God expresses His relationships in the form of covenants. The ceremony or elements involved in cutting a covenant serve to illustrate, by way of God’s condensation to man, what spiritually already exists to God and not the creation of relationship, as if no relationship and/or obligation was already in place.
In covenant both love and law are held in harmony, as parallel to God’s character (not mere feelings as somehow separate from His precepts, but united). Thus it is our obligation to conform to His character of love as expressed in commands from the heart.
Covenant is then both a relational and legal term, whereas more “weight” is assigned to God and His word, above that of our feelings and opinions, in care that we do not offend His character and to joyously seek to reflect His character.
Because covenants are part of God’s character and the relationship of us to His holiness, they are always present, expressing mans standing before God, and so is the constant context of Scripture.
The variety of covenants encountered in scripture are but one of two covenants, one of works and one of grace. Each signifies who the people of God are, and how they are to be identified. All other covenants clarify elements already present in these two covenants by way of pointing out continuities or discontinuities between the two.