It’s very easy to become stuck with modes of thinking about covenant that are partly right but mostly wrong. Once we become mired in the notion that covenant is more-or-less an exceptionally serious and sacred contract and marginalise its core—the oneness with another person or with God—then it’s not hard to decide that a covenant ends with the death of the person who chose it in the first place.

This, however, is not the case at all. Covenants are forever. They pass down family lines, their conditions and curses unchanged and unchangeable. Covenants that have been ‘raised’ or ‘cut’ by our ancestors—these are the technical terms—remain valid and in full-force from generation to generation. They have no end-date, no termination clause, no time-stamp for expiry, no conditions for annulment. They’re non-negotiable. There’s no kill fee we can invoke to make them null and void. Oneness is so intrinsic to covenant that we can’t withdraw from it without violating it.

Our only choices are to keep covenant or breach it. If our forebears have raised a covenant, it’s still legally binding—and that’s the case whether it’s with another person, or with God or even—and here’s the fearful thing—with one of His enemies.

We can unknowingly violate the terms of a covenant—and the only clue that we have done so is that the patterns of our life make us suspect that curses are raining down on us. But they are alighting for no discernible reason. The issue is that no one has ever revoked the covenant.

In terms of godly covenants, we can see many examples in the pages of Scripture. The covenants raised between El Shaddai and Abraham have passed down through Isaac, generation upon generation, to the present-day. It is impossible to violate a blood covenant with God because He is the only one who makes vows and promises when pledging it. However, there are other covenants which can be broken, and many, many times the people of Israel and Judah were estranged from God and suffered the repercussions of desecrating the terms of the covenant. They brought a whole raft of curses on their heads.

When we violate the terms of a family covenant with one of God’s foes, we’re simply breaking the terms of whatever agreement one of our ancestors made. Jesus has already put Himself in harm’s way on the cross for us, to reap the curses that are due to fall our way. But understand this: violation is not the same as revocation; it’s not the same as severing it off.

God may allow us to reap some of the curses just to let us know the covenant is still there and we haven’t asked Him to revoke it. We can’t annul an ungodly covenant—only God can. And we have to ask Him to do it through the power of the Cross. There is no other way.

This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May the one way of Jesus become yours today.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of for the background music.

Covenant is at the heart of the Christian faith. It’s necessary to understand it in order to understand what can go wrong with it and how covenant violation affects our ability to come into our life’s calling. The Covenant Series of books looks at threshold covenants in God’s Pageantry, available as a print book in Australia and overseas.