Covenant is Central
Now this leads us to be aware, of course, that the Bible has come to us in the form of two testaments" - Old Testament and the New Testament. We can increase our understanding if we substitute the word covenant for testament in each case, and speak of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. It is a marvelous fact, that all God has to say to mankind is contained in the form of two covenants. Thus, the concept of covenant is central to the whole of divine relations. If we do not understand the nature of covenant, how far can we hope to understand the real meaning of Gods message to His Church in relating to one another?
Covenant is Serious
In Scripture, we find that there are two types of covenant relationships. One is on the horizontal plane which is a covenant between two human beings. This more nearly approaches the concept of a contract or diatheke which has more of a legal association. This is illustrated in,
"So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty together." I Kings 5:12
Solomon is making a covenant with Hiram, the King of Tyre. The translation of treaty in the Hebrew is "league". By this covenant or league, Solomon and Hiram committed themselves to mutual friendship and established the conditions upon which Hiram would supply Solomon with material and labor for the building of the temple.
Although this form of covenant was on the human level - between two kings - it is imperative that we see that when God stated through the prophet Amos that He would bring judgment on the Kingdom of Tyre, one reason that He gave is revealed in,
"they did not remember the covenant of brotherhood" Amos 1:9
That is, the covenant made between Solomon and Hiram. Now we can see from this that even on the human level, God considers the breaking of a covenant a very serious matter and one which will bring judgment on the guilty party. The stipulations that are required for this contract or covenant have to be accepted by the parties with mutual understanding and harmony of direction. There should be no division of minds in covenant.