Wednesday, July 8, 2015

God's Pattern of Covenant Making In The Old Testament

As we read in the Old Testament, in Genesis 9 we can learn a great deal about God's patterns or the ways in which He  teaches His children on the earth.

In these chapters we are given our first example of  God's use of signs and tokens with His children, as they make covenants with Him. 

As God gives instructions to His children; as He asks us to be obedient to His orders; many times He is establishing a covenants with us.

The highest order of covenants God makes with His children are made in His Holy House; His Temples; but as we take a closer look at these recorded patterns in the scriptures, we see God's glory in Latter-Day Saint Temples revealed.

The word Covenant means alliance, pledge, treaty or ordinance.

The  sign is the way one must observe instructions.

The Token is the blessing given or proof of recognition of the covenant.

One of the recorded covenants God made with man was made with Noah in these chapters. God told Noah to build the ark as a sign of his faith and obedience. Noah keeping his end of the covenant by building the ark and following all the instructions pertaining to this enormous task was not only a blessing given to Noah and his family, but also to all of God's children as this allowed all life on earth even us now to live and thrive.

Genesis 6:

 18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

 20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

 21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

 22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

After Noah observed and kept all of his promises in this covenant God gave a token or proof of His end of the promise being kept in the form of a rainbow:

 Genesis 9:
 11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

 12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

 14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

 15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

 17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

The beauty of making and keeping covenants with God is that although they are between Him and us, or Him, us and our spouses, they do bless EVERYONE that ever existed or that will exist.
Because Noah kept His covenants, we are all blessed upon the earth. So it is with us, as we keep our covenants we are blessing our future posterity and even those that our posterity will be involved with, as our blessings are manifested through the sealing power.

As we take a deeper look at the remembrance of the promise given, or the token of the rainbow in the sky, we can see Jesus Christ in this covenant...

Jesus Christ is the light of the world ( John 8:12 )

A rainbow appears in the sky, only after the rain, which can be representation of the cleansing that our repentance through Jesus Christ  brings. 

In a rainbow the raindrops create a prism in a sense that allow the light to come through and create beauty full of colors. 

As we repent we are washed clean and Christ's light can shine through us and create our own personal beauty; transforming us into holy creatures.

Each time that we see a rainbow we can remember the pattern after which God desires to work with all of His children; with in the law of covenants and the blessings that can come from keeping promises with Him. 

I am eternally thankful for temples and the sacrifices made by so many to allow the work in temples in making and keeping covenants with Him for ourselves, and all of His children, even if they are passed to go forth through out the world. 

As I keep my temple covenants I feel the strength of His Atonement working in my life. My desire is too keep my covenants more fully, until someday I can keep them perfectly through Him my Savior and love. 

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

( I found additional examples of signs and tokens given in the scriptures...for additional examples we can read in Exodus chapter 13 and many other books.) 

                    ( Photo taken from our car in SLC, Utah on family trip only two days ago )

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