Wolfgang Musculus: What is a Covenant?

8 Oct

A covenant not only is based on friendship and mutual benevolence but also carries an obligation by which covenanting parties are mutually bound to one another. In the world, covenants are constituted for this purpose, so that each party gets something useful from it, whether peace or mutual aid. But that logic falls short here. Indeed, God does not make covenants with humans for that reason, that he might make use of their works or obtain some other advantage from their obligation to the covenant, but rather so that he might assure human beings of his will, faithfulness and beneficence by means of such a bond. The point is driven home [in Gen. 6:18] not only by calling this a covenant but also by the verb haqimoti that is, “I will establish, I will build, I will confirm.” Thus he labors on behalf of the weakness of our faith, lest we have any doubts about the firmness of his benevolence. Here, in the making of a covenant, God’s benevolence comes together with his faithfulness and truth–traits in which he has never failed anyone. He could have simply blessed Noah and his family, but God wished to strengthen him in his faith and confidence in him through the firmness of his own benevolence and truth.

~Wolfgang Musculus~

Reformation Commentary on Scripture: Genesis 1-11: (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2012) p. 251-252.

Books by Wolfgang Musculus

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