I Will Remember the Covenant
Who is the Lord referring to in today’s verses? Israel, or the church? Obviously Israel. And yet, the church at large for the most part denies that the people of Israel, who are back in the land of Israel, are entitled to the land that they now possess. Israel is out, and the church has replaced them – that is the thinking. This is the standard thought of the Catholic Church, the Reformed churches, and a host of other churches, sects, and cults in the world today.
In fact, by acknowledging that Israel is entitled to the land, it means that their theology has been wrong for the past many, many centuries. In the early church, which consisted of only Jews, they expected the messianic promises to be fulfilled in Christ and for them. In fact, it was the very last question proposed to Jesus by them before He ascended into heaven.
In Acts, it was with awed surprise that Gentiles were to become a part of the church. At first, it was an exclusively Jewish entity, and it was observant Jews who filled its meeting places. The Samaritans, a mixed race of Jews and outsiders, were brought into the fold. That could be expected. At least they had a copy of the Pentateuch, even if it identified Samaria, not Jerusalem, as their place of worship. That was easy enough to correct. Jesus had come, the plan was now obvious, and they could be brought into the fold with little difficulty.
But Gentiles? They never could have imagined such a thing. Any Gentile would have to first become an observant Jew, right? But then came Acts 10. Wrong! Gentiles received the same gift of the Spirit as did the Jews, without converting, and without giving up their baconly delicious diets. They simply believed and received. It was so incredible to imagine, that Acts 11 finds the Jews accusing Peter of wrongdoing for going into a Gentile home to speak with them.
But by the end of the passage, they exclaimed, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” If you notice, here and throughout the New Testament, even to the book of Revelation, the term “Gentile” is used. The difference remains, even if there is no distinction in Christ. A Gentile is no less a Gentile when coming to Christ than a woman is no less a woman when doing so. Positionally, we are all one in Christ, but as to nature, we remain Jew and Gentile, male and female.
Text Verse: Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:6, 7
What was the very last thing that these men asked the Lord? “Will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” They had no idea, at all, that there was a “church age” coming. They had no idea that this church would include Gentiles, and that eventually it would become a Gentile-led church. They had no idea, because Jesus never spoke of such things. All they knew is that a New Covenant had been initiated through His shed blood, and in the book of Jeremiah, that New Covenant was to Israel and the Jewish people. They didn’t even understand at this point that the Old Covenant, meaning the Law of Moses, was annulled through this act.
And what was Christ’s response to these Jewish men? He didn’t say, “You have misunderstood all of the promises through the prophets. There will be no kingdom age. There will be no return to the Davidic throne. There will be no literal fulfillment of any of those things. Rather, they are spiritually fulfilled in the church, which will be led by Gentiles.” No, Christ Jesus, the Lord, didn’t say those things. He simply told them to get about His business of sharing the gospel, something which they did… to their own people. It took divine intervention for them to go outside of their own people Israel and tell the Gentiles about Jesus. Philip was told by an angel of the Lord to speak to the Ethiopian. Peter was told in a vision to go to the house of Cornelius. And Paul, Paul had to be first called out of what he believed, and then he was instructed to go out to the Gentiles in particular, in order to get things going.
Not a single Jew anticipated anything that occurred. And how could they? It was all about them. This was true, but with an exceedingly long exile ahead, the Lord would not waste a moment of the precious time man has been granted on this earth. And so during Israel’s time of calamity – self-inflicted calamity – the Lord did something wonderful among the Gentiles. It is still on-going today, but that time is drawing to a close. Leviticus 26 is given to us to understand this.
And yet, we have – like Israel – failed to understand. The word is written. All we need to do is keep it in context, not mix dispensations, and simply pay attention to the world around us. If we do these things, we may still have some marvelous surprises, but the overall picture should not escape our attention. Israel. It is Israel who is being addressed, and it is Israel to whom the Lord will return to set up His millennial kingdom. This is a certain truth which is to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. The Prayer of Daniel (verses 40-43)
When seventy years for the punishment of Israel had been accomplished, Daniel prayed for the restoration of Israel. He knew this was undeserved, but he also knew that the Lord had promised, in advance, that they would be returned to the land after seventy years. Daniel was just one man, but he prayed for the Lord to act, and he did so in accord with what is stated here in Leviticus 26. Israel as a nation has not yet repeated Daniel’s prayer, acknowledging their guilt in the rejection of Christ Jesus, but they will someday. For now, we will use Daniel’s prayer to see the pattern of what the Lord promised here in Leviticus. Daniel prayed, “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You” (Daniel 9:8).
40 ‘But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers,
There is no “if” in the Hebrew here. Some scholars, and obviously translators also, say that it is implied in the words. But this is not correct. The Hebrew reads, “And they shall confess their iniquity.” There is nothing conditional about this. The entire point of all of the horrifying curses which came upon Israel was to correct them. Until that occurred, and it would certainly occur, the punishments were given and would continue.
However, the severity of the punishments would finally break the stubborn rebellion of Israel, and it would further lead them to confession. Although we are not at verse 44 yet, the Lord says there that He would remain faithful to the covenant despite their rebellions, and He would not utterly destroy them in order to remain faithful to His word.
As He would ensure they were not utterly destroyed, then it shows that those who were not destroyed would continue to suffer, but not be wiped out completely, until they were completely broken, with no one but the Lord Himself to turn to. Again, we have to go back to the personal nature of the words in this chapter. “I will,” “I will,” “I will.” The words are in the first person, and it is the Lord who is speaking.
The Lord would continue to doggedly pursue the living, even to the ends of the earth, not to destroy them, but to bring them back to Himself. This is the entire intent and purpose of what is being relayed here. He began the chapter with commands intended to maintain the relationship between Himself and Israel. He then immediately told what the blessings for adhering to these commands would be. It is a promise of care, concern, love, and affection. “This is what I offer, if you are faithful to Me.”
After that came the assured curses. “This is what you will bring on yourself if you are unfaithful to Me. All of this will be self-inflicted, and all of it will cause you to confess your unfaithfulness.”
Let us step back and put ourselves into the picture for a minute. Verse 29 said that, “You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.” Would anyone here consider it evil that we would be forced to eat our own children in order to survive? If we saw someone else doing that, would we call it evil? But the passage is in the first person – “I will.”
Can we then ascribe this evil to the Lord? No! Israel brought these curses upon themselves. The Lord simply told them what would occur, and He followed through with His promises, but it is Israel, not the Lord, who has done iniquity. That is why He begins with, “And they shall confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers.”
He includes the “fathers” here to indicate to them that this is an on-going, corporate punishment. Each Israelite is not a stand-alone unit who can separate himself and his actions from the corporate body. The same is true with man. We cannot say, “I am separating myself from the sins of Adam.” We are in Adam, and we are corporately guilty before the Lord. Without the Lord’s intervention, we cannot become a new species and say, “I don’t bear Adam’s guilt.” Nor can Israel remain in Israel and say, “I don’t bear the guilt of my fathers.” They are a corporate body.
It is Israel who will confess. The evil they face is because of the evil they have wrought. It is they who have broken the covenant, and they will be pursued until they confess what they have done. This is then made explicit with the next words which reflect the words of Daniel 9:7, “because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against you” …
40 (con’t) with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me,
Israel had committed avon, or iniquity, as the first clause noted. But who is the offended in their actions? The Lord now tells them that it is He. The Hebrew word maal used in this clause, translated as “unfaithfulness,” gives the sense of inflicting on the rights of another. Avon is a transgression against the divine law, and it is an act of unfaithfulness to the divine Lawgiver. He takes their transgressions of His law as a personal offense. Daniel understood this when he said, “We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets” (Daniel 9:10). This repeats the Lord’s words…
40 (con’t) and that they also have walked contrary to Me,
v’aph asher haleku immi beqeri, or “and also which they have walked to Me contrary.” This is in contrast to verse 3 where the Lord said, “If you walk in My statutes and keep my commandments and perform them.” They failed to do as stated. The people Israel are the offenders; The Lord is the offended; He acts to correct the offenses. There is no wrongdoing in the Lord. But such is the case with Israel, and such is the case with us today.
We cannot impute wrongdoing to the Lord. We humans are the offenders; He is the offended; and He will act to correct the offenses. If it must be accomplished on a global scale against the sons of Adam, then that is His right. Man looks to find fault in God when calamity strikes, but as humans, we should rather pull out a mirror and look closely at those who are reflected in it. For Israel, Daniel understood this and said, “…therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God has been poured out on us” (Daniel 9:11). The Lord promised it would occur…
These word are given in fulfillment of verses 27, 28, and 33. Taken together they would say, “And after all of this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I will also walk contrary to you in fury … I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you.” The Lord said He would do this, and now He is saying that it would occur, and yet even in the occasion, He would still be watching for the sure change in them.
His punishments were intended to bring it about. They were not to destroy them completely, they were not to disband them as a people, they were not merely to show the church a lesson in Israel that was to be avoided by us. All of the years of punishment were intended to bring them to the day when there would be a change in them. It would be an internal change, meant for restoration. Daniel led that prayer for His people with the words, “…we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled” (Daniel 9:5). This is what the Lord’s punishment was intended to accomplish…
41 (con’t) if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled,
The change that the Lord had directed Israel to is a humbling of their “uncircumcised hearts.” The word kana, or “to humble” is introduced here. What this then implies is two things. The first is that Israel was prideful in their hearts, and the second is that their hearts were not circumcised to the Lord. One leads naturally to the other. If one has a circumcised heart, they will not be prideful. This is reflected in Paul’s words of Romans 2 –
“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” Romans 2:28, 29
A true Jew is one whose heart is circumcised, meaning humble before the Lord, and obedient to what He commands. This does not mean that a Gentile who is circumcised in the heart becomes a Jew – a category mistake made by replacement theologians. It means that only a Jew who is circumcised in the heart is a true Jew. We need to recognize this giant error in replacement theology.
The Israelite looked at the circumcision of their flesh as that which made them special, but here in Leviticus, they are given the first of such hints that this is not so. Circumcision of the heart is noted twice in Deuteronomy, and it is noted in Jeremiah 4:4 as well. Uncircumcision of the heart in Israel is mentioned in Jeremiah 9, Ezekiel 44, and Acts 7.
The theme is repeated often enough in Scripture that it was commonly known among the people. The last instance, that in Acts, was spoken by Stephen to the leaders of Israel. Thus, it is seen that Israel was without excuse. Circumcision of the flesh profits nothing. Circumcision of the heart must accompany it. That was what the punishment was intended to bring about, and that is what is effected in the people. And that, in turn, leads them to what Daniel knew was required. He thus prayed, “O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face” (Daniel 9:7) He had admitted the nation’s guilt, as the Lord expected…
41 (con’t) and they accept their guilt—
The word translated as “accept” here, ratsah, is the same as “enjoy” in verse 43, and that is how it is more correctly translated. It is how the Greek translation of this passage reads – kai tote eudokesousai ta amartias auton, “and then they will rejoice in the (punishment of) their sins.” It is reflective of the words of Psalm 119:71 – “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes.” Although the concept doesn’t translate well into our idea of rejoicing, what is being said is that the repentant Israelites will take it joyfully when they realize that the punishment they have received is less than what was deserved.
Daniel fully understood this and petitioned the Lord based on mercy, knowing that they deserved much more punishment than they had received – “…for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies” (Daniel 9:18).
In understanding these things, Daniel departs from what will next be said in verse 42. Instead of directly appealing to the covenant which the Lord mentions, he appeals to the honor of the One who established the covenant by saying, “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name” (Daniel 9:19).
Instead of saying, “You owe us because of the covenant You made with our fathers,” Daniel appeals to the fact that His name is at stake, and that Name is tied in to both His city (Jerusalem) and His people (Israel). Understanding this, does anyone here think that this has somehow changed in today’s world? Is the Lord’s name any less at stake of being profaned now if He were to not defend Jerusalem and Israel? Of course not! Regardless of Israel’s actions, the name of the Lord, and His honor, demand He uphold His covenant with them.
Pay heed, O Replacement Theologian! The Lord does not appeal to the Mosaic Covenant at all here. The words of this verse are a part of the Mosaic Covenant as it is being compiled. Instead, the Lord appeals to His promises to the patriarchs. And yet, it is in the Mosaic Covenant that the promised remembrance of the covenant to the patriarchs is recorded. Let us again think logically about this. Is the church under the Mosaic Covenant? No!
But, it is the Mosaic Covenant which is given to provide the blessings and the curses upon Israel. If the church is not under that covenant, then the blessings and curses are not directed to the church at all! And further, the appeal to the covenant with the fathers, which is recorded in the Mosaic Covenant, is not intended for the church. Though those in the church are sons of Abraham by faith, they are not included in what is stated here. The boxes are set and defined. Let us not mix up the boxes.
42 (con’t) I will remember the land.
The land, desolate during Israel’s first and second exiles – forgotten by the world, neglected of any care, despised by the surrounding nations, but longed for by Israel, and seemingly rejected by the Lord – is called to remembrance by Him. It is as if He has awoken from a slumber, calling it to mind once again.
Here, the land is tied into the covenant with the patriarchs. The covenant with the patriarchs, including the land which is now being remembered, is included as a promise to Israel in the Mosaic Covenant. The church is not a part of the Mosaic covenant – we have established that. The land is the Lord’s and He has given it to Israel as an everlasting possession. The boxes are set and defined. Let us not mix up the boxes.
Bible scholar John Gill, born 1697 and died 1771, long before the modern dispensationalist and Zionist movements began, said the following about this verse –
“This seems to refer to a second time, when this should be the case of the land of Judea again, as it was when subdued by the Romans, and the Jews were carried captive from it, and so it was left by them, as it has been ever since: … and thus the land of Canaan, though once so very fruitful, is now desolate and barren, being without its former inhabitants, and so it is like to be until it is restored to them again.” John Gill
Oh, unbelieving world! Even in antiquity before it could have been dreamed possible, a man knew and understood. A man wrote what has been ridiculed and mocked by those who reject the surety of the covenants, and the word of the Lord. Thank God for such a faithful soul, and such a lone voice among his colleagues.
43 (con’t) and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt,
The same phrase as in verse 41 is given again, “and they will rejoice in the (punishment of) their sins.” The two ideas are not disconnected. The land would enjoy its sabbaths, being readied for the people’s return. Year by year, the land would enjoy rest in desolation, as if desiring the day it would be productive again. At the same time, the people would rejoice in knowing that they had been punished less than they deserved. Their return to the land would mean the land would again yield for their efforts. Both lead to the same good end, the productivity of the land of Israel at the hand of Israel. Sounds like the world we today live in, does it not!
43 (con’t) because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.
The words begin with yaan u-b’yaan – “because and even because.” The stress tells us that the people were punished because they had despised the Lord’s judgments, and their souls had abhorred His statutes, for which they were deserving of being completely cut off. And yet, the Lord was faithful to His word and spared them.
Thus, they could rejoice in the punishment of their iniquity, knowing that it was far less than deserved. To think of what has occurred to Israel in the past 100 years or so with the pogroms and the holocaust, one might think that impossible, but in understanding that what they received is less than what they deserved, we can begin then to contemplate the absolute holiness of the Lord. And yet, in this passage, we can also see the great mercy of the Lord, and the fidelity He has toward His word. We will see that after a short poetic break…
We have set our face before the Lord our God
To make request by prayer for what we do not deserve
We have sinned in our walk that we have trod
And the Lord our God we have failed to serve
O Lord, righteousness belongs to You
But to us belongs only shame of face
We have acted wickedly in all that we do
And upon Your glorious name, we have brought disgrace
And so the curse and the oath has come upon us
But now we turn our hearts back to You
We call out for mercy through the Lord Jesus
And He will respond, because He is faithful and true
II. The Faithfulness of the Lord (verses 44-46)
The Lord speaks through His word, and His word becomes His signature of assurance. Does this passage speak of one exile and then all hope is lost? Does this passage speak of accepting or rejecting Christ, who is their Lord as a justification for His breaking the covenant? Is not Christ Jesus the Lord Yehovah come in human flesh? And so, if Israel rejected Jesus, is that at all different than of their having rejected Yehovah? Absolutely not. None of these things apply. The Lord made a covenant and it must stand. Again, the appeal is to the patriarchs, and it is then noted in the Mosaic Covenant. It has nothing (zip, zero, nada) to do with the church age, except that we have been grafted into the promised salvation by faith. O! Faithless Replacement Theologian!
Should I speak of dispensationalism without scholarly support? Have I not cited John Gill who could never have fathomed what occurred in modern times concerning Israel? But should I leave him as a sole voice of lunacy. No, not at all. Of verse 44, Adam Clarke, born 1760 and died 1832, still years before the modern dispensationalist and Zionist movements, says this –
“Though God has literally fulfilled all his threatenings upon this people in dispossessing them of their land, destroying their polity, overturning their city, demolishing their temple, and scattering themselves over the face of the whole earth; yet he has, in his providence, strangely preserved them as a distinct people, and in very considerable numbers also. He still remembers the covenant of their ancestors, and in his providence and grace he has some very important design in their favor. All Israel shall yet be saved, and, with the Gentiles, they shall all be restored to his favor; and under Christ Jesus, the great Shepherd; become, with them, one grand everlasting fold.”
While the land laid utterly desolate so that Mark Twain stood shocked at the curse which befell it, while the people of Israel were so scattered and so diminished that the world almost entirely ignored them as anything other than a nuisance, and while the Lord seemed completely absorbed with blessing the church and cursing the few remaining and scattered Jews, the word of God still remained the word of God, and it has stood while the faith of those who read it faltered. The disbelieving Christian spiritualized its content and neglected its intent, but the word remained nonetheless. And why should it be otherwise when the word bears the mark of a Divine Signatory…
44 (con’t) for I am the Lord their God.
ki ani Yehovah elohehem – “for I (am) Yehovah their God.” Who is speaking? Yehovah, the God of Israel. He is the covenant keeping God. Their faithlessness does not in any way negate His faithfulness. His word is unconditional to the patriarchs, and it cannot be violated. His words of verse 44 are unconditional in what they proclaim. And yet, let us cast them to the wind. Let us spiritualize them. Let us reject the sure and everlasting promises of Yehovah – because we are faithless Replacement Theologians. Let us accept the words of those who waffle in the Sea of Scripture instead. From the Pulpit Commentary of the 1800s –
God’s pardon will, even yet, as always, follow upon confession of sin and genuine repentance. They must recognize not only that they have sinned, but that their sufferings have been a punishment for those sins at God’s hand. This will work in them humble acquiescence in God’s doings, and then he will remember his covenant with Jacob, and also his covenant with Isaac, and also his covenant with Abraham, and for the sake of the covenant of their ancestors, he will not cast them away, neither will he abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break his covenant with them. Whether Jewish repentance has been or ever will be so full as to obtain this blessing, cannot be decided now. Perhaps it may be the case that all the blessings promised by Moses and by future prophets to repentant and restored Israel are to find their accomplishment in the spiritual Israel, the children of Abraham who is “the father of all them that believe” … seeing that “God is able of stones to raise up children unto Abraham” … Pulpit Commentary
How stupid. This commentary, which is somewhat reflective of replacement theology, with a minor caveat questioning if this could still apply to the Jews, mixes four dispensations in one. They started with God’s pardon being based on repentance. That is speaking of the verses we are looking at now; the dispensation of the law.
It then defers back to the dispensation of promise which was given first to Abraham, and then to Isaac, and then to Jacob. In that dispensation, of which we participate in the spiritual blessings, was the land promise – a promise meant for Israel, not for the church. They then refer back to the law – given to Israel, not the church – while mixing in the dispensation of grace, by saying, “Perhaps it may be the case that all the blessings promised by Moses and by future prophets to repentant and restored Israel are to find their accomplishment in the spiritual Israel,” meaning the church and speaking of the dispensation of the millennium at the same time.
The covenant promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is truly what the Lord is referring to. But adherence to, or violation of, the Mosaic Covenant is what brought about the promises of blessings, and the promises of punishment. These had nothing to do with the covenant spoken to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And more, they have nothing to do with the church.
Are we under the law, or are we under grace? We are under grace! And further, Paul says to those in Christ, “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). How can what is in Leviticus 26, which is the Law of Moses, be speaking to the church? The church is certainly looking for promised blessing, but are we also looking for assured curses? No!
We aren’t even imputed our trespasses, so how can we be assured of curses based on a violation of the law that we are not even under? Are we in Christ or not? The unthinking nature of the Replacement Theologian, or those who are unsure about exactly what God means when He says, “I will not break My covenant with them,” is almost unimaginable to contemplate.
The Lord’s words in this passage are spoken as an accomplished fact. Everything is present in the Lord’s mind – from what was, to what will be. It is as if we are looking at a train leaving a station, arriving at another station, and everything in between, all at the same moment. This verse here is not speaking of the covenant referred to in verse 42. It is speaking of the covenant that is now being given, and which will continue to be given and built upon through Deuteronomy.
Therefore, the “covenant of their ancestors” in this verse is speaking of the Mosaic Covenant, and it is about a people far in the future to Leviticus 26, but looking back to this time. He will execute to them the words of this covenant which was made to their ancestors, meaning that which is being executed with Israel via Moses and those with him. This is certain because of the next words…
45 (con’t) whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations,
It is Israel, now in the wilderness, and now receiving the words of the covenant, who was “brought out of the land of Egypt.” The Lord has appealed to the covenant to the patriarchs, but He has solidified His word, and thus His actions, towards that covenant by bringing them out of Egypt and in initiating this covenant. He had promised to give the land in which the patriarch’s dwelt to their descendants. He is now confirming that, and He is stipulating everything associated with that covenant in this covenant. And there is a specific reason for doing this. It is…
45 (con’t) that I might be their God:
This was stated explicitly in Exodus 6:7, prior to the exodus –
“I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” Exodus 6:7
The Lord did bring them out, and then the Lord offered to them the covenant which He is now speaking of. They agreed to its precepts and thus, He is their God. The deal is done. And who is their God? He tells us – meaning all people of the world (including replacement theologians)…
45 (con’t) I am the Lord.’”
ani Yehovah – “I (am) Yehovah.” Yehovah is their God. Does this change with Jesus’ incarnation? Is He any less God, or any less Israel’s God? Not at all! Nothing has changed between Israel and the Lord. They remain under His authority – to be punished, or to receive mercy and blessing – according to their acceptance of His statutes and judgments.
And those statutes and judgments include heeding the One He will send to fulfill this covenant and to initiate a new one. They have seven years left to them, under this covenant, in order to accept Christ and be restored to God through Him. This was confirmed to them through the words of Daniel 9:24. The covenant is fulfilled and annulled in Christ, but they have not received Christ. Thus, the covenant is binding on them as a people until they come to Christ.
*46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the Lord made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.
This verse looks back immediately to verse 26:3 which appealed to the people to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments. But it goes back further, to verse 25:1 which said that “the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai.” As I said then, it actually reads, b’har sinai, literally “in mount Sinai,” but meaning, “in the region of Sinai.” Because the term “Sinai” has been used, the entire passage has anticipated the cross of Christ. Sinai means, “Bush of the Thorn.” The name of the location is given in connection with the redemptive workings of God in Christ which look forward to the cross.
In other words, the laws have been given, the promised blessings and curses have been identified, and the promises of restoration have been named. Israel failed and was exiled, twice. But God did not neglect His other promises in the meantime. Throughout the Old Testament, the promise of a Messiah is given.
When He came, He fulfilled what Israel had failed at. And in His fulfillment, He offered them a chance to be included in His New Covenant. They rejected that, as He knew they would, and they went into a punishment seven times over for their sins. With the promise of seven more years of the Old Covenant in order to come to Christ, Israel is now again in the land, being prepared for that to occur.
Those seven years will be a time of great trial and tribulation, but they will end with the Lord Jesus returning to them, rescuing them, and setting up the millennial kingdom among them. It is what they had anticipated in Acts 1, and it is what is promised in Revelation 20, but which is described in detail among the prophets of old. While still under the Old Covenant, they foresaw the glory which lay ahead in the New.
Israel has been on a journey which has taken thousands of years to come to its fulfillment, but God, who is ever faithful to His word, is bringing them – His people Israel – back to Himself, slowly but surely, and despite their continued rejection of Him. This is the Lord who is ever faithful and who is ever true.
While He is working towards mending that bridge, He has been tenderly caring for the Gentiles of the world. Israel failed to see the glory of what occurred at the cross of Calvary, but they are starting to see it now each day, more Jews are realizing what they had missed.
Together, Jew and Gentile are offered the same marvelous grace of God. It is that which says, “Come to Me and your sins will be forgiven. I will no more remember them, and I will cast them further than they could ever be brought back to mind.” Each step of what God has done has been for us to see and realize our desperate need for God’s grace and His mercy.
That is the purpose of the cross. Jesus has done the work, and Jesus has paid the penalty. All we need to do is receive that, and all will be well between us and God.
Closing Verse: For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
Next Week: Leviticus 27:1-34 This will be the last sermon in Leviticus; I hope you have so noted… (Things Vowed and Things Devoted) (51 Leviticus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
I Will Remember the Covenant
‘But if they confess their iniquity
And the iniquity of their fathers, who acted unfaithfully
With their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me
And that they also to Me have walked contrary
And that I also have walked contrary to them
And have brought them into their enemies’ land
If their uncircumcised hearts are humbled
And they accept their guilt; when they understand
Then I will remember My covenant with Jacob
And My covenant with Isaac, by my raised hand
And My covenant with Abraham I will remember
I will remember the land
The land also shall be left empty by them
And will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies without them desolate
They will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments
And because their soul abhorred My statutes, which they did forget
Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies
I will not cast them away, nor shall I them abhor
To utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them
For I am the Lord their God; yes even forevermore
But for their sake I will remember
The covenant of their ancestors, their early family relations
Whom I brought out of the land of Egypt
In the sight of the nations
That I might be their God, so stands My word
I am the Lord
These are the statutes and judgments and laws
Which the Lord made between Himself, as we now understand
And the children of Israel
On Mount Sinai by Moses’ hand
Lord God, we all like Israel have gone astray
And as a vile cloth we should be cast out
But in Christ, You have granted us a new way
And in Christ there is peace and surety, not strife and doubt
Thank You for bringing us back to Yourself through Jesus
Thank You that there is reconciliation, complete and whole
We praise You for all You have done for us
All is well with the redeemed soul
Hallelujah and Amen…