Yesterday, I cited Willem Van Gemeren’s reading of Jeremiah 31 and 33 to argue for a covenantal reading of Genesis 1-2. Today, I will cite his observations on Isaiah. Van Gemeren writes,
Isaiah’s language of God’s covenantal commitment is a most important commentary on Genesis 1 and 2. he uses words for creation (‘form,’ ‘make,’ ‘create’) not only to refer to God’s creative activities in forming the world but also to signify God’s election, grace, love, and loyalty to Israel. The words for creation are, therefore, also covenantal terms” (Van Gemeren, The Progress of Redemption, 63).
Van Gemeren seems to be picking up in the prophets (Jeremiah and Isaiah) the sense in which these biblical writers are understanding God’s role in creation as initiating a covenantal relationship. In fact, in the same paragraph as the previous quotation, Van Gemeren observes, “An individual’s life in the presence of God is an expression of covenant (the technical term defining relationship between two or more parties)” (63).
For me, Jeremiah and Isaiah are two lines of evidence that I had not previously considered about reading a covenant in creation. I think they are helpful, and show how Genesis 1-2 does include a covenant, something that the OT prophets (Hos 6:7) and NT apostles (cf. Rom 5:12ff) developed to help explain God’s relationship with the world.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss