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How does the idea of covenant intersect with Creation, the Flood, and Abraham?

"When we ask the question, 'How does the cosmos work?' We seek an answer that discusses physical laws and structures. In our worldview, function is a consequence of structure, and a discussion of creation therefore must, of course, direct itself to the making of things. In contrast, when Israelites asked, 'How does the cosmos work?' They were on a totally different wavelength, because in the ancient worldview function was a consequence of purpose.”1
Therefore, let us not ask, “What is the structure of a covenant?”, but "What is the purpose of a covenant?".  The function of a covenant is to make a solemn commitment or guarantee of promises and/or obligations by one member of the covenantal party or both.2 There is much discussion, but little agreement on a covenant at creation.3 So, in the beginning, was there a covenant between God and man? Man was already given life, so there was no need for God to promise life to man. But since a covenant is a promise, I would say that a covenant existed in the beginning between God and man.  The covenantal promise was death, "but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."4 The protoevangelium in Genesis 3:15 alludes to a future hope.5  
The Noahic covenant was a promise of life for Noah, his family, and all the living things that he brought on the ark.6 The covenant with Noah was a ancestral covenant, because it applied to all of Noah’s descendants as well as the animals on the ark. After the Fall God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife.7 This also alludes to a future covenant ratified with the offering of a sacrifice. The postdiluvian Noahic covenant begins with the offering of animal sacrifices after the flood.8
While the Adamic promise of death spread to all men and alludes to a future hope (universal), and the Noahic covenant was to his descendants (ancestral); the Abrahamic covenant brought a new level to the covenant between God and man (national). It is through a nation (Israel), and an ancestor of Abraham (Jesus), that God would ultimately establish a new covenant with His elect that is universal in purpose.9




Notes
1. T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker, “Dictionary of The Old Testament: Pentateuch” Creation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 164.
2. T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker, “Dictionary of The Old Testament: Pentateuch” Covenant (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 139.
3. T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker, “Dictionary of The Old Testament: Pentateuch” Covenant (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 141.
4. Genesis 3:5 (NASB).
5. T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker, “Dictionary of The Old Testament: Pentateuch” Genesis (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 354.
6. Genesis 6:18-20 (NASB).
7. Genesis 3:21 (NASB).
8. T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker, “Dictionary of The Old Testament: Pentateuch” Covenant (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 140.
9. T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker, “Dictionary of The Old Testament: Pentateuch” Covenant (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 149.



Bibliography
Dictionary of the Old Testament Pentateuch. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, (2003).
The Holy Bible, Updated New American Standard Bible. The Lockman Foundation, ((1995).