For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, and will make with them an everlasting covenant. Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed.
– Isaiah 61:8-9
The Lord who loves justice is also the One who enters into everlasting covenant. He wants all the world to know Him through the covenant relationship mentioned above, a relationship that establishes justice on earth and will ultimately set all things right again.
Professor Joseph Allen at Southern Methodist University defines covenant as a relationship in which two or more parties entrust themselves to one another, thereby taking on responsibilities that endure over time.1
Unlike a contract, a covenant is not voided if one party fails to uphold his or her obligations. Covenants are based on enduring faithfulness2 and are more concerned with the relationship at stake than with mutual advantage.3
This definition of covenant can help us better understand the nature of the covenant God made with Abraham, as well as additional covenants He made with Israel and its leaders.
1. Joseph L. Allen, Love & Conflict: A Covenantal Model of Christian Ethics (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1995), 32.
2. Allen, 39.