●Isa 51:3 ...Truly the Lord has comforted Zion, comforted all her ruins; He has made her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the Garden of the Lord. Gladness and joy shall abide there, thanksgiving and the sound of music.
Some of that passage is written in the past tense, as though the events promised had already happened; which should assure the reader that what God has in mind for Israel is sure to come to pass.
Israel truly has a great future out ahead. One day she will be the seat of all political power, world economics, and the center for religious studies. For now she is sidelined while God accomplishes special purposes with the Gentiles. But she is only on the back burner, not out of the picture.
●Hos 2:1-2 The number of the people of Israel shall be like that of the sands of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted; and instead of being told, "You are Not-My-People," they shall be called Children-of-the-Living-God. The people of Judah and the people of Israel shall assemble together and appoint one head over them; and they shall rise from the ground for marvelous shall be the day of Jezreel!
●Jer 31:8-9 I will bring them in from the northland, gather them from the ends of the earththe blind and the lame among them, those with child and those in labor in a vast throng they shall return here. They shall come with weeping, and with compassion will I guide them, by a level road where they will not stumble. For I am ever a Father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.
In this chapter, we comment on some important covenants God made with Israel. A biblical covenant is a very flexible kind of pact. It does not have to be strictly a contractual kind of agreement. It may include stipulations for all parties involved; and then again it may stipulate responsibilities for only one of them with the other simply being along for the ride.
Most of Israel's covenants are unconditional, that is; God alone is responsible for making good on certain promises that rely not at all upon the beneficiary's compliance with any duties or responsibilities. Actually, the only one we have on our list of a conditional nature is Moses' Covenant.
Some have attempted to fuse all of Israel's covenants into one single indiscriminate mega pact. I sincerely believe that to be a huge mistake; because it nullifies the specialized purposes to be accomplished by each individual covenant. It also obscures their time line, which is very important to understanding how the covenants relate to each other.
●Gen 17:7-8 I will maintain My covenant between Me and you, and your offspring to come, as an everlasting covenant throughout the ages, to be God to you and to your offspring to come. I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting holding. I will be their God."
I believe we can safely assume four "givens" for Abraham's covenant.
1 It is a literal covenant and should therefore be interpreted literally. Its very wording conveys a decisive meaning and not some hidden or mystical purpose that requires many centuries to revolve in order to develop.
2 It is an eternal covenant. Actually it is said to be precisely that in Genesis 17:7, 17:13, and 17:19. And in other places too.
●1Chron 16:15-18 Be ever mindful of His covenant, the promise He gave for a thousand generations, that He made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel, as an eternal covenant, saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan as your allotted heritage."
3 It is an unconditional covenant and depends solely upon the integrity of God for its fulfillment. When God confirmed this covenant with Abraham, the Lord walked alone between the pieces while Abraham was conked out.
●Gen 15:7-17 Then he said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you out of from Ur of the Chaldees to assign this land to you as a possession. And he said, "O Lord God, how shall I know that I am to possess it?" He answered, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat¸ a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young bird" He brought him all these and cut them in two, placing each half opposite the other; but he did not cut up the bird As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a great dark dread fell upon him...
...When the sun set and it was very dark, there appeared a smoking oven, and a flaming torch which passed between those pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kennites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
The Euphrates river designates Iraq's eastern border. So, it looks like ol' Saddam is going out of business some day. And those pesky Palestinians will be sent packing too.
4 Abraham's covenant was made with a covenanted people: Israel. Abraham's covenant was not made with Gentiles per se; although they benefit from it indirectly as pet dogs under the table who eat food that falls off the children's plates; and as wild olive sprigs grafted into a domestic tree to take nourishment from its rootstock.
Abraham's covenant was not made with any Christian denominations; not by any stretch of the imagination. It was made with Abraham and with Abraham's natural posterity.
●Rom 11:17-25 ...If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
...Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
Israel's obstinacy is neither permanent, nor total. There has always been a percentage of Jews remaining faithful to the Bible's God. But their numbers are relatively few. The majority of Jews today are secular, but one day every single one of them will repent on a national scale
●Rom 11:26-29 ...And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.
Gentiles benefit from Abraham's covenant through conversion. But converted Gentiles do not supplant Israel. Quite the contrary they join her.
●Eph 2:11-19 ...Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men) remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ........Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,
You know what happens to Gentiles who convert to a Jewish religion and become citizens of Israel and members of God's household? They become Jews. Maybe not Jews by blood; but certainly Jews in principle.
●Gal 3:26-29 ...You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The future citizenry of Israel will not be 100% ethnic Hebrews; but an amalgam of Hebrews and Gentiles.
●Eph 2:14-18 ...For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Normally, Jews and Gentiles are worlds apart.
●Acts 10:28 ...[Peter] said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him."
Peter was a pious Jew, and would never have gone into a Gentile home without a very good reason.
●Acts 10:17-30 ...While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."
●Gen 22:18 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, "By Myself I swear, the Lord declares: Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your favored one, I will bestow my blessing upon you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands on the seashore; and your descendants shall seize the gates of their foes."
Abraham's compliance with God's request to sacrifice his son Isaac, didn't earn him the blessing. He had that already from an earlier chapter in Genesis. His obedience earned him the security of an oath.
How has Israel managed to survive all these years after so many attempts to extinguish her light? Because she is so strong and persevering? Because she is so obedient and respectful of her God? No. I think we can rule out every one of those possibilities right from the get go. Israel has survived because God has integrity, and is a man of his word. That oath He swore, which was witnessed by Abraham and his son Isaac, guarantees the survival of Abraham's posterity right on into eternity. And they will one day be the head of this planet; the center of all political power.
So by two immutable things the word of God, and an oath of God Abraham's covenant is secure; and impossible to make go away.
●Heb 6:16-18 ...Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.
●Jer 31:35-37 Thus said the Lord, Who established the sun for light by day, the laws of moon and stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea into roaring waves, Whose name is Lord of Hosts: If these laws should ever be annulled by Me declares the Lord only then would the offspring of Israel cease to be a nation before Me for all time. Thus said the Lord: If the heavens above could be measured, and the foundations of the earth below could be fathomed, only then would I reject all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done declares the Lord.
●Gen 17:18-21 And Abraham said to God; "O that Ishmael might live by your favor!" God said; "Nevertheless, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac; and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come. As for Ishmael, I have heeded you. I hereby bless him, I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous. He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation. But my covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year."
Although God's promise to give Palestine to Abraham included Abraham's offspring, it did not include every one of them only the line that leads directly to Jacob. So neither Ishmael, nor any of Ishmael's posterity, have a Divine right to Palestine. Ishmael's clan are Gentiles; and they have no special privileges just because they can trace their origin to Abraham. Ownership of Palestine, since somewhere around 585 BCE, has been often decided through the machinations of political struggle. However, in the future God has to restore the land to Abraham's and Isaac's posterity once and for all because He swore it was theirs forever.
The line has to include Sarah too. She was just as much a part of the promise as her husband. So Ishmael was never a serious candidate for the benefits of Abraham's covenant because he was Hagar's son. Ishmael was out of the running even before he was born, and Abraham should have known better than to think Ishmael might substitute for the long awaited son promised to he and Sarah. God would quite literally have been forced to break his word in order to accommodate Abraham's feelings about Ishmael; and that is never going to happen under any circumstances.
Even if no one else in all of creation will be raised from the dead, God must raise at least Abraham in order to keep His promises to him concerning the occupation, and ownership, of Palestine.
●Gen 13:14-17 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had parted from him, "Raise your eyes and look out from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west, for I give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, then your offspring too can be counted. Up, walk about the land, through its length and its breadth, for I give it to you."
It would be improper to say that Abraham realized ownership of the land through his posterity because God said in verse 15 that Abraham would not own the land through his posterity, but right along with them.
● ...For I give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever.
The only part of Palestine that Abraham ever actually held in possession was the cave of Machpelah where he buried Sarah, his wife, after she died.
●Gen 23:3-20 Then Abraham rose from beside his dead, and spoke to the Hittites, saying, "I am a resident alien among you; sell me a burial site among you, that I may remove my dead for burial." Abraham accepted Ephron's terms. Abraham paid out to Ephron the money he had named in the hearing of the Hittites four hundred shekels of silver at the going merchant's rate.
That is ironic. God had, by this time, already promised Abraham free and clear title to the Hittites' land in Genesis 15:20; but in his day he had to buy some of it so he could bury Sarah. So it remains yet for Abraham to receive the full amount of real estate that was guaranteed him on oath.
He has to be raised from the dead so that can happen. And he will be raised, or God will be found out to be a liar who does not keep a promise a promise that was made upon oath; and also confirmed when the smoking lamp passed between the pieces in Genesis 15:7-17
Technically, a Jew is any person whose religion is Judaism. Abraham began his relationship with God while he was a Gentile living in the country of Ur.
●Gen 12:1 The Lord said to Abraham, "Go forth from your native land and from your father's house to the land that I will show you.
●Gen 15:7 Then He said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to assign this land to you as a possession" ..(1985 JPS Tanakh)
If Abraham were still living in Ur today, he would be an Iraqi; living southwest of, and across the Euphrates from, the Iranian town of An Nasiriyah.
Objection: Abraham is from whence all Jews sprang. Since he's the father of the Jews, then why wouldn't he be one too?
That logic doesn't make Abraham himself a Jew any more than it would make Miriam a God simply because she gave birth to the Son of God.
It's true that Abraham was a Hebrew; but being a Hebrew is not the same as being a Jew. Genetically, everyone who descends from Abraham is a Hebrew, including Ishmael's side of the family— the Arabs. But not all Arabs are Jews; are they?
Abraham actually remained a Gentile his entire life, and never did become a Jew because there was no Judaism to convert to in his day. He pretty much practiced the very same religion as Able, Seth, Enoch, and Noah. All of those men, along with everyone else at the time, were Gentiles.
The first occurrence of the word Hebrew is at Gen 14:13 and designates Abraham's ancestor Eber. The word for Hebrew is from `Ibriy (ib-ree'); which means; an Eberite (i.e. Hebrew) or descendant of Eber; who himself is listed in the genealogies (Gen 10:21,25; Gen 11:14) as the great-grandson of Shem, and father of Peleg and Joktan.
The word *hebrew* means the other side, or across. Hebrew, which is derived from 'Ibriy, is apparently denoted peoples or tribes who came from the other side of the river (the Euphrates) from Haran (Gen 11:31), whence Abraham and his dependents migrated to Canaan.
The word *Jew* doesn't occur in the Bible until 2Ki 16:6. The Hebrew word for Jew is Yehuwdiy (yeh-hoo-dee'); which means: a Jehudite (i.e. Judaite or Jew), or descendant of Jehudah (i.e. Judah)
Judah is the name of one of Jacob's twelve sons. But his offspring aren't the only Hebrews regarded as Jews. Jacob's other sons engendered Jews too. The original Jehudah is a mystery man because we haven't had any luck locating him anywhere in the early genealogies. But Judah is an especially important tribal leader because the patriarchy passed to him and it is through his posterity that Messiah came into the world. So we could say that a Jehudite is any anyone who not only practices Judaism, but is also submissive to the royalty of Judah; viz: David's line.
Point being; God created the Jewish people from Gentile rootstock Abram and Sarai. And the Jews are truly a miracle because Sarah was barren; and her womb had no more life in it than a stone. And even if it had been working okay, Isaac's conception would still have to be assisted with a miracle because she was in post menopause when she conceived.
●Gen 18:10-14 Then one said, "I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!" Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped having the periods of women.
So, the Jewish people actually got off and running with Isaac; Abraham and Sarah's miraculous little baby boy.
Moses' covenant wasn't made with Abraham, nor with Isaac, nor with Jacob: nor even with any of their offspring clear on up until the time of the escape from Egyptian slavery. So no Hebrews prior to that time are effected by Moses' covenant in any way at all. Only the people of Moses who came up out of Egypt with him and Aaron, and then, as time went by, with all the Hebrews who have ever been engendered down through the centuries even until now.
●Deut 5:2-4 The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. It was not with our fathers that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, the living, every one of us who is here today.
●Deut 29:13-14 I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone, but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day.
●Deut 27:26 Cursed be he who will not uphold the terms of this Teaching and observe them. And all the people shall say, Amen."
Their Amen sealed the future of every Hebrew since then. Today's Hebrew children are born under the jurisdiction of Moses' covenant. They have no choice about it because their ancestors swore them into it many, many years ago.
The covenant that God made with Abraham was an unconditional one. That's the best kind for human beings because that way there is nothing they can do to ruin it for themselves. But the Mosaic covenant is very conditional, and hinges upon faithful compliance to many stipulations, and legal mandates.
The Mosaic covenant was, in my opinion, the biggest mistake that Israel ever made ever. Because it has the potential to limit their tenancy in that land. And worse, it has always managed to wreck their standing with Moses' God.
The Mosaic covenant— often called the *old* covenant —relies too much upon human will power; which is vulnerable to human nature; and I believe that is why Israel really shot themselves in the foot when they entered into a covenant with God based upon law.
●Ex 19:4-8 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Me. Now then, if you will obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine, but you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation Moses came down and summoned the elders of the people and put before them all that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered as one, saying, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do."
Not too long after their sacred pledge of allegiance, Moses' people constructed a golden bovine idol and gave to it the credit for rescuing them from the Egyptians. (shrug)
The Jews' success, and their failure, under the Mosaic
covenant, hinges upon a very big if:
"IF you will obey Me faithfully and keep my covenant"
When they promised to do it; that sealed their doom. They could have enjoyed a relationship with God based on the religion of Abel, and Noah, and Abraham. But no, they rashly chose to go with law instead. That was not wise. They should have at least waited until they heard all the terms and conditions of the covenant before agreeing to it. They have never kept their end of it even to this very day. At the end of the forty years of wanderings, Moses said:
●Deut 9:24 As long as I have known you, you have been defiant toward the Lord.
Point being; a covenant with God, based on Moses' Law, is a stacked deck. Because of it, even today's modern Jews are at risk of losing control of the land all over again for non compliance with the Law.
●Lev 26:43 For the land shall be forsaken of them, making up for its sabbath years by being desolate of them, while they atone for their iniquity; for the abundant reason that they rejected My rules and spurned My laws.
The land itself will always be a Jewish possession. That is secure because of God's covenant with Abraham. But their occupancy is regulated by stipulations in the Mosaic covenant. Out in the future, Jeremiah's new covenant will remedy the problem of human nature and then Abraham and his posterity will settle in Israel for good.
The covenant God made with Abraham regards promises made to a specific Gentile. The Mosaic covenant regards terms and conditions God mandated for a specific nation. This next covenant regards promises that God made to a specific Jew.
●2Sam 7:16 Your house and your kingship shall ever be secure before you; your throne shall be established forever.
●2Sam 23:5 Is not my House established before God? For He has granted me an eternal pact, drawn up in full and secured.
●Ps 89:4 I have made a covenant with My chosen one; I have sworn to My servant David: I will establish your offspring forever, I will confirm your throne to all generations.
That pact permanently designated the selection of a royal family for Israel; kind of like a Jewish house of Windsor. So Israel's final, and permanent, form of national government will be a monarchy, and the king will be one of David's descendants.
The most exciting part of David's covenant is an additional promise, contained in its wording, of one last restoration of Moses' people to permanent occupancy in Israel.
●2Sam 7:10 I will establish a home for my people Israel and will plant them firm, so that they shall dwell secure and shall tremble no more. Evil men shall not oppress them any more as in the past, ever since I appointed chieftains over my people Israel. I will give them safety from all your enemies.
Those promises are not just chipped in rock; they are words right out of the mouth of David's God. So Israel has a great future out ahead. And one day they will dwell secure, without fear, and without anxiety. Which means that all of their enemies must be crushed first before God's promises can become a reality.
Today they are not secure, nor without fear in that land. The Gulf war with Iraq proved that much; and Islamic terrorism continues to buffet the people of Israel. So the promises that God made in David's covenant have not been realized yet because there is no monarchy, and because there is no peace and safety in Israel.
So, since they are not safe, nor secure, nor free from worry about war and terrorism, and especially since there is no monarchy ruling in Israel at this time; then there is good reason to believe that Israel is still very much at risk of once again being conquered and dominated by foreign powers.
Out in the future at some time, just prior to the reality of Messiah's kingdom, the Diaspora will rounded up from all over the world and taken to one place. At that time each individual Jew will be evaluated to determine which ones qualify to return to Israel under Messiah's regime. The evaluations will be according to the law in Moses' covenant. Those Jews who do not measure up will be banished from Messiah's kingdom; and many will be summarily executed on the spot.
●Ezk 20:33-44 As I live declares the Lord God I will reign over you with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with overflowing fury. With a strong hand and an outstretched arm and overflowing fury I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples; and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.
. .As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you declares the Lord God. I will make you pass under the shepherds staff, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will remove from you those who rebel and transgress against Me; I will take them out of the countries where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.
It's been my own personal experience that the average Jew honestly considers themselves righteous enough to survive their day in court face to face with Yhvh God. Well, just think back to the time when God entered into judgment with the Jews when He brought them out of Egypt. How many adults over the age of 20 entered the promised land? Only two: Joshua and Caleb. Not even Moses himself made the cut; nor even Bezalel and Oholiab, the two artificers endowed with special skills and aptitudes by God's own spirit. And remember the Jews who were killed by snake venom when they complained about manna? And the entire family of Korah the Levite, and his allies, who were incinerated and swallowed down into the ground alive when it split open and they all fell in? And the Jewish men who were slain for fathering children by pagan women in the incident with Balaam, the prophet for profit?
Being genetically Jewish is not an eo ipso guarantee they'll make the cut and partake of the benefits of Isa 11:1-14, Ezk 36:28-38), Mic 4:1-7, and Joel 2:19-27. Modern Jews just don't know who they're really dealing with.
● Dan 12:1-2 . .At that time, the great prince, Michael, who stan ds beside the sons of your people, will appear. It will be a time of trouble, the like of which has never been since the nation came into being. At that time, your people will be rescued, all who are found inscribed in the book. Many of those that sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, others to reproaches, to everlasting abhorrence.
Israel's tenancy in her land, and control over her own destiny, has been intermittent down through history. That's because the Mosaic covenant, the *old covenant* as it is sometimes called, forces her eviction through national disrespect for God, and disobedience to Moses' Law.
But we saw in David's covenant, that there is a day coming which will be her last, and final, return. God has promised a perpetual occupancy for her; never to be evicted, nor dominated, ever again.
But what about the Mosaic covenant? Its provisions mandate that God must punish Israel whenever she loses respect for The Law. And if history is any evidence at all, then we know that she will continue to stumble again and again; requiring a never ending string of evictions, economic problems, and war as far into eternity as you might choose to go. That has got to be remedied somehow so Israel can stay on her land indefinitely, and in control of her own destiny, as God promised to David.
Even if there was no such a thing as the New Covenant, reason would cry out for one because it is so desperately needed to secure Israel's future and to prevent recurrences of the loss of her sovereignty, and the humiliating heels of foreign domination. The only really practical solution to her problem is a tough, righteous government operating under a different covenant with a new set of laws.
●Jer 31:31-34 See, a time is coming declares the Lord when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, though I espoused them declares the Lord.
...But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days declares the Lord: I will put my Teachings into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, "Heed the Lord"; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me declares the Lord.
Ezekiel said something about it too.
●Ezk 11:17-20 Yet say: Thus said the Lord: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall return there, and do away with all its detestable things and all its abominations. I will give them one heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a soft heart, that they may follow My laws, and faithfully observe My rules. Then shall they be my people and I will be their God.
●Ezk 36:27-28 and I will put My spirit into you. Thus I will cause you to follow My laws and faithfully observe My rules. Then you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be My people and I will be your God.
Isn't that incredible?!? Not only will the individual Jew himself be given a new spirit, which implies a change of attitude, but his will to serve God will be augmented by God's spirit; so that each Jew will be a little human mini temple, housing God's spirit. In that day, every single Jew living in Israel will be a priest, and all, collectively, will finally be a kingdom of priests serving God acceptably like He intended for them to do in the first place. Only at that time will Hosea's prophecy come true. The nation, as a whole, will finally once again be His people, and He will be their God.
●Joel 2:2 I will even pour out My spirit upon male and female slaves in those days.
●Deut 30:4 Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers. Then the Lord your God will open up your heart and the hearts of your offspring to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, in order that you may live.
So everything will fall into place: David's descendant Messiah will be installed upon his throne and empowered to rule the country. Israel will get her land, along with peace and prosperity. And God will finally get some respect. And too, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will return home for their fair share of the property that was promised to them so long ago.
The new covenant also includes a provision to completely, and totally, absolve all sins. And that word *all* has to include both intentional, and unintentional sins, because the word *all* loses any real meaning if we tack on a qualifier.
●Ezk 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your fetishes.
●Jer 31:34 for I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.
Jeremiah's new covenant is far superior to Moses' because his doesn't permit forgiveness for intentional sins nor for certain specified capital offenses. But Jeremiah's absolves everything. And on top of that, there are no threats in Jeremiah's covenant to evict the people of Israel from their land if the nation should ever fall into sin.
The old covenant's law is an outstanding religious, and civil code. But it lacks provisions to cure the lawbreaker's tendency to do as he pleases and commit sin. Moses' Law is valuable for law and order and punishing violators; but it doesn't rehabilitate anybody. The new covenant does rehab sinners. We can tell from the wording of Jeremiah's covenant that the new heart and the new spirit promised in it creates a new nature in people so that they will be inclined to listen to God with a willingness to comply.
Just exactly when God will make the new covenant an Israeli national policy is uncertain because Jer 33:19-22 guarantees the Aaronic priesthood will remain as long as the cosmos continues. So the Temple and the Aaronic qorbanot system will remain in effect in Messiah's kingdom for a while until such a time as the next Genesis and God destroys the current universe. (Isa 65:17, 2Pet 3:10, and Rev 21:1-5)
Answering Jewish Objections To Jesus
by Michael L. Brown
Volume 1 ISBN 0-8010-6063-X
Volume 2 ISBN 0-8010-6334-5
Volume 3 ISBN 0-8010-6423-6
In Memory Of Trees (Enya)