Abrahamic Covenant


Connections – LDS and Jewish Theology – The Abrahamic Covenant

 We are heirs to the gospel and the priesthood because of the covenant God made with Abraham.
Few of our Lord’s servants hold a position of prominence equaling that of Abraham. With Christians, Jews, and Muslims, Latter-day Saints consider Abraham the father of the faithful and the exemplary ancestor of those who serve God. Millions of men worldwide have been named after this great patriarch, attesting to the legacy of his life and deeds and to the honored memory in which his descendants hold him.

Abraham’s place in history is well deserved. The books of Genesis and Abraham record his faith and diligence in serving the Lord. (See Abr. 1-2; Gen. 11:26-25:10.) The sacred records show that he committed himself to do all that God commanded, even being willing to sacrifice, in response to God’s command, what was most precious to him—his son. (See Gen. 22:1-18; Heb. 11:17-19.) The Lord chose this faithful man, of all men on earth, to become the father of a covenant people. Through his lineal and adopted descendants, the blessings of the gospel would be made available to all men and women. For us, Abraham is a focal point of our covenant history, and faithful Saints rejoice to be counted among his descendants and seek to follow his example of righteousness.

 

Sacred Promises

A covenant is an agreement in which two parties make commitments to each other. Each party takes upon himself, as part of his acceptance of the covenant, certain obligations that pertain to the relationship. In a gospel covenant, we enter into sacred agreements with God, promising to obey his will. In turn, he has promised glorious blessings to us if we obey and serve him.

The patriarch Abraham committed himself unwaveringly to the Lord’s service and was privileged to enter into a covenant with him. The Bible describes the blessings the Lord promised Abraham because of his faith and obedience. The following examples mention four promises:

Promise 1: “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:

“For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” (Gen. 13:14-15).

Promise 2: “I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered” (Gen. 13:16).

Promise 3: “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Gen. 17:7).

Promise 4: “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 22:18).

Abraham’s and Sarah’s son and grandson, Isaac and Jacob, received similar promises and became subject to the same covenants and obligations Abraham had received. (See Gen. 26:1-4; Gen. 28:10-14; Gen. 35:9-12.) In like manner, the covenant was renewed at Sinai with the descendants of these three men, the house of Israel. (See Ex. 19:1-8.) By inheritance, those who descend from that lineage receive the same blessings and enter into the same obligations as their great forefathers. In modern times, the Lord has renewed that covenant with his Saints. (See D&C 84:33-40, 48; D&C 110:12.) Thus, Latter-day Saints today can rightly perceive the covenant of the Patriarchs as being a covenant between God and themselves. (Excerpt)

 

By Kent P. Jackson, Dept. of Ancient Scripture, BYU, in Liahona 1994 (Then called Tambuli). Full article: http://www.mormnsandjews.org/. Click on Mormon-Jewish Theology/Abrahamic Covenant

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