Jentezen Franklin - The Secrets of the Covenant
Look with me in 1 Samuel 18:3, "Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, and he gave him his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely, and set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, also in the sight of Saul's servants". There are several covenants, but perhaps the most powerful covenant of all in the Bible is what is known as the Blood Covenant. The word covenant in Hebrew means to cut. It means to cut, to shed blood.
Isn't that interesting that the word covenant means to cut? The blood is the main subject of the Bible. The Old and the New Testament are really the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, and they were provided, both of them by blood. The Old Covenant by the blood of animals. The New Covenant or New Testament was provided by the Blood of Jesus Christ. The story that E.W. Kenyon tells is one of David Livingston who was a missionary, very famous in Christian history, and how that he went to Africa, and he wanted to reach people who had never heard the Gospel. And in order to go into regions that were dangerous and have protection, he had to make an agreement with the main chief over those regions. He was a very powerful man. He went to him, and he said through an interpreter, "I want to make an agreement with you," and the chief took a knife, true story, and cut his wrist.
And then, David Livingston, whose body is buried in Westminster Chapel in England, he, in order to reach souls, cut himself and blood began to pour from his vein, and they mixed the two together, and the people started rejoicing and screaming, the natives, and a celebration broke out, and then before David Livingston left, there was the second part of the blood covenant. First was the cutting, the shedding of blood, the mixing of the blood; they became blood brothers. And then, there would be the exchange of gifts. And the chief looked down, and he looked through all the possessions that David Livingston had, and he had one thing that the chief wanted. He wanted his goat. He had a pet goat. That was all he cared about. He could care less if he took his tent or his gun or something else. He just wanted that goat.
And the very thing that he loved the most was the thing, according to Livingston, that the chief demanded, and he handed over that goat. And then the chief reached in and took a staff that had his emblem carved in it and handed it to David Livingston, and he then set out with his guides into treacherous jungles of Africa. And to this day, the miracles. You know, just a quick thing it's interesting that when David Livingston died, England sent a whole force over to retrieve his body and bring it back to be buried in West minister but when they got there, his heart had been cut out and the natives said, "You can have his body, but his heart belong to Africa". And they buried his heart in the dirt of Africa because he had such a heart for the souls of the Nation of Africa.
And what was amazing is when this man, David Livingston, got out into the deep, thick of the jungle, and at one place he tells of being surrounded by hostile people who were ready with bows pulled and spears ready to throw. And suddenly, he reached in and he held up that staff that had the emblem of the king and when he did, they saw that wound, that scar that was forever there on his wrist where he had cut a covenant with the king, and they knew if we harm him, we're harming the king. If we attack him, we're attacking the king and all of his mighty forces. And so they instantly, when they saw the mark, the scar, and they saw the emblem of the king, they dropped to their knees, dropped their weapons and let him got through, and he changed the Nation of Africa with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What a beautiful picture of a Blood Covenant. Jesus said when he entered into the Upper Room with His disciples for the Last Supper, he said in Luke 23, He said, "This cup is the cup of the new covenant of my blood which is shed for you". Do you understand what He was saying? He was saying we're entering into a Blood Covenant, and the Old Covenant is the Old Testament, and it's been all about the keeping of the law and the rituals and legalism, and you had to earn it, and you had to work for it, and you had to deserve it, and if you messed up, you could take the blood of an animal, and the blood of an animal would never take away your failure. It would just roll it over to a new year. But Jesus said this time on this cross, this day, this is the cup of the new covenant in my Blood which is shed for you. And we just read over that, and we don't understand. He was saying to them. They fully understood blood covenants, and He said, "I'm entering in. This cup is my Blood, this bread is my Body, and I'm entering to this".
And what I want you to see is simply this. In this story there's something remarkable that I read. I chose the fact to tell you today and start out in 1 Samuel because we see something beautiful and powerful in the covenant that Jonathan, the king's son, made with David. The Bible said that Jonathan said to David and David said to Jonathan, "Let's make a covenant". And they entered into a blood covenant and when they did, 'cause the word covenant means cut, watch this, Jonathan does something strange. He takes his robe off, and he hands it to David and then he takes his garment off it says in another place if you keep reading. It says he took his garment off and he handed it to David. Possessions.
And in another place it said he took his sword, his weapons, and he gave them to David. It's really a powerful thing when you understand what that really is about because the robe spoke. It was not just a garment, regular clothing. It identified Jonathan as the king's son. It was one that wherever he went people would look and see that particular robe and it meant royalty and it spoke of his position. It spoke of who he was. It spoke of the power and authority that he had, and really, what Jonathan was saying is, "I am the rightful heir. My father soul is king of Israel, but I want you to take my position. I want you to take the authority and the position that I have. I'm giving you my robe". And that came through a blood covenant. That's what Jesus Christ has done for you and me.
He says when the King's Son, the King of King's Son, Jesus Christ, went to the cross the first thing He did is He traded positions and he said, "I'm giving you this place of position so that you don't come before the throne as a beggar, but you come as a child of the King. You come as a daughter of the King, a son of the King. You come clothed in my righteousness. You come with boldness and authority because of what the Blood has done. Not only that, but he said I'm giving you my garment, and that speaks of possessions. That speaks of meeting the needs. The Blood Covenant not only changes your position, the Blood Covenant not only gives you authority to walk boldly into the throne of grace because of the shed Blood, but it also says that He will supply your needs, that the possessions that I have through the cross... what are those possessions? Through the cross, through the Blood Covenant there is healing. Through the Blood Covenant there is deliverance for the mind. There is peace. There is joy. There is healing for broken places in our life. All of these possessions, they come through the riches of the cross. They come because Jesus gives us His righteousness and gives us a position that we can receive freely, the grace and the forgiveness and the healing and the miracle of God. He gives us all of His possessions. can heal the sick. In my name you can recover. In my name you can see miracles".
And then, as if that wasn't enough, He takes his sword, Jonathan did, and he gave it to David making the Blood Covenant. What a picture. What a picture. What he was really saying was, "From this day forward, since we've entered into this sacred Blood Covenant, I give you my sword". that whoever fights you, fights me. Whoever comes against you and tries to destroy you, they're trying to destroy me. And just like they attack you, I will come, and I will fight with you, and I will fight for you because the battle is not yours alone, but I'm gonna fight it with you. And the Blood Covenant says I not only give you position, I not only give you royal position and possessions. I supply all of your needs: healing, health, blessings, success, goodness, joy, all that you need, but the Blood Covenant says through the giving of the sword, it simply says I give you my power. I give you my name. I give you the Holy Spirit. I give you the Blood, and I give you my sword. I give you my word.
And when you speak it and when you enforce it, the Blood Covenant stands behind it. And if that's not enough, there's the personhood that the Blood Covenant not only says, see, the devil want you to fight in your own position, in your own righteousness, in your own possessions and what you have. He wants you to fight and use that, that if you get in a battle you have to fight with your possessions and your sword and all of your positioning that you can earn, but that's not want a blood covenant is. The Blood Covenant says you don't earn any of this; I freely give it to you. I freely give it to you.
So, David becomes king. Saul dies. Jonathan tragically dies, but he made a covenant. He made a Blood Covenant with David. And now David is sitting on the throne, and as David is sitting on the throne, he asks a question. I don't what made him think about it, but he was just sitting there probably in the palace thinking of the faithfulness and goodness of God, and one day, he reaches to grab his cup and when he does, he sees that scar. He remembers that he made a blood covenant with the king's son, and he asks a powerful, powerful question. 2 Samuel 9, "Is there anyone in the house of Saul that I might show kindness to Him," listen to these words, "for Jonathan's sake"? He said is there any family left of King Saul that I can show kindness. Listen. That's a covenant word, show kindness to for Jonathan's sake.
Who is Jonathan? The one he made Really, what all the people in the palace thought is this is revenge time because in Bible days, the first thing a king would do if he had an overthrow and took over a kingdom, is he would hunt out anyone who would be the rightful heir, and he would kill all the seed, royal. He would kill all the children. He would kill all the sons who could potentially down the road cause him a problem. He'd just go kill them all. And so, when he asked this question is there anyone in the house of Saul that I might show kindness to for Jonathan's sake, they're all like, yeah, right. Here comes the purge. This is gonna be like those shows on National Geographic when the new lion comes in and kills the old lion. Y'all know what I'm talking about, and y'all know what he does? He then goes and kills all the little cubs because he didn't want any problems. That's what they think is about to happen.
Listen now, and somebody spoke up and said there's only one left of Jonathan's house, and his name is Mephibosheth. It's a tragic story. When Saul was killed and you were crowned and the people were bringing you back to the throne, the nurse picked Mephibosheth, the baby up, and was running out of the nursery for her life knowing the child was in danger, and she tripped and fell on the baby and crushed it, and the child is crippled. And now, he lives in a place called Lo Debar which means barren, dry pastures. He's out in the middle of the nowhere, and it's fruitless. It's a barren place. It's dark and gray, and he lives in a shack, and he eats out of a tin can, and it's pitiful. He crawls around all day in the dirt hut that he lives in. And David says to his mighty men take chariots and horses and go and fetch him out. I like that word, fetch him out. And here comes, here comes the mighty men rolling up in chariots and horses and power and strength, and I could see.
I could see Mephibosheth, poor thing, crawling on that dirt floor, that old hut, and pulls himself up to the windowpane and looks out, and he sees these mighty soldiers, and he thinks to himself because all he had ever been told was be afraid of David. Hate David. He's your enemy. He's gonna hurt you. He's gonna get you. One of these days, He's gonna try to wipe you out and give you what you deserve. So he was trembling and he thought, this is it. They take him and put him in the chariot and bring him back, but when he gets there they don't take him to a prison; they take him to a palace. He walks in, and they say, "Your highness, would you like your bath hot or lukewarm? We have all of your new clothes laid out: Versace, Gucci, whatever you want. We have it all here. And by the way, dinner will be served in the main dining room of the presidential palace, and you are the honored guest at the king's table". And they bathe him and they clothe him and they help him and carry him down and they sit him at the table right beside the king.
And he's sitting there wondering why, "Why am I here? Look at this food. I've never seen such food. Oh, my God, look at this place". And the king says, "Do you like your new home, son"? "I love it. I love it," he says. "You know, you're never gonna leave here. You'll eat here continually at my table. You know you belong here". And he's thinking, "Why, why, why"? And all of a sudden, Mephibosheth sees it. He sees the scar, and he realizes, "The only reason I'm here is because dad, my father Jonathan, made a blood covenant, and that's why I'm here". And Jesus says to every person here, "I know you. I know your name, and I give you a new position. I give you the possessions you need. I give you the power and the weapons that you need, and I give you my personhood through the power of the Holy Spirit, and I make a covenant with you: the Blood Covenant". And the secret of the Lord is with them that fear the Lord, and He will show them His covenant.