I’ve never really had a good understanding of what the covenants of God were/are. To me, they seem like common christian words that I can gloss over and use context clues to gather the full meaning of the phrase. “Promise” seems to be the most appropriate synonym of covenant, but as I have been able to read this morning (and hopefully you will as well), I have a much better grasp of what a covenant is. And this time, I have a particular better idea of why the new has overcome the old.
Pray: Ask God to teach you something new this morning. Even if you’re someone who has heard it all before, ask God to teach you the embrace of knowledge and to study the scripture with reverence.
Read: Hebrews 8:7-13
Questions: Define what a covenant is.
Why does he continually reference the old covenant with the new covenant?
Which verse in this passage strikes you hardest? Why that one?
Application: So, a covenant is a principle of relationship with God on the earth-conditions established by God under which man is to live with Him. So, it isn’t so much a promise from God (compared to the promises of riches that God gives us) as it is a ruling from God of how to live about our time here. The key is that the Gospel is not the covenant, but it is a the key to our salvation. The new covenant with God proclaims that God will be the God of the people, that the people shall be in one heart and one mind with Him (v 10). Everyone will know the LORD, from the least to the greatest of those.
Why must the writer continually reference a old covenant though? The old covenant made with the House of Israel was one that was not carried out by the people. Those people, God says, He did not care for because they did carry out His covenant with them. For it says, “He found fault” with them. The covenant is our responsibility, but even more so, our opportunity to show God’s glory. Our existence on earth is to be with God just as our joy in being in heaven is to be with Him always. However, God demonstrates His faultlessness by the Gospel. For in verse 12, He says he will remember our sins no more. No more. Meaning, all our failures, that make us obsolete and blamed, we are forgiven. God will not remember any of them, for He has chosen to not remember. A new covenant is now put in place that we should fulfill with greatest desire.
Pray: God may have taught you something different than what he taught me. But he reminded me of how much mercy and grace He shows in his covenant. It isn’t that he’s forgotten our failures; it’s that he chooses not to remember, not to dwell on our failures. A choice that profound leaves only shame for us but love from Him. Pray about that for a while.