Paul contrasts the two Mosaic covenants when he said walking by the Sinai is a work of flesh
This week we will continue with last week’s question about the New Covenant.
We dealt briefly with what the New covenant is and this week we will discuss Yeshua, Paul and the New Covenant.
When Yeshua began His ministry He reads from Isaiah which is the Haftarah reading for the Torah reading which dealt with the Covenant of Moab.
He said it was fulfilled "today" in their ears (Lk 4.21).
The Lord was going to "hasten" this restoration but if the peole did not repent it would come in it’s due time (Isa 60.22). The offer of the Kingdom began with John the Baptist (Mt 3.2, 4.17).
One of the elements of the New Covenant is the restored kingdom of Israel (Acts 1.6-7, Jer 23.5-6, Isa 9.6-7, 2 Chr 28.5, 13.8).
But the kingdom was being rejected and Yeshua compared this rejection with "those who would not dance" (Mt 11.12-19).
But the New Covenant still needed to be ratified in blood, which He did when he was crucified (Mt 26.27-29).
The Kindom offer was later extended and that is what is spoken about in the book of Acts.
There was a national call for repentance in Acts 3.12-26 but the people did not respond and by Acts 28.17-28 the final curtain was being drawn on it ever happening in the first century.
This brings us to Paul and the New Covenant and this was the basis for his ministry.
He contrasts the circumcision of the heart by the Holy Spirit (an element of the Covenant of Moab) with the those who were circumcised in the flesh (an element of the Covenant at Sinai) in Rom. 2.27-29.
He spoke of the renewal of the Spirit (Moab) with the oldness of the writing of the Sinai covenant alone (Rom 7.6).
In chapters 7 and 8 of Romans he contrasts the two Mosaic covenants when he said that walking by the Sinai covenant alone was a work of the flesh but walking by it in the Spirit was what the New Covenant was all about. You see, the Torah or Law of God was never done away with.
It was how you walked in it that made all the difference.
In Rom 10.4-8 he contrasts the "righteousness that is by the Torah" by quoting Lev 18.5 with the righteousness that is by faith by quoting from the covenant at Moab (Dt 30.11-14).
He says this covenant is the word of faith "we proclaim" and said the Covenant at Moab is the covenant of Messiah by which we are saved (Rom 10.9-13).
In 2 Cor 3.3-6 he refers to the New Covenant when he contrasts the "letter" written on stone with the "spirit" of Torah written on our hearts.
He says following the letter kills, but following the spirit of it gives life.
In Galatians 3 he alludes to these two covenants.
He says Messiah redeemed us from the curse (3.10-13).
Jewish commentators tell us the word "besides" in Dt 29.1 distinguishes the covenant at Moab from the curse of the Law. In Galatians 4.16-31 he plainly compares the two covenants.
The main thing to remember in all of this is that the Torah is what is being followed in both covenants.
One is by the flesh (Sinai) and the other is being led by the Holy Spirit to keep the commandments (Moab).
It all comes down to being "born from above" or not.
The book of Hebrews is full of references to to these covenants.
Heb 8.1 begins with the "main point" then it quotes all of Jer 31.31-34 regarding the New Covenant.
In Hebrews 8.8-11 and beyond he compares the first covenant at Sinai with the second at Moab (8.6,7,13, 9.1,15,10.9).
This second covenant differed from the first.
The first(Sinai) was ratified with the blood of animals but the second(Moab) was ratified by the blood of Yeshua.
Again, the Torah itself didn’t change or was done away with (9.12-24) with the covenant at Moab, it was repeated or "renewed" with better promises and that is why it is called the New (renewed) covenant.
In Heb 3.7-4.10 he says the "rest" we enter is like the entry of Israel into Canaan which took place at the death of Moses and after making the covenant at Moab.
If you study out the names and places when Moses died you will see the whole picture of the covenant at Sinai and the covenant of Moab played out.
Remenber, the common element in both covenants is the commandments of the Lord.
That hasn’t changed.
But instead of the Lord writing them on stone, He writes them on our hearts.
This is made possible through the ratification of this covenant by the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua.
Next week we will review all of this and try to wrap it up nicely so it can be understood better and we will see the New Covenant all comes back to the Covenant at Moab in Dt 29.1 through 30.20.