Older, Old and New- Part 2


Last week my friend and mentor of many years Dee Gredler wrote the first of 3 post about the difference in Old and New Covenants. I’m excited to have her back today with another Monday Moment. Join Dee in Bible study this morning and dig for more treasure from God’s Word.

Last time we saw that the
first of the three main covenants that God made with mankind was the Abrahamic
covenant.  Abraham had two sons, Ishmael
and Isaac, but God made it clear that the covenant promises would only apply to
Isaac’s descendants.  Isaac also had two
sons, Esau and Jacob, but again God chose only Jacob’s descendants as
inheritors of the covenant promises.  (Why
do it this way?  I have to admit that I
don’t have any idea.  All I can say is
that since God was the one who originated the covenant and made the promises 
He could choose whoever He wanted to to become a covenant partner with Him.)  Jacob had twelve sons and all of them became partners in the covenant.  It was from
these twelve sons that the twelve tribes of Israel came into being.  These tribes became known as the nation of Israel.

When God made the covenant with Abraham He told him that there would come a time when his descendants would become slaves in Egypt for 400 years.
This is exactly what happened.  At the end of the 400 years God sent a man named Moses to lead the Israelites, now numbering in the millions, out of Egypt and into the land that He had promised to Abraham.  It was while they were on the
way to that Promised Land that God invited the nation as a whole to enter into
a second covenant with Him.  They agreed and this covenant became known as the Old Covenant or the Law.  The most familiar part of this covenant is
known as the Ten Commandments.

The Old Covenant was a different kind of covenant than the Abrahamic covenant.  There was nothing that Abraham’s descendants could do to give God reason to not keep the wonderful promises He had made.  God had also described it as an everlasting covenant so that there wasn’t, and isn’t, anything that could bring it to an
end.  It is an unconditional, everlasting covenant.  The Law was different.  The nation entered into this covenant by promising to keep all the commandments that God had given.  God promised that as long as they kept the commandments He would bless them in very specific ways which He laid out.  But He also promised that He would bring specific curses on them if they failed to obey the commandments.  And at no point did He say anything about this covenant being everlasting.

This all brings up some reasonable questions.  What was the point of this second covenant?  And did it nullify the first covenant?  Let’s answer
the last question first.  The Old Covenant did not nullify the Abrahamic covenant.
When God promises something you can be sure that He won’t break His promise.  And since the covenant is unconditional we can be sure the promises are still in effect.

Then what was the reason for the Old Covenant?  God wanted this nation
that was made up largely of Abraham’s descendants to show the rest of the world
who God is.  As they lived according to the commands that He gave them the world would see a vast difference in their own behavior and how the people of Israel treated each other.  And as God blessed them for their obedience
the other nations would be drawn to God and accept Him as their God, too.  On the other hand, if they disobeyed the nations would also see God’s character and power as He brought about the curses He had promised that disobedience would bring.
Israel was to be God’s “light on a hill” that would draw the world to Himself.

It is the Abrahamic covenant and the Old Covenant that are the basis for all that happens in the Old Testament section of the Bible.  Why weren’t those
two enough?  Why was there a need for a third covenant and what does it contain?
We’ll look at that next time.

 

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Comments

  1. Great bible study! Glad to find you!

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