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Chapter 7 - The Kingdom and Covenant
Most of the people of Israel considered the establishment of their nation by God at Mt. Sinai when they were given the law.
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. - Exodus 19:5-8
Even though the prophet Jeremiah told them that there would be a 'new covenant', most were either disinterested or unable to see in this promise anything of practical value. Perhaps they unconsciously understood that a new covenant would indicate something insufficient or incomplete with the first one.
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. - Jeremiah 31:33
Paul would later explain in his letter to the Romans;
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. - Romans 8:3-4
Here we can see the relationship between the flesh and the law in contrast with the work of the Holy Spirit.
The solution to the problem of the limitation of the law was to receive the Spirit of God by which we can have the life of Christ in us. For the nation of Israel this was to be accomplished when God would 'pour out his Spirit'.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. - Zechariah 12:10
The first covenant with Israel proved inadequate to achieve the redemption of man. However, it was a gift to Israel and will not be done away with.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. - Matthew 5:17-18
The new covenant (testament or contract) was to be with Israel in addition to the old one of the law.
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. - Luke 22:20
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