The Hebrew word Va'Etchanan actually doesn't mean covenant, it mean 'and I implore'. As we gather from reading only a little further this is referring to the time when Moses begs the Lord to enter Canaan. However, what really stood out to me in this passage was the mention of cutting a covenant.
Watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the covenant of Adonai your God, which He cut with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything that Adonai your God has forbidden you. -- Deuteronomy 4:23 TLV
Adonai our God cut a covenant with us in Horeb. -- Deuteronomy 5:2 TLV
I chose this version because of the use of the word cut. This is the Hebrew karath. It was very interesting to look up the meanings of this word and how the most important covenant we make is inseparable with this word.
When Moses stated the term "cut Covenant" we find a repeat of the Ten Words listed. Such Words cut through two tablets of stone as God passed through, giving the conditions of the Covenant. This is not the covenant that many New Testament churches want to grasp today. However, can you separate Christ from this Covenant, or from any other? He did still adhere to this Covenant and it is by His keeping of it that so many in their logic claim exemption to keep it themselves. If He did not keep it, is He an eligible Savior? Do you still claim the 'Noahic Covenant' when you see a rainbow? Aren't the blessings through Christ the principles you see in the Abrahamic Covenant? As we uncover the Hebrew word karath I also hope you will further study to see how covenants where God is one of the parties involved are inseparable one to another.
The word itself means to covenant, very specifically by cutting of flesh and passing through the pieces. I'm reflecting the context of the passages above, when God's Covenant came by cutting of tablets in two and passing through them as the Words were written. I am also more immediately taken back to God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis fifteen. I noticed how it records God telling Abraham to bring Him certain animals as He prepares to make a covenant with him. I also noticed that it does not say that God told Abraham to cut the animals, but that Abraham did it anyway. Before the Torah was written with the laws of sacrifice, it was understood that there had to be tearing and there had to be blood for this type of covenant. The Lord then passed through the parts as He made a covenant with Abraham.
It means to be chewed. This must be reason why Luke 22:13-28 is the New Testament reading this week. In this passage, we see how Yeshua cuts the bread by breaking it and, after offering it, offers the wine as His blood in this renewed covenant. Do you see how the Seder's bread and the wine (yes, symbolic of His body and blood) is so closely related to the cutting of the animals and the blood shed by them? However, we must partake, and by this we must then do as Yeshua said about His body: take it and eat. Chew.
Of course, we must remember that the Luke passage is about the Passover. Yet, look at the similarities of the Passover and the covenant with Abraham: Both involve cutting of animals and blood shed (you must cut the lamb to get the blood), and both involve a passing. God passes through the animals in both.
Now, going back to Abraham. I noticed by command that Abraham brought the animals and sacrificed them himself. I also read enough to know that lambs don't show up on Passover already sacrificed, but rather the people had to physically gather a lamb and bring it forward to sacrifice it at their hands. We knew a family in Costa Rica who was raising their own food. They told us of the time they slaughtered their first goat. Not only was the goat aged enough but it had also turned aggressive -- so aggressive that they wholly approached it expecting a fight. To their surprise, he submitted. They said it was as if he not only knew it was coming, but he knew it was his job to be food and he was ready. I say this because Yeshua did say that nobody took His life from Him but He laid it down. However, man did physically bring the Lamb to the slaughter and did physically slaughter Him. Yeshua, like that goat, knew his purpose and was ready. It should ever humble us that without our hands physically bringing Him to sacrifice and as the sacrifice, we wouldn't have a part in Covenant.
Yet, we should also be aware that in this Covenant has conditions -- not conditional love, but conditional covenant. They are not the same thing, to an extent. Anyone who has had to step away from another who was abusing their relationship understands that all too well. I say "to an extent" because the commands in the covenant are indeed acts of love, but there are several words in both the Hebrew and Greek that we pile together to mean the one word love. The commands are given by God, who alone is love, and who alone has authority to give this definition of what it means to love. However, love as far as goodwill is concerned...it is very clear that God extends this to all mankind. He has the right to state covenant conditions because He presents it and He paid for it Himself with His sacrifice and blood shed.
The sacrifice of the Lamb... What a special event wherein God demonstrated His love toward us. How do we demonstrate our love in return? It is in the Covenant.
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