divine life. By breaking covenant with Yahweh, the life-flow was severed and that affected their 'spiritual' state as well as their physical bodies. A process of decay began in them which finally would result in physical death - "dying you shall die" (Genesis 2:17).
From the day they sinned, Adam and Chavah (Eve) began to die physically.
When the Tempter came into the Garden, Adam failed to exercise his role of priesthood and guard their sanctuary from his intrusion. It is assumed he had been warned of him, and he would have realised that he was an adversary of Yahweh God when he began his line of approach to his wife Chavah. The scripture says that he was with her (Gen.3: 6), yet he did not refute the enemy's statements which brought God's Word and character into question, and which enticed Chavah to partake of the forbidden fruit, even though the scripture tells us that he was not deceived, as was his wife (1 Timothy 2:14). By not correcting the lie of the enemy, he failed in his prophetic role as a spokesperson for Yahweh God and also in not exercising his God-given authority to protect her, in his role of kingship.
Faith, love and obedience were the three aspects in which Adam failed in the Edenic covenant.
It would seem as if Adam stood back to see what would happen by disobeying, not realising that as the federal head of the world, it was his choice to disobey that would bring death upon them, not his wife's. He was emboldened to partake of the 'fruit' when he perceived that nothing happened to his wife, misjudging the issues involved. By his decision to yield his will to the Tempter, he came under the dominion of Satan and he and the inheritance which Yahweh God had given to him, became subject to Satan and under his influence (Romans 6:16), and Satan became "the prince of this world" (John 12:31).
Adam aligned himself with Satan's rebellion against God, thereby placing the world under his authority.
Sin entered the world and death through sin (Romans 5:12) - and death spread to everything.
The very elements of the physical world were altered by the power of this spiritual death and the soil would no longer yield it's strength in what it grew. It would require hard work to produce the nutrients they would need in their food as the change in it's structure would lack essential elements. It would also bring forth spurious growth in the form of weeds (Genesis 3:17-19). The physical world was brought into the "bondage of corruption" - it was now under the curse (Romans 9:21)
Sorrow and pain in child-bearing and child-rearing, would result for the woman and she would lose her equality and independence alongside the man.
- Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 11: 3; Ephesians 5:22
"Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you", being emotionally dependent upon him.
Their effect in the change to their relationship was immediately felt in that where they were comfortable in the divine Presence, now they are afraid of Him, they try to cover up their sin and go and hide from Him.
- Literally the Hebrew reads, "And they heard the sound of Yahweh God walking up and down in the Garden at the breath/spirit (ruach) of the day and the man and his wife hid themselves from the Presence of Yahweh in the middle of the trees of the Garden" Genesis 3: 8 (Interlinear translation)
- "The Theological Wordbook translates it, "(they heard) the voice of the Lord God which was going through the garden in the wind of the day" (Strongs 3212; TW 498)
This gives a sense of the voice or noise of His approach being carried by the wind throughout the Garden.
- The word which is used for 'noise' or 'voice' carries with it here in the Hebrew, the sense of an expectation of a decree of judgement being proclaimed upon them. (Theo. Word.1994,5; Strongs 6960 - Hendrickson's Interlinear)
And when Adam answers Yahweh in verse 9, the Hebrew makes it clear that it was the impact of the sound, perhaps as loud as thunder, which caused him to be conscious of his present state and hide.
The sound of His approach which now creates a shattering impact in the corrupted world, strikes terror into their hearts and they react similarly to the nation of Israel at Sinai, when the 'sound' of His appearance was with thunder, lightning and rock-splitting impact upon the earth. Exodus 19:16; Psalm 29: 3-8
He addresses Adam as the covenantal leader and his answer was, 'I was afraid' - fear 'I was naked' - shame 'I hid myself '- self-consciousness
They were now alienated from God, with no assurance of His love or acceptance with Him.
In their fallen state they had to be excluded from the sanctuary of God and from His holy Presence (3:22-24) separated from Him and no longer able to have intimate fellowship with Him, as before. The Garden, now off limits, became the holy place of His Presence and the rest of the earth, defiled, and under a curse.
THE PROMISE[edit | edit source]
In judgement there is always mercy for the repentant. When Yahweh drew Adam and his wife into a confession, the judgement He executed was redemptive. Notice that Satan was still present in the trees of the Garden when He pronounced the judgement upon them all. Genesis 3: 9-19
Grace was extended to the man and his wife to learn from the consequences of their rebellion and judgement was deferred to a future time when the Seed of the woman would bruise the 'serpent's' head (Genesis 3:15). In other words, He would inflict a death-blow to his authority.
This promise revealed that the coming One would be wounded in the process of dethroning Satan ("you [satan] shall bruise His heel") but that He would crush the Serpent ("bruise his head").
They understood that the 'Seed' would be a Redeemer to come through their lineage and Chavah assumed that her first-born, Cain, was the promised one, the One who would bring redemption to them. In naming her son, Cain, the literal Hebrew reads, "I have begotten a man, even Yahweh" Genesis 4:1
However, it was not the time in the purposes of the Eternal for the Redeemer to come. "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem them under the law, that we might receive adoption as sons." A re-reinstatement to sonship! Galatians 4: 4-5
THE SACRIFICE[edit | edit source]
Yahweh made a provision for the continuation of the covenant by providing an atonement for them, a sin offering, in the offering of a sacrificial lamb for their sin. An innocent lamb had to die for them.
From the same animal, He provided them with a covering for their spiritual 'nakedness' and shame in the form of 'coats of skin', or literally, 'something girded around' them (Young's Analytical Concordance). The penalty of sin, the broken law, is death. The innocent animal which was offered for them bore the curse of death which was the penalty for the broken terms of the covenant. Yahweh's gracious gift to them through faith in the lamb provided, opened up the way for them to inherit eternal life instead of the judgment of death which was the penalty (or 'wages') for their sin. Romans 6:23
Therefore as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life." Romans 5:18
The token lamb, pre-figured the Lamb of God who would be slain for the sins of the whole world. He was the 'Seed of the woman' (Gal.3:16), the Messiah to come who would, in His death, bruise the Serpent's head and ratify the animal sacrifices which were made in faith of the promise Yahweh gave them.
- Hebrews 2:14
The way of sacrifice became a means whereby they may now, as fallen humanity, approach a holy God. As long as they exercised faith in the covenant promise and offered the sacrificial lamb, they would enjoy the benefits of the covenant.
This was to be something they would perform as an ongoing symbolic act of faith in the Lamb of God who was to come and who would atone for their sin and cover their shame. Genesis 3:21
This is the beginning of the sacrificial system in the Bible which is continued through until THE One whom it typified came to redeem all those who were under the curse of the broken law, i.e. the broken covenant. We see Cain and Abel having an understanding of the need to offer a sacrifice and doing so.
The reason why Abel's sacrifice was accepted and Cain's was not, was because Abel offered a lamb as a sacrifice, whereas Cain wanted that which came from his own efforts to be accepted. Genesis 4: 3-5 In his rebellion, he wanted to establish his own way of righteousness.
We see a godly line who maintained fellowship with Yahweh God through the atonement that was provided for them and who walked with Him in covenant relationship all the way down to Noah.
THE SEAL OF THE COVENANT[edit | edit source]
The seal of the Edenic covenant was the keeping of the Sabbath as a token of the eternal life which was offered to them. Added to this now was a sign in the form of the covering with which Yahweh had clothed them from the skin of the sacrificial animal, that now, whenever they looked upon their 'clothes', they remembered the atonement and their need of redemption. Genesis 3:21
This sign continually reminded them that they were fallen creatures waiting for the manifestation of the One who would be the Lamb of God and "bruise/crush the serpent" and bring a restoration of their original status and their original dwelling place - "Eden". 2 Peter 3:13
The simple skin of an animal was a very poignant reminder to them of the glory from which they had fallen. And, that an innocent animal which they personally had to kill had to lose it's life to provide life for them, would have reminded them every time it was required, of the dire consequence of their sin. Blood had to be shed that they might live and be absolved and covered from the shame of their sinful act.
Although their hope and expectation was in their immediate posterity being the promised One, the development of the human race would now have to go through a lengthy process of learning through experience until it developed to a stage of maturity and spirituality to receive the Redeemer.
The sinful nature reigned in man more predominantly at first and after only eight generations only Noah was found righteous before Him. It took another 11 generations before Abraham was called to bring forth a nation who would walk in His ways and that required many corrective chastisements to achieve.
Luke actually lists 75 generations between Adam the first son of God and Y'shua the second Son of God who would redeem man from his fallen state and be the progenitor of the new "man" in His image.