There are three facts that are important to remember about the Abrahamic covenant and its tributaries: they are literal, eternal, and unconditional. The very fact that the covenant has already been partially fulfilled confirms that it is literal; and the fact that it is only partially fulfilled suggests that it is eternal. Of course, we also have scriptural evidence, stating that it is eternal: Genesis 13:15 and 17:7, 13. As to its unconditional nature, unlike the Mosaic covenant, which depended on both parties (God and the people) to fulfill certain conditions, the Abrahamic covenant is an agreement that depends only on God to fulfill it. Since this point of its unconditional nature is so important and is not altogether clear to some, I think it is necessary to prove it in the following four points.
- Since the Abrahamic covenant (as well as the other three covenants), in numerous passages are expressed as eternal, it also has to be unconditional. For an eternal covenant must be flawless; that is, it must be kept according to its agreement forever. This is something that can only be expected of God, and therefore must be unconditional.
- Except for Abraham being obedient and leaving his homeland, the covenant is made with no conditions; nothing is said about conditions.
- A ceremony was given to Abraham, in Genesis 15:9-17, that involved God but not Abraham. God alone, as depicted in the smoking oven and the flaming torch (v. 17), walked through the animal pieces as a pledge, but Abraham was asleep and did nothing (v. 12).
- The Abrahamic covenant is reiterated over and over again in the Bible in spite of acts of disobedience by Abraham and even after Israel’s apostasy (Jer. 31:31-37).