As I said in my last blog, God chose the vehicle of making a covenant to communicate with humanity because it was a concept people would immediately understand.
So let’s look at the steps of the covenant-making ceremony. Normally, covenants were made in wide open fields between crowds of witnesses.
The first part of the ceremony was the exchange of robes. This represented a change of identity. The two parties would take their outer garments and exchange them. If someone saw one of the partners from a distance, he or she might say, “Here comes Darla France. But wait, she doesn’t walk like Darla: she’s not really built like Darla. But isn’t that Darla’s robe she’s wearing? The exchange of robes represented that sharing and change of identity so much so that we could be mistaken for one another.
Secondly, the participants would exchange belts. This represented the exchange of strength. The two partners would literally trade belts. These belts were a lot larger than we wear today and were the place from which the military gear was hung. Exchanging them symbolized the sharing of strengths or assets. If I exchange belts with my covenant partner, they would be saying to me, “Darla, everything I bring to this relationship is now yours. And everything you have is now mine. Our strengths and our assets are now combined.
Nice enough if we were going through this with another human. Wow, that would represent a very tight bond with a friend and of course our spouse is our covenant partner as well. However, it is so much bigger than that. It represents God and us. God did this with humanity through Jesus Christ. We will see how this unfolds later. But for now we can know that God has given us HIS identity. He has exchanged our weak strength for His.