Dispensation of Promise
The Dispensation of Promise
Throughout each dispensation thus far (i.e. Innocence, Conscience, Human Government) man was tempted by his own desires of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life to disobey the commands of the Lord. As a result of mankind’s disobedience, the world and her inhabitants spiraled into judgment (i.e. Expulsion from Eden, The Flood, and Separation of Borders). However, God did not leave His creation in a state of eternal judgment, but promised restoration through the covenant He would establish with man.
The period of Innocence came to an end with our first parents, Adam and Eve, being cast out of the Garden of Eden and all the benefits thereof. Hopelessly, man stood before a God that seemed so distant, broken and humiliated he received his sentence. It would seem from the point of view of Adam and Eve as judgments were proclaimed that the intimacy they once experienced with God was lost forever with the Garden they once inhabited. However, God did not plan to leave man eternally damned, but gave a promise of hope to Adam and Eve that there will be a day that the woman will bring forth a seed that would bring enmity between her seed (Christ) and the seed of the serpent (Anti-Christ).
As time progressed under Conscience Adam knew his wife and conceived two son’s named Cain and Abel. The drama which unfolds in Genesis chapter 4 is a story of jealously, rage, and murder which Cain slays his brother Abel in the fields. Imagine the rollercoaster of emotions Eve must have experienced. First, her hope was left in Eden, but God restores it with a promised child. Then she gives birth to two sons knowing that one son is the child of promise, but then that is destroyed. Isn’t it like the devil to attempt to cut off our blessing and cause us to forfeit our dreams, goals, and promises over to depression and hopelessness? Eve’s hope was restored with the birth of Seth proclaiming, “For God, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel whom Cain slew”.
Man continued to populate the earth and grow in intellect and resourcefulness. Accompanied with man’s skillfulness was wickedness. The evilness of man’s heart was so debased that God repented for making man on the earth which grieved Him in His own heart. The actions of mankind instigated the judgment of God which came through the “Flood”. Again, the promise was left for dead because of the wickedness of mankind in judgment. Nevertheless, God, who is faithful, made covenant with Noah, a man who found grace in the sight of God, to continue toward the promise of a Redeemer.
With all that had occurred in man’s short span of history on the earth they continued in sinfulness grieving the Lord. In this Dispensation of Promise, God decided it was time to establish a people of His own. This small group of people would be a holy and separate people. A people whom God would display His authority, power, and redemption to the masses of the world. God choose Abram, the son of Terah an idol builder, to be the father of the lineage of His people.
The Dispensation of Promise reveals to us the promises given unto Abraham which would establish a holy people and bring forth the Christ. The conditions of the covenant between God and Abraham are recorded in Genesis chapter 12 which included making Abraham the father of many nations. Four hundred and thirty years later after the call of Abraham and the births of Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve sons of Jacob the nation of Israel was brought forth out of the bondage of Egypt to be a separate and holy people unto God. This brings us to the Dispensation of the Law under the leadership of Moses.