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  Lessons on the Covenant Relationship
 
 
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Lesson 1
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Part of the covenant procedure required that Stanley give a gift to the chief. The chief wanted Stanley's goat so Stanley had to give it to him. Stanley had stomach trouble and thought that the only way he could survive was on goat's milk. Stanley did not want to part with his goat but he had to. In exchange, the chief gave Stanley a wooden staff decorated with strips of copper. This did not mean anything to Stanley. He did not understand covenants.

Nevertheless, Stanley went through the covenant process and continued on to the next village with the staff in hand. Although Stanley did not know the meaning of the staff, the people in the next village did. It meant that Stanley had a covenant with the chief in the previous village and that all the resources of that chief, which were extensive, would be used against them if they did not treat Stanley as a friend. (It is revealing to note that the word "friend" in the word of God does not mean the same as we think. To be a friend means to have a covenant and not just to be someone you are acquainted with and like to be with. Abraham was called a friend of God. That means he had a covenant with God.)

Having no doubt as to the consequences if they mistreated Stanley, they treated him like a king. Stanley's eyes were opening. He was now receiving a revelation of what a covenant relationship was. If Stanley had desired, every goat in the village would have been given to him. The cargo bearers no longer disappeared into the bush with Stanley's supplies. They knew the judgments that would come upon them. Like the villagers, they had no doubt.

Covenant people have the fear of the Lord, which is defined as awe and reverence. Having the fear of the Lord and having no doubt are two attributes of covenant people. In the course of his journeys, Stanley made covenants with over fifty chiefs and tribal leaders. Needless to say, Stanley's journey was a success. Stanley was the one who said, "Dr. Livingstone I presume?"

Stanley had to give up his one goat. But because of the covenants which he made, he could have had all of the goats in Africa if he had needed them. If we give ourselves fully to the Lord according to the covenant relationship then the Lord will make available to us all of the direction and resources needed to accomplish our stewardship and complete our journey to the Promised Land.

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