The Meaning of the Covenant – Overview

A study of the Covenant is a study of the relationship between God and humanity. This relationship is established from the very moment of creation.

On one side of the relationship is God, an all-powerful Creator, Who, out of His love, brought humanity into being for a purpose.

On the other side of the relationship is humanity. Each human being has a great spiritual purpose—to know God and reflect the attributes² of God that are implanted within each soul.

God is infinite and can never limit Himself to humanity’s level. Human beings are finite, unable by themselves to reach God.

Between God and humanity is the Covenant—an instrument of union provided by God which rescues us from the “misery of remoteness” from Him.³ The Covenant is the means by which we learn God’s will and, in exchange for steadfastness and obedience, receive His bounties and blessings to help us achieve the purpose for which we were created.

2 “Attributes” or “names” of God refer to such qualities as sight, wisdom, justice, etc. In Some Answered Questions, page 148, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains: “we speak of the names and attributes of the Divine Reality, and we praise Him by attributing to Him sight, hearing, power, life and knowledge. We affirm these names and attributes, not to prove the perfections of God, but to deny that He is capable of imperfections. . . . It is not that we can comprehend His knowledge, His sight, His power and life, for it is beyond our comprehension. . . .” Human beings reflect the attributes of God just as a mirror is capable of reflecting light. To say that we are made in the image of God means that each person has the ability to reflect the names and attributes of God (see The Promulgation of Universal Peace 69-70, 403-04).

3 Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings 71


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