The Covenants of God
The Christian religious organizations of the world mainly preach that there is the Old and New Covenant, but the Bible talks about several other covenants that God made with man. These agreements help us to understand the dealings God was having with man and the results that would occur. (present or future) A covenant is a binding agreement that is made by two or more persons or parties. God’s covenants were simple and direct.
The Edenic Covenant: The covenant in Eden is the first of the general or universal covenants. In it, Adam is charged to:
1. populate the earth,
2. subdue the earth,
3. exercise dominion over the animal creation, (Genesis 1:28)
4. care for the garden of Eden and enjoy its fruit, (Genesis 1:29; 2:15)5. refrain from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17).
God proposed to Adam and Eve a great and wonderful existence: happiness, family, dominion over the animals, peace, no hunger, no sickness, no wars, no hate, no crime and life through-out the ages. Unfortunately, they didn’t obey God! The first humans refused to fulfill their part of the covenant and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The punishment was swift:
Editor’s note: The marriage covenant would be included in the Edenic Covenant
To the woman God said:
I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. (Genesis 3:16)
To the man God said:
Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You must not eat of it, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. (This meant end of life for both Adam and Eve) (Genesis 3:17-19)
God also banished them from the Garden of Eden, and placed a cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. The breaking of the first law of God had terrible consequences, but what a witness this simple rule must have provided to all of God’s heavenly creation. It showed for the first time what God’s sentence would be for those who chose to rebel against Him. And as such, it became a primary goal for the one who was likely the first universal rebel, to have this rule broken. He raised the question for all living creatures of whether God has the right to expect their obedience and love.
Editors note: The Edenic Covenant had a clause that resulted in punishment: Don’t take from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or else you will die. Humans populate the earth, we have subdued the planet, we mostly have dominion over animals and we enjoy food. God did not throw out the entire agreement He made with Adam and Eve. This should be a reminder to us that our disobedience to God will result in penalties, but God is also merciful, long suffering and loves His creation.