The Covenant between God and His People

The Bible, The Book of the Covenant

The definition of the word “covenant” is an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified. A covenant is a kind of promise made between people. In this sense, the covenant is also a promise made between God and His people.

In the time of Moses, God made a covenant with the Israelites, which is called the old covenant. It was given specifically to the physical Jews.

Deuteronomy 5:1 Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. 2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. 4 The Lord spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. 5 (At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.)

As a sign of the covenant, God gave them the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The Israelites could receive blessings from God when they kept the covenant. In reality, however, they disobeyed and violated the covenant, and as a result they were cursed and received a lot of calamities.

In the time of Prophet Jeremiah, God foretold the Israelites about the coming disasters and taught them the reason for those disasters coming to them. It was because they violated the covenant they made with God.

Jeremiah 11:1  This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. 3 Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— 4 the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. 5 Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.” I answered, “Amen, Lord.” 6 The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. 7 From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” 8 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’”

The bible teaches that whatever was written in the past were written to teach us a lesson. Through the blessings and curses of the Jews, God is teaching us about the importance of keep the covenant God established for us. 2000 years ago, Jesus came down and established the new covenant for all the people of God, not only the Jews. This covenant was given to the peoples of the world who would like to receive the blessings from God.

Through his flesh and blood, Jesus made a covenant and he gave the promise of eternal life and forgiveness of sins to those who keep the covenant. He named the covenant “a new covenant” in contrast to “the old covenant” given to the Jews.

Luke 22:19  And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Through his blood of the Passover, Jesus established the new covenant and commanded to his people to keep the Passover in remembrance of him. Obeying the command of Jesus disciples of the early churches kept the new covenant, telling us that we have to keep the new covenant until the Christ comes again.

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

However, due to the work of Satan, during the Dark Age, the new covenant was broken and since then people did not keep the covenant. Because of this, people got cursed under the slavery of sin and death.

The bible teaches us again and again that we have to keep the covenant God established for our salvation. We should come back to God and keep the new covenant Passover. Then we can be under the blessings of God. If we follow our stubbornness like the Israel people in the past, however, we will be under curses and cannot receive salvation.

Moses receving the Ten Commandments, the Covenant of God for His People

Deuteronomy 30:11  Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. …..19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Let us choose life by keeping the covenant God gave for our salvation. The command of God is not burdensome.