They Did Not Continue In My Covenant

hebrews people

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:7-13)

They Did Not Continue In My Covenant

Israel shared a relationship with the Lord God that no other nation on earth could claim. The Hebrews were chosen by God not because of they were a mighty people in number (they were the least of all peoples) but because of God’s love for them. He had made a promise to Abraham and He kept His word with the covenant made with His servant to bring forth a nation so that all the nations of the world would be blessed. A covenant was established at Mt. Sinai between the people and the Lord which was ratified with the blood of animals and confirmed by the voice of the nation to be faithful to the promises given in the law. Before leaving Sinai the people disobeyed the covenant and worshiped the golden calf. Throughout the legacy of Israel’s history, the people would continually break the word of the Lord, reject the covenant made at Sinai and rebel against the voice of the prophets who cried for the people to repent. During the final days of Israel when only two tribes remained the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed the will of God to remove the first covenant and establish a new law that would be written in the hearts on His faithful people. Almost seven hundred years later the apostle Paul would describe in a letter to the first century Hebrew Christians the first covenant (Law of Moses) was flawed and the Lord would seek a second covenant as declared by Jeremiah. If the Law of Moses had been faultless (perfect), then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with the Law of Moses, the Lord proclaimed the days were coming when He would make a new law with the house of Israel and the house of Judah which would be very different from the covenant He made with them at Sinai. The reason a second covenant had to be made is that the children of Israel did not continue in His covenant and so the Lord disregarded and ignored the first covenant. God had been faithful in His part of the law; Israel had failed repeatedly to keep the law. Because of their rejection, the Lord rejected them.

In the legal world, a contract is a binding covenant as long as both parties fulfill the declarations stipulated and faithful participation of both parties agrees to continue in the arrangements outlined in the agreement. If at any time one of the parties fail to meet the requirements of the contract and a continued effort is rejected to resolve the dispute, the covenant is broken. There can be no doubt of the legality of a broken covenant when it is clearly demonstrated the one party did not follow the guidelines and instructions sworn to at the inception of the covenant. This principle of law did not originate with the wisdom of man but was ordained by the wisdom of the Creator. God made a covenant with Israel and stipulated innumerable blessings to the people if they would heed the words of the law. The Hebrews broke the covenant so often the day came when the Lord rejected them and canceled His promises made through the Law of Moses. He took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt but they did not honor Him. In the days of Jeremiah, the Lord promised to make a new covenant nullifying the old covenant. When God promised to make a new covenant He made the first covenant obsolete. The first law was old and the apostle Paul (who was a Hebrew of Hebrews) declared was vanishing away and to disappear. In the first century, the people of God would no longer follow a law that was outdated because of the blood of bulls and goats but they would find a new law sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. The first covenant was taken out of the way because Israel did not continue to be faithful to the agreement with God.

There are many in the religious world teaching the need to keep the pattern and teachings of the Law of Moses. Jeremiah would challenge this failed doctrine of trying to follow a covenant that God has rejected because the Jews rejected Him. They killed the Son of God sealing their final judgment of rejecting the will of the Lord. No man can be saved by the Law of Moses or keeping the commandments of the law (i.e. Ten Commandments). The law was given through Moses and the people of Israel broke that covenant. Grace and truth come through Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The only law that can save a man now is the blood of Christ and the perfection of His priesthood found in the church of Christ and His body. A new covenant has been made with Jew and Gentile alike and salvation is found in repenting and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. The promise made through the Holy Spirit as spoken by Peter on the day of Pentecost still resounds in the hearts of those who will faithfully accept the covenant of Christ and His blood.

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