Fulfillment of Bible prophecy is paramount to God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people. Furthermore, God’s promises through His covenants with the Jewish people often hold keys to Bible prophecy. Once unlocked, God’s faithfulness will be seen in deeper measure. So, we will unlock some of the prophetic truths displayed in the covenants of God with His people.
The Bible mentions several covenants, but we will hone in on 4 key ones today and tomorrow: the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic covenant, the new covenant, and the Davidic covenant. Buckle up…we are about to discover new depths of God’s faithfulness.
Previously, we learned a bit about the Abrahamic covenant in which God promised Abraham land and descendants. Genesis 12:1-3 is stuffed with “I will” promises and ends with …and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Can you name some things the world has been blessed by through the lineage of Abraham? (If not, go all the way back to page 3 of the Introduction to this study!)
The Abrahamic covenant required two decisions: God had to decide to save the world, which He did before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1: 3-6), and we must decide to accept and receive the blessing of salvation. Therefore, the Abrahamic covenant is the covenant of decision, and it is everlasting to anyone (Jew or Gentile) who chooses to believe.
Yet, that covenant was not enough because the world was not convinced it needed salvation!
So, God cut another covenant with Moses. Turn to Exodus 19:1-6. The captive children of Israel had been set free from Egyptian slavery and were wandering in the wilderness. God had already been faithful to provide manna from heaven and even His presence in columns of fire and clouds. Yet the people were contemptuous, and God had a plan! According to verse 5 of that passage, what did God ask them to do?
“Obey My voice and keep My covenant!” Really? Eventually, God gave the law to Moses on Mt Sinai, knowing full well they could not keep it…and neither can we! But God knew that without instruction, human beings would not understand what sin is! We need a tutor! So, the Mosaic covenant is one of instruction. Look at how the apostle Paul so eloquently describes the purpose of the law in Galatians 3:19-25.
- According to verse 19, why was the law added?
- That verse also talks about a mediator. Who mediates sin on our behalf?
- Based on verse 21, can the law give life? Why or why not?
- We are kept under guard by law until what comes (verse 23)? Could it be that a faithful God requires faith in return?
- What is the purpose of the law, according to verses 23-25?
Now, let’s tie the Abrahamic covenant to the Mosaic covenant! Still in Galatians 3, follow this path:
- Verse 8: What phrase from Genesis 12: 3 (God’s covenant with Abraham) is repeated here?
- Verse 11: Can the law save us?
- Verses 19, 24-25: What is the purpose of the law?
- Verse 29: What are you, if you are Christ’s?
The Mosaic covenant is vital to understand the need for the Abrahamic covenant, and once we belong to Christ, we are heirs of the promises God gave Abraham! Amazing! Only a faithful God would give the law (instruction) to arrive at salvation (decision)!
However, that is not the end of God’s creativity and faithfulness! Let’s consider the new covenant. As believers in Christ, we tend to think that is “our” covenant, but not so fast! Read Jeremiah 31:31-33.
- According to the words of the Lord in verse 31, with whom did He intend to make a new covenant?
- Something happened to the Mosaic covenant that made this new covenant necessary. What happened, according to verse 32?
- Verse 33 describes the new covenant…read it carefully! Who is it for, and what is the Lord’s promise to the house of Israel?
So, perhaps you thought the new covenant was a “Christian thing!” What do you think now?
In honesty, if you thought it was “ours,” you are partially right! In His brilliance, God made a way to extend faithfulness to both Jews and Gentiles. Return to Galatians 3 and slowly read verses 13-14 and 29. I love how the chapter ends: if we are Christ’s, we are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise! The blessing of Abraham has come upon us! The new covenant is the covenant of ability. To enjoy the benefits of the Abrahamic, the Mosaic must reveal sin, and we must exercise our ability to enter the new!
Does that make you want to shout, “Wow!”
There is one more “wow” before we call it a day, and it is found in Romans 15:8-9. Jesus came as a servant to the Jewish people to show truth and confirm the promises (the covenants). But He also did so for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy! Our faithful God will forever keep His covenants with the Jewish people, and Gentile believers reap the benefits of those. Israel is the guarantee of God’s faithfulness to us, and when we visit the Garden Tomb, I pray you are overwhelmed by the fullness of the new covenant, and God’s mercy to bring Gentiles into the plan originally given to the Jewish people.
Those three covenants point to a fourth, and we will meet right back here tomorrow to uncover the treasures of the Davidic covenant which prepares us for a soon-coming King! Until then, shalom!