Monday, November 8, 2010

Hebrews 8:7-13

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 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 house of Israel 
 and with the house of Judah. 
9 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. 
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the house 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. 
11 No longer will they teach their neighbors, 
 or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ 
because they will all know me, 
 from the least of them to the greatest. 
12 For I will forgive their wickedness 
 and will remember their sins no more.”
13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Questions to consider:

  • List the characteristics of the old and new covenants.
  • Among whom are the covenants made?
  • Can you come up with two reasons why the old covenant is inadequate for salvation?
  • In what ways does God overcome these difficulties?
  • What happens to the old covenant when God initiates the new one?
  • Explain how the new covenant is superior to the old.

Possibilities for prayer:

Verses 8b-12 are originally found in Jeremiah 31:31-34. What’s really cool about that fact is the way in which the author of Hebrews’s use of this Old Testament text only further serves to identify the way in which the NEW covenant is the fulfillment and improvement of the old one. Jeremiah spoke of a time when the old covenant would become obsolete, and Jesus’s death was the fulfillment of that prophecy and promise.

Sometimes it can be difficult to trust in the promises that God has made to us--we feel as though we have waited a long time for them to come true, but we still don’t see them becoming real in our lives. Today, let’s praise God because this text is an example of the way in which God is faithful to fulfill promises. Let’s also ask for an increase in faith, that we might be able to wait with patience and with confidence for the completion and fulfillment of what we have been promised.