Today’s article is about the Four Covenants God gave. Not all the covenants apply to every person as God makes it clear in his word on who the covenant is directed at. The covenants highlight, for Gentiles, that God has a plan for the entire world. In his love, mercy, and grace, these covenants show that his will is for as many of his children to be close to him and do not suffer eternal death. It’s an interesting perspective that runs contrary to the current dogma spouted by most Christian denominations. This article does use the terms Non-Christian and non-Jewish to differentiate between those that follow the Covenant established by Christ and those that follow the covenant given to Moses.
After God sent the flood and destroyed all but Noach and his family, he established a covenant with Noach and his descendants. This covenant has never been fulfilled or abolished, except in two instances. More on that later. The Noachide Covenant is about what God expects from everyone to live a righteous life and to avoid falling into the traps of legalism and doing evil. The Noachide Covenant are just 7 simple rules that non-Christians and Non-Jews to live by.
Do not deny God.
Do not blaspheme God.
Do not murder.
Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
Do not steal.
Do not eat of a live animal.
Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to the law.
As one can see, that the Noachide laws provides the baseline for two future covenants that God will establish. If a person, non-Jewish and non-Christian, fails to adhere to these laws they have committed sin or evil in the eyes of God. I’ll give a quick commentary on each law to give the proper Jewish perspective, so everyone can understand exactly what the law means.
Do not deny God is just a simple law that says we are not to deny that God exists. We are to admit that he exists and by doing so are doing his will.
Do not blaspheme God. This one is more confusing to many Christians as they have been taught in the Pagan Gentile tradition and not the Jewish perspective. To blaspheme God is to act contrary to his will, in the more open definition, or to speak contemptuously of God, in the most narrowest sense. In the instance of the broadest sense, to act contrary to his will is to simply ignore what he wants for our lives. In the narrowest sense, it is to speak evil (contempt) of the Lord. To adhere to this law, a non-Christian, simply just has to follow the other six laws while not speaking ill of him.
Do not murder is pretty straight forward. We’re simply not to murder a person. Murder is defined in Hebrew as being premeditated or accidental. Premeditating to kill someone is to plan and perform the specific act of removing life from another individual. An accidental murder is when someone hits a person crossing the street with their car and dies. The intent of both is different with one being an intentional and the other was wholly unintentional.
Do not engage in illicit relations. Engaging in illicit relations is simply incest, sex outside the confines of marriage, pedophilia, bestiality, and other types of sexual relations outside of the confines of marriage. The purpose of marriage is simply to adhere to God’s commandment to be fruitful and multiply, so this also excludes same sex relations. The body is made in God’s image and he gave men and women a natural purpose for its use. It is simply procreation. Now, there is a caveat here, it doesn’t mean that a husband and a wife that either are infertile is a violation of this law. On the contrary, since God gave us our body’s to enjoy sex, but it must be done properly within the confines of marriage. Fertility plays no role in defining what is licit and illicit relations. Being in a licit relationship is pleasing to God while an illicit one is not.
Do not steal is really straightforward. It is just the matter of not taking anything without the permission of another to your benefit. Theft takes many forms and encompasses many different things that can be stolen.
Do not eat of a live animal. The strictest sense, this means to cut pieces of meat off of a living animal and consume it. It doesn’t matter if the meat is cooked or raw when it is consumed. It is a prohibition against causing the suffering of animals while showing mercy for following God’s word. The most open interpretation holds to the former that it is to avoid animal cruelty, but it also means that any meat eaten must be fully cooked with no blood remaining. The key is showing mercy for the creatures were have been given control over. Just like God gives us mercy and compassion, we too are to show it to his other creations that are lesser than us.
Establishing of courts is pretty straightforward. The law that is referenced here is not the Law of Moses as that hadn’t been given yet. It is laws for the running an orderly society to the benefit of all. Laws must be just as God is just as an unjust law shows that God is not just. This is not a contradiction of God stating in the Tanakh that all good and evil come from him, but rather it is his mercy and justness are what we are to adhere to. Being unjust is not being righteous and shows that a person is using their free will to commit evil on others for only their benefit. Just laws are for society’s benefit as a whole because they show mercy, love, and grace as God is merciful, loving, and full of grace. We are created in his image and it is righteous for us to act accordingly.
The next covenant God gave was to Abraham. This covenant was fulfilled when God created the nation of Israel and brought Abraham’s descendants home to the promised land of Canaan. This covenant did not change or add to the Noachide covenant. It just simply a matter of God saying this is what he will do because of Abraham’s faith in him.
The first two covenants given were the Law of Noach to all of his descendants and the Abraham Covenant. Gentiles are descended from Noach’s line as are Jews. The Law of Noach is what God expects for everyone that is not part of the Mosaic or the Christ Covenants to do. It is simply the baseline of what God says on what is pleasing to him. The Abraham Covenant is meant only for the bloodline that comes by him and Noach. It is an assurance that as part of God’s plan that he will take the bloodline from Abraham and make them his chosen people. This meant that being chosen was to separate themselves from the Gentiles and the world as a whole.
In the next part, I will be going over the Covenants of Moses and of the Messiah. This plays a major role for today’s world and shows the error in current Christian doctrine as it pertains to those that do not follow the covenants of Christ or Moses.