When reading through the chapters assigned for this essay, I noticed one thing that I don’t believe I have ever noticed before. I always assumed that Lot was Abram’s brother, but it says in two different places that he is his brother’s son or nephew. (Genesis 12:5, 14:12 NABRE) I don’t know how this relates to the covenant, but I thought it would be worth mentioning as I started my essay to set up the understanding of how this relationship between Abram and God will affect Abram’s relationship with his family.
First, we read about the original covenant with Abram, Moses and Jesus. Professor Larsen in his “Covenant” video, said that these beginning verses encapsulate the meaning of the three main covenants of the bible. He mentions the blessing of Abraham’s name and his family, the people of his nation, and the people of the whole world. (Genesis 12:1-3 NABRE) To me, this explanation is a great way to explain the meaning of the bible to someone who has never read it before and could easily get caught up in the symbolism of the book of Genesis, and get bogged down in understanding the details before they ever get a chance to hear the good news.
Second, the idea of marriage as a covenant relationship has always been hard for me to accept. I do believe it is a covenant, but the fact that my own parents are divorced makes it difficult to see the reality of what God meant for it to be. However, as Professor Larsen said in his “Covenant” video, it is supposed to be a relationship where two people stay together for their whole life, and he adds, “If their faithful.” Unfortunately, both my Dad and my Mom decided to not be faithful to the covenant, and the consequence of that is that their children suffer with accepting of the permanence of a covenant relationship. My wife and I have not been perfect through 16 years of marriage, but it helps us to realize that our four children are looking to us to see that covenant relationship. We don’t just stay together for the kids, but we grow closer every day to become better role models of the loving relationship that our children can expect from God.
Finally, in Chapter 14 of Genesis, we see how Abram goes to war to save his nephew and his kinsmen. It is helpful to me to understand that as Abram did not hesitate to come to the aid of his kinsmen, we must be willing to defend our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted today in different parts of the world. For some reason, I had never read that Abram’s nephew, Lot, was his nephew and not his brother as I had thought before. The deeper meaning of this, for me, is that even though we may not be close to our relatives in our own family, we can’t forget about their need of a savior. In the same way, we wouldn’t forget about sharing the good news with our closest relatives, we should be willing to share it with everyone. It is a sure sign of our covenant relationship with God, that we entered into at our Baptism, that we are willing to share this good news with everyone.