Godís covenant with Israel is a conditional covenant made between God and the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai. It is sometimes called the Sinai Covenant but is more often referred to as the Mosaic Covenant since Moses was Godís chosen leader of Israel at that time. Though we consider the Mosaic Covenant to be a conditional covenant, breaking of the covenant did not make the covenant non-binding; the covenant did not contain escape clauses.
The Mosaic covenant is very similar to other ancient covenants of that time because it is between a sovereign King, God, and his people or subjects, Israel. At the time of the making of the covenant God reminded the people of their obligation to be obedient to His law (Exodus 19:5) and the people agreed when they said; ďAll that the Lord has spoken we will do!Ē (Exodus 19:8).
The Mosaic covenant sets the nation of Israel apart from all other nations as Godís chosen people and was as binding as the unconditional covenant that God made with Abraham because it is also a blood covenant.
The Mosaic covenant differs from the Abrahamic Covenant and later covenants because it is conditional in that the blessings that God promises are directly related to Israelís obedience to the Mosaic Law. If Israel is obedient then God will bless them, but if they disobey then God will punish them. The blessings and curses that are associated with this conditional covenant are found in detail in Deuteronomy 28. The other covenants found in the Bible were unconditional promises, in which God bound Himself to do what He promised, regardless of what the recipients of the promises might do.
The Mosaic Covenant differs from the Abrahamic Covenant because in it God promises to make Israel ďa kingdom of priests and a holy nationĒ (Exodus 19:6) Israel was to be Godís light to the dark world around them. They were to be a separate and called out nation so that everyone around them would know that they worshiped Yahweh, the covenant keeping God. The Mosaic Covenant contained the Mosaic Law. The purpose of the Mosaic Law was to reveal to people their sinfulness and their need for a Savior and it is the Mosaic Law that Christ Himself said that He did not come to abolish but to fulfill. This is an important point because some people get confused by thinking that keeping the Law saved people in the Old Testament, but the Bible is clear that salvation has always been by faith alone and the promise of salvation by faith. Therefore, the Mosaic Covenant itself, with all its detailed laws, could not save people. It is not that there were any flaws in the law, for the law is perfect and was given by a Holy God, but the law had no power to give people new life, and the people were not able to obey the law perfectly.
At the end of Israelís forty years of wilderness wondering, just a short time before the nation was to enter Canaan, Moses said to Israel, ďNow not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today.Ē As a new generation was about to begin a new chapter in Israelís history, it had to be reminded in a solemn way of Israelís special covenant relationship with Jehovah.
The covenant will be fulfilled when all the blessings and curses contained in the covenant have been fulfilled and when Israel truly returns to God and obeys Him. Then God will gather the scattered Israelites from all over the world and restore them to the land of their ancestors God promises to regenerate the Israelites in the future thereby causing them to love Him with all their heart. In the future God will judge all the enemies of Israel and Israel will prosper.
Centuries after God made these promises to Israel; He repeated a number of them to later generations of Israelites through the Prophets Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:36-44) and Ezekiel (36:22-38).
It is important we understand first that God scattered the Israelites after they entered the land of Canaan because of their disobedience using the enemies of Israel (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; 29:24-29; 30:1, 3). Second, God always leaves the way open for unfaithful Israel to return to Him, He never has and never will permanently end His relationship with Israel. Third, the final fulfillment of these promises is still in the future. Moses indicates this when he said the fulfillment of the promise will not take place until all the curses of Deuteronomy have been completed and Israel truly returns to the Lord and obey Him (Deuteronomy 30:1-3). All the sons of Israel have not returned to Israel as a nation and are not now obeying Him. The problems that Israel are experiencing in the Middle East and the anti-Semitism in many places in the world, including the United States, is evidence that all the curses of Deuteronomy have not been completed.
It is also important we understand, although the nations join together in their fight to prevent the fulfillment of the promises of Deuteronomy 28, the fact God intends to fulfill these promises with Israel when all the curses are completed all the sons of Jacob will return to the land God promised Jacob He would give to his descendants. God has severely chastised the sons of Jacob for centuries because of their unfaithfulness to Him, but He will never destroy His chosen people. The world needs to wake up, Christians need to wake up, God is doing something thought impossible a hundred years ago.
The fact God promised to restore Israel to the land He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, when the curses of Deuteronomy have been completed proves Israelís right to possess the land man has foolishly called Palestine. Even though the sons of Jacob have been scattered among the nations because of their disobedience they have never lost their inheritance.
In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul told the Roman Christians, a ďpartial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come; and so all Israel will be saved just as it is written, ĎThe Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from JacobíĒ (Romans 11:25-26). According to the Apostle Paul, even though the people of Israel are enemies of the gospel during this present age, based on Godís sovereign choice He continues to love Israel for the sake of their fathers to whom He made covenant commitments.
Godís past calling of Israel to be a special people to Him is irrevocable, He will extend mercy to the sons of Israel in the future (Romans 11:28-32).
Regardless of what man may think or say, the promises of the Deuteronomic Covenant will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to earth after the end of the future Tribulation period. The Tribulation period will be Godís instrument to break Israelís rebellion and bring the nation back to Him.
New American Bible
King James Bible
World English Bible
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