Day 29 – Living in Covenant Partnership
Day 29 – Living in Covenant Partnership
“Living in Covenant Partnership, it is impossible for me.” Sarah thought as she stared bleakly at the beautiful olive tree outside her window.
“Sarah”, Jacob called as he entered their ‘honeymoon apartment’. “Where are you? I haven’t seen you out this morning, are you alright?” Jacob was stunned to see his beautiful bride sitting by the window, not even dressed for the day. She had been crying.
Jealousy and Self-Pity Will Try to Ruin a Covenant Partnership
“My beloved!” Jacob cried, his heart wrenched at the sight. “What is wrong? What has happened?” He reached lovingly for his wife who buried her head in her robe and pulled away from his reach. Jacob pleaded with his wife to share her burden with him and finally, giving up, went on a search for Hannah.
Sarah looked out the window in guilt and shame, overcome with self-pity. How could she pull away from this man who poured out so much love on her? “But look”, she reasoned, “he didn’t even want to stay and listen to me…he just turned and left. It’s true. I’m nothing but a burden to Jacob and his family. Ariel didn’t mean what he said calling me a “Woman of Valor” and why should he? Look at me! I’m nothing but a crippled, worthless woman. I’m not fit to be part of this family, they surely know that now. Soon I’ll be sent away,” and she burst into tears again.
Hannah dropped her tasks and went to Sarah as soon as Jacob found her. She too was shocked at the wearied woman huddled by the window. She had seen Sarah give in to depression before, but never like this. “Sarah my friend”, what is wrong? Why do you look so sad and lost?” Sarah turned to her friend and confidant and burst into tears.
Self-Pity Creates Hopelessness
“I don’t belong here Hannah. I know it now. The past 7 years have been a waste of my time and yours, and certainly Jacob’s hard work. I’m just a worthless cripple in this wonderful family and now they know, they have discovered my unworthiness.” Hannah pulled away from Sarah,“What? What are you saying? What has happened that makes you feel this way Sarah? I have heard nothing but words of love and admiration for you in this family.”
Jealousy Creates Fear
“They must be pretending around you because they know you love me.” Sarah replied. “I was in the village looking at some yarns for bedding in our new home and I overheard some young women talking about me. They said Ariel’s family had finally discovered how worthless I am and were sorry they allowed Jacob to choose me.” The young woman burst into tears once more.
Hannah handed Sarah a cloth to wipe her tears and lifted her chin. “Look at me” Sarah obeyed. “Jealous talk, that’s all it is and you must stop listening. I experienced the same thing when I came to work for Ariel years ago. People in the village are jealous of Ariel’s success and attack anything that helps to build it. What these people don’t realize is that without Ariel there would be no village. God gave Ariel and his family as a gift to each one of these, these wags so they could live and prosper. When we are cursed, we must bless. That is God’s way.” Sarah stopped crying and looked at Hannah with hope. Hannah continued sternly.
The Covenant Name
“Sarah, Living a Covenant Life wasn’t just for the betrothal time. You are breaking covenant with Jacob by not loving yourself. Where is the rock Jacob gave to you at the wedding supper?” Sarah pointed to her dowry chest. “The name that was written on the rock – don’t tell me what it is – but does it express love for you?” Sarah nodded. “Then believe it. It’s true and to doubt it would be breaking covenant with the one who loves you and gave it to you.
Accepting the Covenant Life
“Is there more than the jealous gossip in town?” the wise counselor asked. Sarah began to cry again. “My foot…” Sarah pulled her robe back to expose her withered foot. It was covered with sores. Hannah gasped. “What has happened? How long has it been this way?”
“I ran out of the Esther oils two weeks ago. I didn’t notice that it affected my foot until a few days ago and now…” Sarah’s voice trailed to a faint whisper, “now it appears to be worse than ever.”
“Ran out?” Hannah exclaimed, “why didn’t you buy more? You can have as much of those oils as you need. You are Jacob’s wife!”
“I thought those were just for my bridal preparation. They are expensive and it seems selfish to continue to spend that kind of money on myself.” Sarah sighed.
Hannah stood up. “Sarah, stop this self-pity now. Your marriage contract gave you access to everything Jacob has as well as everything his father has. You will NEVER run out of money and you must never again short your own self-care.
Self-Rejection Breaks Covenant
This family needs your kindness, your joy, your skills and your industrious nature to continue the mission God has given them. When you don’t take care of your physical body you break covenant with your husband. No one is responsible for your body but you.”
Hannah helped Sarah to her feet, “Now then, let’s see what you need and go get it. I will help you today but from now on you must be responsible for yourself. You are a woman, not a 13-year-old girl. Jacob needs his wife strong and confident and you must continue the oils and the foods that made you strong. Your body belongs to your groom, remember, you were bought with a price. Now you are living in covenant partnership.”
Who Determines Your Worth?
Worthless, unworthy and without resources or hope. Have you felt that way? Sarah did not realize exactly what she had in covenant with Jacob. Sarah listened to the voice of strangers, left her covenant contract and went back to being in covenant with herself.
In her seemingly humble way – not taking care of herself – Sarah broke covenant with Jacob.
Look at the graphic below. In the outside boxes, you see what it looks like for Sarah to be in covenant with herself. Sarah’s depression and despair grew as she stopped thinking in terms of her new Covenant with Jacob and went back to covenant with herself.
Hannah reminded Sarah of her Covenant with Jacob. The bottom line – Sarah has everything she needs living in Covenant partnership with Jacob, because she is “Dearly Loved”.
|Covenant with Self||Covenant with Jacob|
|Worthless Cripple||Loved by Jacob|
|Self-Control, poor at best||Loved by Jacob|
|Crippled Foot||Dearly Loved by Jacob and His Family|
|Bridal Dowry, her only worldly possession||
Loved by Jacob
Hannah is a “type” of the Holy Spirit to us
- Hannah reminded Sarah of the secret name her husband gave her, written on the white stone. This was her new Covenant Identity.
- Hannah reminded her that she has Covenant Authority: Sarah is now the dearly loved wife of the richest man in town.
- Hannah reminded her of her covenant protection: Dearly loved by Jacob and his family, they would give their lives for Sarah.
- Hannah reminded her of her Covenant Provision and Possessions: Sarah is loved by Jacob, her Ketubah-contract gave her full access to everything Jacob or his father owned.
Sarah realized her error and repented
Its One Day at a Time
Living as a Covenant partner requires a decision to walk in these elements of covenant on a daily basis. Exchanging our old ways for what our Covenant partner has offered us.
Idolatry is choosing to exchange with a person or philosophy other than our covenant partner.
Picture in your mind the first story of Jacob and Sarah meeting and signing the marriage covenant, the Ketubah. Remember drinking the “Cup of Acceptance”. Each looking at the covenant promises and requirments and seriously deciding if they can fulfill or accept those promises before drinking that Cup of Acceptance. What if the bride listened to the grooms promises and the price he would pay and she agreed to these covenant terms by drinking the cup. However, out of the corner of her eye, she was creating a “back-up plan” with someone else…just in case something wouldn’t work out. That would be deceptive and a breaking covenant.
And yet we do this don’t we? We take on the identity and authority of Christ as long as it fits our “goals and plans”. We look to Him for our provision as long as it is comfortable. We say He is our healer and go to the doctor. No condmenation here from me…I’ve done this. When I turn my head towards another covenant partner, it is not because Christ is not trustworthy; it is because I am not spending time with Him and knowing His great love for me.
The Apostle Paul spoke of breaking covenant to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:27-31
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s[f] body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
Reading this passage through the understanding of communion as a type of the marriage covenant helps us understand why eating or drinking unworthily would be severely judged and punished; being unfaithful to our covenant partner.
Living in Covenant Partnership is being fully devoted to our groom, the Lord Jesus Christ. In communion we must examine our hearts and be sure they are not divided towards other gods or idols in our lives. That we are not an unfaithful bride. We examine our lives and repent of iniquity, trespasses, sins and transgressions; we renounce idolatry and looking outside of our covenant with Him for protection, provision and possessions. We are careful not to look outside our covenant for identity and authority.
Ultimately we see how much we are loved by our Covenant partner, our bridegroom, The Lord Jesus and we are grateful.
Keeping covenant is not hard when you realize ONE thing … You are Dearly Loved
If we are to live in honor we will let go of other covenant relationships that draw us away from Living in Covenant Partnership and live as “dearly loved”.
About the Author: Celeste Davis, is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ with a heart to walk fully in Covenant with Him. As Founder of The Wellness Workshop, Celeste’s passion is to teach women and impact their families to “Be Nourished” as opposed to dieting or trying different life strategies. We nourish our bodies with God-Made Food, our Souls with God-Made Relationships and our Spirits with the Word of God and Prayer. More Info about Celeste.