Psalms 105:44-45a (HCSB)
“He gave them the lands of the nations,
and they inherited
what other peoples had worked for.
All this happened
so that they might keep His statutes
and obey His instructions.”
At the time of the Old Covenant, God gave the Old Covenant people (the children of Israel) an inheritance. That inheritance (the land of Canaan) was given to them so that they “MIGHT (emphasis mine) keep His statutes and obey His instructions.”
But, did that happen when the Old Covenant people entered the inherited land, “what other peoples had worked for”?
It did not…
Jeremiah 32:22-23 (HCSB)
“You gave them this land You swore to give to their ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey. They entered and possessed it, but they did not obey Your voice or live according to Your instructions. They failed to perform all You commanded them to do, and so You have brought all this disaster on them.”
The Old Covenant (for man) is not keepable. That’s the point. Those who are exposed to its statutes ought to recognize that its standard of righteousness is not attainable. Only God Himself, Jesus Christ, is capable of fulfilling its requirements. It’s why Jesus came…
John 3:17 (HCSB)
“For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
So, what does Jesus Christ’s coming have to do with the fulfilling of the Old Covenant statutes?
Matthew 5:17 (HCSB)
“Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
And, what did Jesus Christ (who fulfilled the requirements of the Old Covenant) gain?
Hebrews 5:9 (HCSB)
“After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him…”
Romans 8:3-4 (HSCB)
“What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
…As a result, Christ’s inheritance becomes ours, the Christian’s.
When Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, it was important for them to understand what they had gained in Christ…
Ephesians 1:18-19 (HCSB)
“I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.”
The inheritance which we the “New Covenant people” now have in Christ (as compared to the inheritance which was given to the Old Covenant people), points to the superiority of the covenant we now have. A covenant which provides “eternal salvation” is far greater than a covenant which, along with condemnation (2 Corinthians 3:9), just provides geography.
Christ Himself, who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), is also the grounding of this better covenant…
Hebrews 7:22 (HCSB)
“…Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.”
Yes, a better covenant…
Hebrews 8:7-13 (HCSB)
“For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second one. But finding fault with His people, He says:
Look, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah —
not like the covenant
that I made with their ancestors
on the day I took them by their hands
to lead them out of the land of Egypt.
I disregarded them, says the Lord,
because they did not continue in My covenant.
But this is the covenant
that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be My people.
And each person will not teach his fellow citizen,
and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know Me,
from the least to the greatest of them.
For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing,
and I will never again remember their sins.
By saying, a new covenant, He has declared that the first is old. And what is old and aging is about to disappear.”
I also pray, as Paul did for the church at Ephesus, that “the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.”
May you be blessed by this knowledge. May it further increase your appreciation for the better inheritance that comes with the better New Covenant, which was “guaranteed” for us by Christ Himself. May it strengthen your walk with Him, knowing that your redemption is secure, due to His fulfilling of the Old Covenant on your behalf…
Hebrews 9:15 (HCSB)
“…He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!