A Shadow of Perfection
As you prepare to come into God’s presence today, ask him to show you something new or challenging.
Read Hebrews 8:7-13
 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.  But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.  This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow does this new covenant differ from the old one?
Recently I drew up a new will. Only I can make changes. My beneficiaries may only accept or reject what is provided for them. This is the meaning of the word that is translated “covenant” in the book of Hebrews. Normally, a covenant is an agreement between two people in which both are responsible for their side of the promise. The meaning of the Greek word usually translated covenant in this passage is “will.” It is a promise from God, and we are the beneficiaries. It is based solely on God’s terms, thus we can only accept or reject it. If I write a new will, my old one is immediately invalid. This is also the case with the new covenant (13). The idea of a new covenant is not a New Testament idea (9-12). The old covenant wasn’t working so another one was needed (7). The word used for “new” here indicates that the new promise will be totally different. In the old covenant, men were asked to obey God through a series of strict laws. In the new, God has written the desire to obey him on their hearts. Our relationship with God no longer depends on obedience, but on God’s love and forgiveness (12).
Does this passage contain lessons you can apply to relationships in your home or work? Ask God to show you.
Gracious Lord, I’m thankful for the new covenant You gave and for Your love and forgiveness that sustains me in it.
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