A Fourth Great Covenant

Welcome back Bible students!  We’re reconvening at the study table to jump back into Why Israel Matters: Rightly Relating to Our Jewish Roots.  Believe it or not, we’re entering lesson #9 (of 12), which I titled “Bring the King Home.”  We’ll spend a few days this week diving in, to pull up a chair!

Last week we took at look at 3 great covenants of the Bible:

  • Abrahamic Covenant – covenant of DECISION, because God decided to redeem the world through Abraham and his descendants.
  • Mosaic Covenant – covenant of INSTRUCTION, because the world sees no need of redemption.  Thus, the law was given to instruct us about our sin.
  • New Covenant – covenant of ABILITY, because God granted us the ability to enter into salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalms, though not thought of as a book of prophecy, indeed prophesied of the Abrahamic Covenant in Psalm 105:7-11, where we are told that the covenant with Abraham was sworn to Isaac and confirmed to Jacob.  It is everlasting, and God identified Canaan as the land allotted as an inheritance.  This is only one example of other Biblical reference to the three covenants.

So why three?  Did the Abrahamic Covenant fail?  Was the Mosaic Covenant “plan B?”  Why the need for the New Covenant?  Well, friends, neither the Abrahamic, Mosaic nor New Covenants failed.  They were all needed in order for God to fulfill His purposes.  All are necessary, and all are interrelated.

But there is yet one other great Bible covenant to be mediated.  Those three set the table for the fourth: the Davidic Covenant.  Let’s look at 1 Chronicles 17:11-15 (NKJV) to discover the basis of this covenant.  Within that passage, we find these words from the Lord:

  • “I will establish his throne forever.”
  • “I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever.”
  • “His throne shall be established forever.”

Notice the consistent characteristics from the Abrahamic Covenant:  the Lord initiates it, and it is forever.  His promise is that a King will reign once again from Jerusalem.  But who will be king?  The answer is found in Ezekiel 37:24-28:

“My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

First, a word about the passage saying, “They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob…”  This is reference to the Abrahamic Covenant.  Was the promise really given to Jacob…or to Abraham?  Well, consider that the covenant was made specifically with Abraham, but re-confirmed to his son Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob.  But there is something more I want to tell you about God’s covenant with those three.

We know Abraham as the original covenant partner with God.  Thus, Abraham is representative of the covenant, the promise.  Isaac is a picture of the cross and God’s atonement.  (Remember how Isaac was a picture of Christ as Abraham offered him as a sacrifice.)  Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord…and his name was changed to “Israel!”  He is the picture of transformation and reconciliation.

So, when Ezekiel indicates the land given to Jacob, it is no coincidence!  Every tiny detail of God’s Word is purposeful, and He is confirming that the land, given to the descendants of Abraham, as promised, was given to Jacob…the representative of transformation, and whose name is “Israel!”

So, back to our question, “Who will be the king who reigns from Jerusalem?”  Read the passage from Ezekiel 37:24-28 again, then come back tomorrow, when we’ll identify the king!

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