Examining the New Covenant – Part 3

At the end of Jeremiah 31:33, God says “I will be their God, and they shall be My people,” tying the new covenant once again to the Sinai covenant. An exploration of Exodus 6:7-8 will not only amplify the connection to verse 33 of the Jeremiah passage, but also provide yet another tie in.

I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (8) I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.'” Exodus 6:7-8 (ESV)

Note that not only is the same idea I will be your God and you will be my people expressed, but when this becomes really interesting is in an analysis of the language “I will take you to be my people.” Ancient Hebrew had no word for marriage, the expression of this idea was v’lekach ti or “I will take you”. So we see that not only does God say in Jeremiah 31:32, “I was a husband to them.”, but in Exodus 6 He says “I will take you (the people of Israel) to be my bride.” Fixing once again the idea that while Israel’s response to the “old” and new covenant will be different, the content of the covenants is not contrasted but harmonized.

It is also significant to note the connection made in Exodus 6 to the Abrahamic covenant. Notice that the Sinai is connected to the Abrahamic and the New is connected to the Sinai covenant. As are all of God’s covenants. We ought not to look on them as individualized, unique contracts, but as progressively revealed and contiguously related. The core message of God’s promise is revealed in Genesis, then expanded and amplified throughout the rest of the Scriptures.

Walter Kaiser expressed this very well,

“The progress of revelation has an organic aspect in which the identity of the germ contained in the earliest mention of a theme continues in the buildup of that theme as the same seminal idea takes on a more developed form in later revelation.” (1)

I refer you once again to Jeremiah 31, to note with even more particular care the phrase, “I will be their God and they shall be my people.” We have all ready noted that this ties the New Covenant back to the Sinai Covenant, but it must also be understood that this ties the New Covenant to God’s eternal plan.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. Revelation 21:3 (ESV)

The New Covenant will also be different because Israel’s obedience to God will be on a national scale, “they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” While acceptance of the covenant by Israel and obedience to God’s stipulations will be national, it is equally significant that the covenant will be based on God’s forgiveness of Israel’s sin-this also will be a whole-scale, national condition. Verse 34 says, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

So we have a couple indicators that the New Covenant has not yet been completely fulfilled:

  1. The dispersed people of Israel have not yet been reunited as a single nation under God
  2. As a people, Israel has not yet evidenced faithful obedience to God
  3. As a people, Israel has not yet recognized Jesus as the Messiah, in order that they might be eternally forgiven for their violations of the Covenant terms (Torah-lessness).

Next time we will discuss further the ways in which the New Covenant has been or is being fulfilled.

(1) Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. and Moises Silva, An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), p 143

5 thoughts on “Examining the New Covenant – Part 3

  1. Shalom.
    I think the point about the process and building of revelation is especially important for us when we come into disputes over “new covenant” vs. “renewed covenant”. Within the Torah/Messianic movement I’ve heard so much squabbling on this issue that it’s no wonder that much of Christianity sees the movement is confusing or disjointed. I look forward to more of your thoughts on this subject. I’m enjoying the series very much!

    One question… have you by chance seen Tim Hegg’s teaching “what’s so New about the New Covenant?”

  2. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Yes, I’ve watched portions of What’s So New About the New Covenant several times. For whatever reason, it has put me to sleep every time! Something about the way it was filmed I think. Sometime I want to watch it in small snippets, and take notes. It’s the only way I’m going to get all the way through it.

  3. Hey, perhaps we could watch a little bit on Sabbath after we eat? We can take notes, discuss it and keep each other awake!! haha!!

  4. Talking head videos are very tough to keep up with πŸ˜‰ And Hegg is known for his lecture style of teaching. But I did love it. I need to go back and revisit it soon.

  5. Yeah, I love it too. I love Tim’s style of teaching, but I do give him a hard time about this particular one…although between you and I…I don’t think it was him, I think it’s the color of the background or something else weird like that.

    Connie, that sounds like a good idea.

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