Virtual Kollage: The new covenant between God and Israel

Posted by / Thursday, 19 January 2017 / No comments

The new covenant between God and Israel



THE NEW COVENANT
According to God as he spoke through his prophet Jeremiah, he was going to have a new covenant with Israel and Judah.  This new covenant, according to God was not going to be like the first one that he made with their fathers when he brought them out of Egypt. A covenant they broke, anyway though he was their Lord.

God said under this new covenant, he wanted to put the law inside the people by writing it on their hearts. He would be their God and they would be his people.

Under this new covenant, nobody would teach the other to know God, rather, from the least person to the greatest person, they shall know the Lord, because he would forgive their sins and would remember their sins no more.

God promised, under the new covenant, to bring all the people of Israel back from every corner that he had driven them to, to Jerusalem so that they may live in safety. God again stressed that he would be their God and they will be his people.

God also said he would give them one heart so that they may fear him forever so that it shall be well with them and their descendants. The new covenant would be everlasting and God said he would not stop doing good to them and that he would rejoice in doing so. He would put the fear of the Lord in them so that they may not turn away from him.

Through prophet Ezekiel, God promised to sprinkle water on the people so that they shall be cleansed from all their unrighteousness and all the dirt brought about by idol worship. He promised to give the people a new heart and also put a new spirit in them to replace the heart of stone that was in them. He would give the people his spirit and make them obey all his laws and statutes. They shall dwell in the land he gave to his fathers and he would be their God and they would be his people.

THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN ABRAHAM’S COVENANT WITH GOD AND THE NEW COVENANT
The initiator
One of the similarities between the new covenant and the covenant between Abraham and God was that the two were initiated by God himself. The whole idea was based on his authority.

The relationship
The second similarity between Abraham’s covenant with God and the new covenant was that it was established between a superior and a subordinate. The parties to the covenant were not equal in power and stature.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ABRAHAM’S COVENANT WITH GOD AND THE NEW COVENANT
Symbolism
One of the differences between Abraham’s covenant with God and the new covenant was that, the one with Abraham was sealed with the act of circumcision and the new covenant was based on the internal conviction of the people.

Uniqueness and universalism
Another difference between Abraham’s covenant with God and the new covenant was that the one with Abraham was related to Israel alone but the new covenant was designed to be universal, that is, for all the nations of the world.

Divine forgiveness and sacrifices in exchange for forgiveness
The covenant with Abraham was based on the act of sacrificing to obtain pardon but the new covenant was based on divine forgiveness from God without any further sacrifice.

WHAT MAY HAPPEN WHEN A COVENANT IS VIOLATED
Withdrawal of protection
One of the things that may occur when a covenant is broken is that the entity with which the covenant is made, may withdraw its protective cover and one may be exposed to calamities.

Strained relationship
Another consequence of breach of a covenant is that the original relationship that existed between the two parties to the covenant would be broken and may take a lot of effort to bring back to normal.

Bitterness develops
Another product of breaking a covenant is that the two parties start to develop bitterness toward each other and this stems from the hurt they may be feeling inside.

Anger
Breaching a covenant may incur the extreme anger of the partners toward each other. Usually, it is the more superior in the covenant whose wrath is incurred by the weaker person in the covenant.

May lead to sickness or even death
One party to the covenant may fall sick as a result of breaking the covenant. It may even lead to the death of the party. Many times, it is the weakling in the covenant who is likely to experience sickness or death.

HOW IMPORTANT ARE COVENANTS TODAY?
Attracts blessings
Christians have testified that when they kept their part of the covenant with their God, they received abundant blessings. People of other faiths too have confessed of abundant blessings from their object of worship. People who dabble in rituals have also been temporarily blessed by their deities.

Ensures continuous relationship
Today, covenants are significant because it ensures that the parties to the covenant enjoy a peaceful relationship with each other. For Christians, it enables them to become a part of the salvation that was announced by Jesus.

Keeping faith
It is also significant in the sense that it serves as a reminder to the parties, especially, the weaker side, to keep faith with the superior party.

Holds nations together
Covenants are important because they are able to hold a nation together. In a democracy, the electorates vote for their leaders for four years, or so, to lead them in a certain direction. Even if the leaders are not able to fulfill their side of the bargain; the electorates just wait to remove them at the next polls. The people keep their promise to keep them there for four years. This ensures relative peace in many countries.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. Describe the nature of the new covenant between God and the people of Israel as prophesied by Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
    b. Highlight three differences between the new covenant and the covenant between Abraham and God.

2. a. Describe the nature of the new covenant between God and the people of Israel as prophesied by Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
    b. In which two ways are the new and Abraham’s covenant with God similar?

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