"On the Way" highlights 8 ingredients to a covenant.
1. Historical situation: Abraham and Sarah are childless and waiting for God to give them a child.
2. Requirements/stipulations: All Jewish boys are to be circumcised. We still remember this when we baptize people. Baptism is an entrance into the earthly covenant family and not a sign that you are saved, nor does it save you. This is why the Presbyterians baptize infants.
3. Response: Sarah and Abraham finally have a son.
4. Witnesses: God calls on the stars of the sky and the dust of the earth as witnesses because that's how many descendants Abraham will have.
5. Blessings if the covenant was kept: Abraham and Sarah would have a son and become a blessing.
6. Curses if the covenant was broken: division, war, separation from God. This is why only God stepped between the animal pieces. Jesus took the curse for us. If we don’t accept his gift, we will still receive the curse.
This part is the reason God walked between the animal pieces and not Abraham. He knew that Abraham and people would break the agreement, but he also knew that mere humans could not pay the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Only Jesus could live a perfect life and keep the covenant to save all people from hell.
7. Public ratification with a meal: Abraham and God ate a meal together. We still do this when we celebrate Communion. We actually eat with Jesus as his grace pours over us.
8. Renewal: God gives constant reminders of his promise. Soon we’ll read Genesis 22 for the first renewal. The 10 commandments are another renewal. Actually, communion is a renewal.
I still get chill bumps every time I read of God passing through the pieces to take the punishment we deserved. God always planned on sending Jesus to die for our sins and to be our savior. And everything he shows us in the Old Testament is a play-by-play of his plan to send Jesus.
When I start this lesson, I will have the kid(s) read magazine ads and write down things the ads promise. Are they true or not? We'll show how God keeps his promises.
After that, since my kid will not likely be there the next weeks when we talk of Hagar, I will show a video by David Murray about the Angel of the Lord (Jesus in the Old Testament) appearing to Hagar in the desert. When Tim Challies first advertised these videos, I bought them immediately and they are wonderful.