Here is more paraphrasing of important material in Dr. Terence E. Fretheim’s The Pentateuch
God as the God of the Covenant Promise:
1) Is the basic image for all that follows in the Bible.
2) God makes a covenant with Noah and all flesh.
3) It is a unilateral covenant with the entire creation , human and nonhuman, in which God binds himself – thereby limiting the divine options – with respect to the future: not to destroy the earth in floodlike ways again.
4) Covenant is thus introduced into the narrative as a word with universal associations (God is shown to be interested in much more than just Israel)
5) The God who makes covenant with Abraham is one who has already established a promissory relationship with the creation. This covenant make all other covenants possible.
6) Abraham’s covenant is grounded in the prior one, revealing as it does God’s most basic way of relating to the world-in commitment and patience and mercy, not in anger.
7) Covenant with Noah reveals the basic structure within which all other covenants occur:
i. God elects (6:8)
ii. God saves (6:18; 8:1)
iii. Human beings respond in worship and faith
iv. Only then does God establish covenant.
8) This fourfold structure is characteristic of God’s covenants with Abraham (12:1-2; 12:10-20; 14:20; 15:6; 15:8), with Israel (the covenant is not made until Exodus 24), and even with David (2 Sam. 7)
My own understanding of the above points is that there are implications for our faith relationship with Jesus Christ and His Father. Nobody is chosen in the Old Testament just for the sake of being saved. Failure to move forward God’s agenda to redeem humanity can have dire consequences. This implies that a full Christian life of faithful obedience is probably required before God establishes the fullness of the blessings of the New Covenant with His church at Jesus’ return. Jesus expects us to keep working so long as He has not yet returned.
God as the One Who Blesses:
1) Blessing is given creationwide scope from the beginning.
2) Blessing is integral to God’s creative action, with respect to both animals and human beings (1:22, 28),
3) Blessing includes even the temporal structures (time and liveable space) of the created order.
4) Even in the wake of sin, as the curse begins to have a devastating effect on the created order, blessing still abounds in the pre-Abrahamic world (9:1, 26) and softens the effects of the curse (8:21-22).
5) Blessing belongs primarily to the sphere of creation
6) Blessing is a gift of God mediated through a human or nonhuman agent that issues in goodness and well-being in life in every sphere, from spiritual to more tangible expressions. (Neither entirely physical nor entirely spiritual.)
7) As such, all the families of the earth are not dependent on their relationship to Abraham for blessing; it rains on the just and the unjust, and families continue to thrive.
8) What, then, is the point of Abraham’s election to mediate blessing?
a. The blessings will be intensified (made more abundant) by this relationship
b. Life will be brought closer to God’s intentions for the creation.
c. Israel itself will continue to need special divine blessing all along the way (Num. 6:22-27).
My understanding of the points immediately above is that God’s promises are strongly rooted in His earthly creation. Note that the blessing in Gen. 1:26 is also a command. Being fruitful and filling the earth with both creatures and human beings is exactly what God is wanting to accomplish throughout the redemption process. Our willing assistance in spreading the gospel for redeeming human beings (by making disciples) accomplishes this basic and non-negotiable long-range goal of God’s. This is the “command” part of the blessing He bestows upon Jesus’ disciples.
That’s why God’s city in Revelation 21-22 contains the urban park version of the Garden of Eden. God’s good earth is now fully inhabited and fully habitable by all manner of creatures – forever. This is not floating around in heaven all day long playing harps. This is the ecosystem management that we were originally designed for.